The University of Louisville baseball team opened the final series of the regular season with a 7-4 victory over Florida State on Thursday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Louisville (31-22, 10-18 ACC) picked up its second straight win and stopped a seven-game losing skid in conference play.
The Cardinals trailed 4-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning before scoring the game’s final four runs.
Christian Knapczyk and Jack Payton each reached to lead off the seventh inning and were bunted up 90 feet by JT Benson. After a strikeout recorded the second out, Eddie King Jr. tied the game with a slow roller down the third base line that he was able to beat out.
Kayden Campbell then put a zero on the board in the eighth to keep the game tied and send the offense back to the plate.
The first two Louisville batters in the eighth were retired, but Isaac Humphrey and Christian Knapczyk were hit on consecutive pitches to put runners on. Payton then delivered a huge swing, sending an 0-1 breaking ball over the wall down the right field line to give the Cards the lead.
The home run was the 12th of the season for the junior captain and proved to be the difference in the game.
Tate Kuehner came on in the ninth and set down the side in order for his fifth save of the season. Campbell (2-1) retired four of the five batters he faced to earn the win in relief.
Florida State (21-31, 7-21) took an early lead with a leadoff home run to start the contest, but the Cardinals answered back with two in the bottom half of the first. Ryan McCoy was hit by a pitch to force home a run and King added the second on a fielder’s choice.
Louisville added a third run in the second inning on a wild pitch, but the Seminoles regained the advantage after a solo home run in the third and two more runs in the fifth.
Payton finished the night 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Knapczyk added a 2-for-3 showing with three runs tallied.
Louisville and Florida State take the field for the middle game of the series on Friday night with first pitch set for 6 p.m. ET.