The third-ranked Louisville baseball team completed its inaugural appearance at the ACC Championship with a 6-0 loss to No. 10 Florida State in Saturday’s Pool A finale at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The Cardinals (43-16) finished the week with a 1-2 mark in pool play, while Florida State (40-19) won Pool A with a 3-0 record and will face NC State in Sunday afternoon’s ACC Championship title game. The Atlantic Division champion and top seed in the ACC Championship after setting a league record for conference wins with a 25-5 mark, Louisville closed the season with 15 straight games against teams ranked in the top 60 of the RPI and was 9-6 during that stretch.
Louisville will learn its NCAA Championship assignment with the unveiling of the field of 64 teams on Monday at noon ET on ESPNU. Additionally, ESPNU will have a camera with the Cardinals during Monday’s announcement and is scheduled to interview Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell and freshman pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay during the live telecast.
In Saturday’s game, Florida state righty Drew Carlton allowed just five hits and issued three walks with four strikeouts in seven shutout innings to earn the win and improve to 4-5 on the season. For Louisville, McKay (Darlington, Pa.) allowed two earned runs on four hits with three strikeouts in 5.0+ innings for the loss to drop to 8-3 on the season.
After the teams combined for five scoreless innings to open the game, FSU moved ahead in the sixth plating a trio of runs on just one hit while benefitting from two walks, two HBP’s and one Louisville error, all with no outs. John Sansone was hit by a pitch from McKay to begin the inning and moved to second on a walk to DJ Stewart before scoring the first run of the game after a Quincy Nieporte chopper went under the glove of second baseman Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.).
Following a walk to Chris Marconcini to load the bases, Dylan Busby was hit by a pitch from sophomore lefty Drew Harrington (Elizabethtown, Ky.) to score Stewart for the two-run advantage. Moments later, Ben DeLuzio delivered a RBI single on a come-backer off of Harrington to score Nieporte for the 3-0 advantage. Harrington bounced back to get a shallow flyout to right and a 4-3 double-play to end the inning.
An inning later, the Seminoles pushed the lead to 5-0 on a two-out, two-run single from Marconcini. Back-to-back one-out walks from freshman lefty Butch Baird (Big Prairie, Ohio) put Sansone and Stewart on base and both advanced on stolen bases before Marconcini’s single. FSU closed the scoring in the eighth inning on a solo home run by DeLuzio.
At the plate, sophomore Corey Ray (Chicago, Ill.) was 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base, while freshman Colby Fitch (Rocheport, Mo.) finished 2-for-3 with a double. Saturday marked the seventh time in the last eight games the opponent has scored first against the Cardinals.