DURHAM, N.C. -- Behind a masterful pitching performance by Drew Carlton, fourth-seeded Florida State (40-19) shut out top-seeded Louisville (43-16) 6-0 on Saturday afternoon inside the Durham Bulls Athletic Park to advance to Sunday’s ACC championship game.
The Seminoles will play NC State at 1 p.m. ET Sunday in search of their sixth league crown and first since 2010. Florida State, who will play in the championship game for the fifth time in Durham, is looking for its first ACC title inside the DBAP.
Carlton (4-5) blanked the Cardinals in 7.0 strong innings on Saturday in one of the finest outings of his young career. The freshman right hander scattered five hits and three walks as he finished with four strikeouts. It marked the longest outing for Carlton since working 6.0 innings against Pitt on April 18 and the fifth time he has thrown 6.0 plus in a start this year.
In two starts against Louisville this year, Carlton has worked 10.0 scoreless innings allowing eight hits and three walks while striking out eight.
Dylan Silva and Billy Strode each worked an inning in relief to preserve the win. Silva allowed a hit and a walk and struck out two, while Strode struck out one as he faced the minimum in the ninth.
Ben DeLuzio and Chris Marconcini combined for five of FSU’s seven hits on Saturday as DeLuzio tied a career high with three hits for the second consecutive game. The sophomore centerfielder finished with two RBI, including one on a solo home run deposited over the Blue Monster in the eighth. Marconcini went 2-for-3 with a double, a two-run single and a walk.
DJ Stewart walked twice and scored two runs, while John Sansone also scored two runs on a hit-by-pitch and a walk. Dylan Busby and Danny De La Calle each recorded a hit to account for FSU’s other two hits in the game.
The win by Florida State evened the season series with Louisville at two games apiece.
After both teams combined to leave 10 runners on base through five and a half innings, the Seminoles finally broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the six with three runs off Louisville starter Brendan McKay (8-3).
Florida State registered just one hit in the inning, an infield single off reliever pitcher Drew Harrington, while taking advantage of two walks, two hit-by-pitches and a fielding error at second which led to the first run of the game.
With Sansone and Stewart aboard following a hit-by-pitch and a walk, respectively, to open the inning, Quincy Nieporte hit a tough in between hopper with the runners in motion that Louisville second baseman Sutton Whiting could not come up with in attempt to tag Stewart. The ball went under the glove of Whiting allowing Sansone to score from second for the first run in the sixth.
After a Cardinals pitching change brought on Harrington, Marconcini drew a walk to load the bases and Busby followed with a hit-by-pitch to drive in Stewart. DeLuzio brought home the third run of the inning on an RBI, infield single that ricocheted off the hand of Harrington scoring Nieporte.
Marconcini delivered a key two-out base hit in the seventh to plate a pair and give the Seminoles a 5-0 lead. Sansone and Stewart drew consecutive one-out walks off Butch Baird and after successfully completing the double steal with Nieporte at the plate, Marconcini took the first pitch from Jake Sparger into centerfield for a two-run single.
DeLuzio continued his hot hitting in the tournament depositing a 1-1 pitch from Kade McClure in the eighth over the Blue Monster and just under the bull sign in left. The home run, his second of the season, gave the Seminoles a 6-0 lead.
Through the first three games of the ACC tournament, DeLuzio is hitting .545 (6-for-11) with a double, a home run, five RBI and three runs scored.
Florida State completed pool play with a perfect 3-0 record for the first time since the tournament moved to the format in 2007. Louisville fell to 1-2 along with Clemson and North Carolina.