No. 8 FSU Baseball Steamrolls No. 2 Louisville in Series Opener


This weekend, the No. 8 FSU Baseball team (37-14, 17-8) traveled to Kentucky to take on the No. 2 Louisville Cardinals in a three-game series between the two top-ranked teams in the ACC.  In Friday’s series opener, the Seminoles jumped out to an early six run lead and never let the comeback-minded Cardinals get closer than three runs after that, winning 13-4.

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Louisville has had a lot of success to this point in the season, sitting at 38-12 (21-4 in ACC) after the loss, and a large portion of that success can be attributed to the Cardinal pitching staff as all three UL weekend starters have ERAs below 3.30 on the season. However, Kyle Funkhouser, the Louisville ace and projected first-round draft pick, struggled early and often with the Seminoles, allowing three runs in each of the first two innings. After allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in 5 innings of work, Funkhouser’s ERA rose from 2.62 to 2.99.

Louisville attempted to break back in the game after falling behind 6-0 but FSU seemed to have an answer for every attempt by the Cardinals to charge back into the game, responding with a run of their own after Louisville added a pair of runs and bouncing back from a two-run sixth inning for UL with a three-run seventh inning.

Boomer Biegalski had a strong start to his outing, allowing just two runs on 2 hits, both by Zach Lucas, in his first five innings of work. However, he faced three batters in the sixth inning and was unable to record an out, giving up 2 more runs on 3 consecutive hits before being chased. With the win, Biegalski improved to 5-3 on the season with an ERA of 3.21. The Seminole relievers, who have struggled as a unit at times this season, had no trouble on Friday, throwing four shutout innings across three different pitchers.

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For the ‘Noles, it was a balanced offensive affair with 7 different FSU batters knocking in runs. Ben DeLuzio hit a 2-run home run, his first of the season and just the second of his career, DJ Stewart and Chris Marconcini each had a pair of RBIs and Josh Delph scored three runs on four walks. As a team, Florida State continued to demonstrate their plate discipline, drawing 11 walks, putting them at 314 on the season which leads the nation.

With the domination in the opening game of the series, Florida State has cut Louisville’s lead in the ACC Atlantic Division to 4 games. In order to win the Atlantic Division and continue the streak of eight consecutive Atlantic Division crowns, FSU will need to complete the sweep of Louisville and have the Cardinals lose at least 2 out of 3 games at NC State next weekend while sweeping Clemson in Tallahassee. Regardless of the division crown, Friday’s win over Louisville will go a long way towards cementing Florida State’s place as a national seed in the postseason. Game 2 of the series against UL will be on Saturday and could very well be a pitcher’s duel with Mike Compton (3-1, 1.85 ERA) of FSU going against Louisville’s Brendan McKay (7-1, 1.81). First pitch is scheduled for 1 PM.