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Nelson HR sparks five-run outburst as FSU evens series

Catcher Mat Nelson hit his 12th home run of the season, capping a five-run eighth inning and leading No. 17 Florida State to an 8-5 win at No. 7 Louisville on Saturday evening at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The bullpen allowed just one run in 4.2 innings as the Seminoles (16-11, 11-9 ACC) clawed back to even the weekend series. Louisville dropped to 19-10, 11-5.

Nelson leads the ACC with 37 RBI and 12 home runs. He finished Saturday 2 for 5 with a double and home run. Nander De Sedas started the scoring for FSU with his fourth home run of the season in the second inning.

Jack Anderson (1-0) pitched the final three innings for FSU, allowing two hits and striking out four. After FSU reclaimed the lead in the top of the eighth inning, Anderson needed just seven pitches to get the Noles back in the dugout.

Alex Binelas accounted for all five of Louisville’s home runs. His grand slam off Bryce Hubbart in the fifth inning gave Louisville a 4-2 lead. He added a solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning.

Pitcher Davis Hare made his second appearance, and first start, in the FSU batting order, finishing with an RBI single, a triple and scored a run.

De Sedas started the scoring Saturday with a two-out solo home run in the second inning off Louisville starter Luke Seed. The home run was De Sedas’s fourth of the season, matching his freshman season total. The Seminoles improved to 12-1 on the season when scoring first.

Elijah Cabell drew a walk from Seed to start the fourth inning and moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Hare lined an RBI single to left field to double FSU’s lead to 2-0.

Binelas hit a grand slam for Louisville in the fifth inning that gave the Cardinals a 4-2 lead. Hubbart gave up a leadoff single and walked a pair of batters before Binelas’ sixth home run of the season.

Hubbart struck out seven and walked six in 4.1 innings pitched.

Hare led off the sixth inning with a triple off the left field wall and just under the foul pole. Hare is now 3 for 7 on the season and both of FSU’s triples this year have come from pitchers (Wyatt Crowell had FSU’s first against Mercer). Hare scored on Tyler Martin’s sacrifice fly, cutting the Cardinal lead to 4-3.

In the eighth, De Sedas reached on a throwing error and Vince Smith was hit by a pitch from Glenn Albanese (3-1). Logan Lacey singled to score De Sedas and tie the game. Robby Martin followed with a go-ahead single before Nelson’s 12th home run of the year traveled 459 feet and gave FSU an 8-4 lead.

The Seminole bullpen was strong in relief of Hubbart, with Clayton Kwiatkowski, Chase Haney and Anderson combining to allow just one run on four hits in 4.2 innings. Haney leads the country with 19 pitching appearances.

The Noles tallied 13 hits, led by Lacey’s career-high-tying three hits. FSU’s top four batters in the lineup combined to go 9-for-18 with six RBI and three runs scored.

Tyler Martin singled to lead off the game. He has reached base in 21 consecutive games and in 40 of 41 career starts. He finished 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and bumped his on-base percentage to .504, best in the ACC.

Logan Lacey hit his team-high ninth double in the first inning. Lacey has reached base in a career-high 14 straight games and tied his career high with three hits.

Davis Hare made his first career start in the batting order. As designated hitter, Hare had two hits, including FSU’s second triple of the season.

BOX SCORE

The FSU-Louisville box score can be viewed here.

UP NEXT

FSU will play Louisville on Sunday at 4 p.m. (ESPN2).