Playing its highest-ranked opponent of the season, Florida State (34-20, 13-14 ACC) beat No. 2 Louisville (46-8, 23-5) 12-9 Thursday evening at Jim Patterson Stadium. Quincy Nieporte and Dylan Busby stayed hot, finishing a combined 7-for-9 with three doubles, a home run and seven runs batted in, while the FSU bullpen pitched the final five innings, allowing just one earned run.
“Any win in the league is important, and that’s a good win for us,” head coach Mike Martin said. “You’re in an environment like this, it’s quite a challenge, but our guys lived up to it.”
The Seminole offense pounded out 14 hits and 12 runs in the game, the most the Cardinals have allowed since FSU scored 16 against Louisville last season. Louisville starter Brendan McKay, one of the top arms in the country, allowed seven runs (five earned) over five innings, the most of his career.
Jim Voyles (4-0) earned the win for the Seminoles, going 1.2 innings and allowing just one hit and no runs. Voyles entered in relief of Cole Sands as Florida State moved to 5-0 in the first game of a road series this season.
Nieporte improved to 8-for-9 over the past two games after going 5-for-5 in the home finale against Wake Forest on Sunday. The senior’s batting average has jumped to .303. Nieporte’s three doubles are the most for a Seminole this season, and he recorded all five RBI’s in the first four innings.
FSU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Louisville answered in the bottom of the second with the first of two three-run home runs. Josh Stowers’ fifth home run of the season gave the Cardinals a 3-1 lead through two innings.
The Seminoles tied the score at 3-3 on Nieporte’s first double of the game, scoring Busby and Jackson Lueck with two outs. Drew Ellis, hitting .393 on the season, connected for Louisville’s second home run as the Cards retook the lead, 6-3. The home team added a run in the fourth on Colby Fitch’s double.
FSU would score four in the fifth to once again tie the game. Nieporte doubled to score Taylor Walls and J.C. Flowers, again with two outs. Cal Raleigh reached on an error that scored Nieporte, and Tyler Holton’s single up the middle scored Raleigh and tied the score. With the game tied, Voyles replaced Sands, who allowed seven runs in four innings, and pitched a perfect fifth inning against Louisville’s 4-5-6 hitters.
The Noles took the lead for good on Lueck’s RBI single off Jake Sparger (4-1) to score Busby in the sixth, and extended the lead to 9-7 on Raleigh’s eighth home run of the year over the right field wall.
In the eighth, FSU scored three runs on four hits to put the game away. Busby’s team-high 12th home run of the season made it 11-8, and after Nieporte’s third double of the game, Raleigh singled him home for his second RBI.
Drew Carlton pitched the final three innings, allowing a run in the ninth inning, to earn his fifth save of the year.
The top five hitters in the FSU lineup (Walls, Busby, Lueck, Nieporte, Raleigh) combined to go 12-for-22 with 10 RBI’s and 11 runs scored.
For the Cardinals, the loss was the first for the bullpen as they fell to 20-1 on the season.
- The 12 runs for FSU were the most against Louisville this year, which entered with a 2.60 team ERA. Last season, FSU scored 16 and 12 runs against Louisville in its two wins, the most runs the Cardinals allowed in 2016.
- Quincy Nieporte is 8-for-9 over the past two games. Against Wake Forest on Sunday, the senior was 5-for-5 with five singles. Against Louisville, he went 3-for-4 with three doubles, the first FSU player since John Sansone against Duke on May 15, 2016, with three doubles in a game.
- Dylan Busby’s eighth-inning home run was his 12th of the season and 35th of his career, the most among active players in the ACC. Cal Raleigh’s home run was his eighth of the year, two shy of the 10 he hit as a freshman last season.
- The Florida State bullpen (Jim Voyles, Alec Byrd, and Drew Carlton) combined to allow six hits and two runs (one earned) over the final five innings. The trio walked just one batter and struck out four.
- Drew Mendoza’s error in the seventh inning ended FSU’s 56-inning errorless streak. It is the second-longest streak for the Seminoles since 2003, trailing a 64-inning stretch in 2007.
- Taylor Walls’ four runs scored are tied for the most this season for FSU and ties a career high (at Pittsburgh, March 18, 2016).
- Dylan Busby’s four hits tie a career high, done against Miami in last year’s ACC Tournament.
- The Louisville bullpen entered the game with a 20-0 record on the season.
- Louisville starter Brendan McKay entered the game having allowed just 17 runs in 80.0 innings. FSU tagged the superstar left-hander for seven runs (five earned) in just 5.0 innings. As a team, Louisville had allowed just 20 runs in McKay’s 12 starts entering the game before the Seminoles scored 12 Thursday night.
- The win over No. 2 Louisville is the highest-ranked win for the Seminoles in 2017, topping the Monday-night win over No. 3 Clemson on April 17.