ACC Baseball Championship 2018: FSU Tops Louisville in Extras to Claim Title

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2018

Florida State players celebrate after defeating Louisville 11-8 to win the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college baseball tournament championship game in Durham, N.C., Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Louisville Cardinals, 11-8, in 10 innings Sunday in Durham, North Carolina, to claim the ACC tournament championship.

Third baseman Drew Mendoza hit a two-run double in the 10th to give Florida State the lead, and left fielder Reese Albert tacked on an insurance run on a fielder's choice.

Left-hander Jonah Scolaro set Louisville down in order to win the game.

It's the second straight conference title for Florida State and the Seminoles' third trophy in four years. Their focus will shift to the 2018 NCAA baseball tournament, where FSU is likely to play host for the super regional round after winning the ACC.

Mendoza was the standout offensive performer for the Seminoles. He reached base five times—three hits and two walks—and drove home three runs.

Catcher Cal Raleigh had a two-run double in the first inning, which helped him earn Most Valuable Player for the ACC tournament. The junior batted .333 with six RBI over the Seminoles' four tournament games:

ACC Baseball @ACCBaseball

Cal Raleigh is your 2018 #ACCBase MVP! Congratulations to all members of this year's All-Tournament team!! https://t.co/aozm4FVUER

Relief pitching was the key for the Seminoles. The Cardinals offense roughed up FSU starter Andrew Karp for seven earned runs on six hits in three-plus innings, overturning what had been 5-1 deficit. Scolaro and Clayton Kwiatkowski combined to pitch the final seven innings and surrendered one run on five hits.

An RBI double by shortstop Mike Salvatore got Florida State to within two runs in the sixth, and second baseman Rafael Bournigal drove home a run in the seventh before scoring the tying run on a throwing error.

It was one of three errors by the Cardinals in the game, as Louisville hurt itself on multiple occasions; three of Florida State's 11 runs were unearned.

Cardinals coach Dan McDonnell didn't hang his head despite his team's loss.

"That was fun," he said, per D1Baseball.com's Aaron Fitt. "It was fun playing against those guys. What a fun week of baseball."

A victory over Florida State may have been enough for Louisville to earn a top-eight seed in the NCAA tournament, which would've meant hosting a super regional. The Cardinals remain a lock for the tournament nonetheless and should host one of the regional rounds before hitting the road for a potential super regional series.


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