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Three up, three down: FSU baseball’s bullpen collapses as No. 7 Louisville takes series

Nelson and Cabell homer, but Cardinals run rampant in late innings.

FSU sports information

No. 17 Florida State baseball (16-12, 11-10 ACC) fell to No. 7 Louisville (20-10, 12-5 ACC) by a score of 11-4 to drop the series in today’s rubber match. The Seminoles led 4-2 after 5.5 innings, but the bullpen imploded under the Cardinal’s pressure. FSU allowed 13 hits and three extra base hits to the Cardinals. In the box, the Seminoles produced just four hits.

Three up

  • Matheu Nelson has been the best catcher in the ACC so far this season. Nelson’s power production has been unmatched in the conference. The catcher has come through in big moment after big moment. Nelson followed his three-run jack on Saturday with another blast today. After Robby Martin worked a one-out walk, Nelson blasted a 2-strike fastball over the left-center wall. The two-run homer tied the game at two in the fourth inning. Nelson’s rocket was his 13th homer of the year and the fourth in his career at Louisville. Nelson’s 13 homers and 39 RBI lead the ACC. He also lined a double off the top of the RF wall to lead off the 6th inning. The catcher is now hitting .337 on the season.
  • Elijah Cabell does not hit any cheap shot homers. When he connects, a baseball simply has no chance with his raw power. After Nelson’s leadoff double, the outfielder got every bit of a hanging changeup in a 1-1 count. Cabell gave the Seminoles a 4-2 lead with a two-run blast over the left-center field fence. The ball left Cabell’s bat at 110 MPH and traveled 413 feet. The homer was the eighth of Cabell’s season and his seventh in the last ten games.
  • Brandon Walker struck out the only batter he faces, stranding two runners with a fastball painted on the inside corner of a full count. Ross Dunn threw a 1-2-3 eighth inning. His fastball sat in the 93-95 MPH range. He came up with a strikeout and got an inning-ending double play to work around a leadoff walk. The freshman struggled in his first couple outings, but is settling in at the college level. Walker and Dunn need to start throwing more for FSU moving forward. Both posses the stuff to get hitters out at this level.

Three down

  • The Seminoles gave the Cardinals a free run in the third inning. Cooper Bowman worked a leadoff walk, before Grady hit Henry Davis on an 0-2 pitch. Louisville had two men on board with one out without any hits. Grady attempted a pickoff throw to second, but the throw hit Bowman in the helmet and ended up halfway down the right field line, allowing Bowman to score with ease. The Cardinals didn’t get a hit in the inning but managed to open up a 2-0 lead on the unearned run. Against good teams, FSU will make it hard on themselves to win tight games while giving up free runs.
  • Mike Martin Jr. turned to the bullpen with a 4-3 lead, with one runner on first base and no outs in the sixth inning. Chase Haney retired the only man he faced before being pulled in a 1-0 count. Jonah Scolaro faced two batters. He allowed a game-tying double on his first pitch. Scolaro balked to also bring home the go-ahead run, before he was pulled for Clayton Kwiatkowski. Kwiatkowski ended the inning in one pitch, but allowed a leadoff single in the next inning before being pulled for Hunter Perdue. Perdue hit the first batter he faced, before allowing three straight hits. Junior then turned to Davis Hare for two batters. He allowed a two-run single to the first batter he faced before being pulled after a strikeout. The five veteran pitchers combined to record four outs, while allowing six hits and seven runs (six earned). Conor Grady finished with a final line of 5 IP, 6 H, 6 K’s, 1 BB, 4 R, 3 ER. The veteran starter gave FSU a chance to win, but couldn’t get any help from the bullpen.
  • In the third inning, Nander De Sedas attempted a leadoff bunt. The bunt attempt went off the top of the bat and straight into the left side of De Sedas’ face. De Sedas was quickly taken out of the game without recording an at-bat on the day. The shortstop has been a consistent fielder for FSU all year and has provided hard contact at the bottom of the order. For a team that has dealt with the injury bug all year, they can’t afford another injury to a key player. The bottom three in the order didn’t produce a hit. Tyler Martin and Logan Lacey were a combined 0-9 at the top of the order.