By Dalton Ray —
On the brink of earning their first-ever ACC postseason title, baseball dropped an 11-8, 10-inning game against seventh-ranked Florida State. No. 24 Louisville’s (43-17) chance of hosting an NCAA Regional game went down the drain with the loss.
Florida State (43-17) remains a thorn in Louisville’s side, bouncing them from the ACC tourney for the second straight year.
FSU jumped up 5-1 and Louisville scored seven straight runs. The Noles responded with sixth consecutive runs to end the game.
Juniors Josh Stowers and Devin Mann (3-of-5) and freshman Zach Britton all homered in the game. Louisville committed three fielding errors and threw two wild pitches — all proving to be crucial in an extra inning game.
The Seminoles shook freshman Bobby Miller in the opening inning, scoring two runs as the freshman racked up the pitch count. Louisville plated a run in the bottom of the second by way of sophomore Danny Oriente.
Self-inflected mistakes allowed FSU to score another two runs in third inning. A fielding error allowed a runner on at the top of the inning, who later scored. Then a wild pitch scored another, giving Florida State a 5-1 lead.
Momentum soon swung Louisville’s way, starting with a two-run homer from Mann. Stowers kicked off the next inning with a home run and two batters later, freshman Zach Britton hit a three-run bomb to give Louisville a 7-5 lead.
More errors harmed U of L in the sixth as a fielding error followed by a wild pitch (again) put a runner in position to score. Florida State loaded the bases, but sophomore Logan Wyatt cooled the threat by snagging a rocket to first and then tagging the base for a double play.
The Seminoles started the seventh inning with a double and a single on the next at bat brought in the runner. Freshman Reid Detmers, who replaced junior Bryan Hoeing in the seventh inning, attempted to pick-off the runner at third base, but the ball sailed and FSU tied the game at 8-8.
Florida State went down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth inning. Louisville received a pair of two-out hits, but a flyout to right ended the inning.
Louisville allowed two walks and a single to start the 10th inning. A double scored two runners and a sac-RBI at the next at-bat scored three runs in the final inning.
The Cards went down in order in the bottom, capping the game.
Louisville will be selected the play in the NCAA tournament, but will be traveling for an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2012.
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal