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3 up, 3 down: ’Noles win with walk-off HR vs. Cards

It looked bleary for FSU, but they were able to get a key hit to clinch the series against Louisville.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Cal State Fullerton vs Florida State Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Trailing by 1 in the 9th with Nick Derr on 1st, Mike Martin called on Jonathan Foster to pinch-hit, and the junior delivered by depositing a 3-1 pitch just over the left field wall, lifting No. 7 FSU over No. 20 Louisville, 8-7. The ’Noles clinched the series with their second win against the Cards on Easter weekend.

Three up:

  • Foster is a junior college transfer into the Florida State baseball program and has done a nice job when asked to give Cal Raleigh a break behind the plate. Foster hit a home run in his first at bat in the Garnet & Gold and now has another in his 12th at bat. Derr singled after Drew Mendoza struck out on 3 pitches to start the ninth. Martin then pressed the right button and called on Foster who got the count in his favor before hitting a line drive just over the wall in left. This was all done with Louisville’s fantastic closer Sam Bordner on the mound. Bordner had only given up 1 run in 11 appearances. Foster is now 3-12 with 2 HR & 7 RBI and should see more time in spelling Raleigh (Cal can still DH in those instances).
  • Mike Salvatore ran his hitting-streak to 7 games and was a key catalyst for the Florida State offense. After FSU loaded the bases with 3 straight walks to open the 3rd, Salvatore sent a 1-0 offering over the left field fence for a grand slam and his first home run as a ’Nole. The junior shortstop was 2-4 with 4 RBI on the evening. Salvatore’s average has now climbed above .250, and he’s become a tough out at the top of FSU’s lineup.
  • Once again, Florida State roughed up another top ACC closer. Last weekend, Florida State scored 6 runs in 2 games against UNC’s Josh Hiatt and last night, FSU put up 2 against Bordner. Twice the ’Noles fought back from deficits, striking for 4 runs in the 3rd after Louisville scored 2 in the top half and 2 more in the 9th after Louisville scored 3 runs to take the lead in the top of the 8th.

Three down:

  • Florida State’s pitching was not sharp on the day. Drew Parrish got the start, but only lasted 4 innings racking up 100 pitches, while facing only 19 batters. Parrish walked 6 and struck out 5. Hopefully, this is more of a bad night than a trend, but the sophomore now has 11 walks in his last 2 outings, which is worrisome.
  • The rest of the pitching staff didn’t light it up, either. Freshman LHP Jonah Scalaro came in for Parrish in the 5th with a runner on 2nd and started with a ground out, but he plunked the next batter, before committing a throwing error on a pickoff attempt that scored a run and then gave up a double to tie the game. Scalaro flirted with trouble the next few innings and gave way in the 8th after giving up another run (he should’ve been taking out after retiring Britton to start the inning). Conor Grady entered the game and wasn’t much better, giving up a triple and a single to the next 2 batters, giving Louisville their first lead since the 3rd inning.
  • FSU had 3 errors (Parrish, Scalaro and Salvatore), leading to 2 unearned runs. Errors extend innings and force more pitches, which often results in more runs. The Seminoles have fielded well this season, but it’s been a rough weekend. If Florida State expects to gain any more ground on North Carolina State (FSU is 1 game back), they’ll have to cut down on the errors.

Mike Martin is now 10 wins from passing Augie Garrido for the most college baseball wins all-time.

Florida State goes for the sweep against Louisville Saturday at 1 pm.