By Dalton Ray–
An usual pitching performance from the bullpen led to baseball’s second loss in a row. The Cards dropped their third home game of the year to Florida State (34-20, 13-14) by score of 12-9.
With two games remaining in the regular season, coach Dan McDonnell said he is trying to keep his team sharp.
“We’ve been emphasizing about playing every pitch and keeping our focus,” McDonnell said. “Don’t lose your edge, don’t lose your focus. Tonight I just don’t think we played every pitch … everyone needs to lock in.”
A season-high 12 runs is the most U of L has allowed since FSU scored 16 on May 10, 2016.
“(Florida State) makes you throw a lot of pitches,” McDonnell said. “They make you earn the strike zone. When you walk guys or go (into) three-ball counts against good hitters, that’s their ammo — that’s what they’re living for. They got really good hitters and they took advantage of it tonight.”
Louisville (46-8, 23-4) scored six of their nine runs in the first three innings.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning, back-to-back singles set up sophomore Josh Stower’s three-run homer over left field.
A single from Dylan Busby with two outs kept the Noles alive. A throwing error advanced Busby to third base and a walk put runners on the corners. Quincy Nieporte’s double to left field brought home both runners.
A walk and hit by pitch put two runners on in the bottom of inning for Louisville. Junior Drew Ellis caused the Cardinals to clear dugout again with a bomb in left field.
Junior Colby Fitch’s RBI single in the fourth inning made the Louisville lead 7-3.
Junior Brendan McKay walked the first two batters of the fifth inning, tying his season-high four walked batters. McKay answered back with two strikeouts, but Nieporte’s second double cleared the bases.
An error allowed Nieporte to score and a RBI single from Cal Raleigh tied the game at 7-7.
Senior Jake Sparger replaced McKay in the sixth inning. With two outs, FSU took the lead on a RBI single from Jackson Lueck.
Noles don’t let up
Junior Devin Hairston and McKay got on base to start the seventh inning with singles. With two outs, senior Colin Lyman’s shot to center field inched over FSU’s JC Flowers and hopped over the wall, bringing the game to 9-8.
With one on and one out in the eighth inning, Busby lifted a home run to left field, forcing Sparger to take an early exit. The Noles cashed in another run, making the game 12-8.
Sophomore Devin Mann singled in the bottom of the ninth inning, bringing home McKay. The Cards had runners on the corners down 12-9 in their final at bat, but a pop-up in the field ended the rally.
Photos by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal