TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On a day celebrating head coach Mike Martin as the winningest coach in college baseball history, No. 12 FSU closed the regular season with a 5-3 loss to No. 4 NC State at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles (39-17, 16-13) and Wolfpack (40-14, 19-11) will meet again next week in the ACC Tournament after FSU took 2-of-3 games this weekend.
The day started with a celebration of Martin becoming the all-time wins leader earlier this month in a victory at No. 9 Clemson. A pregame ceremony on the field included FSU President John Thrasher, Vice President and Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox and Martin, surrounded by a myriad of family and friends.
Once the game began, starting pitcher Cole Sands (7-3) allowed four runs on four hits over 6.0 innings, striking out eight and walking one. He gave up a pair of solo home runs, the only hits he allowed in the first six innings, before a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases in the seventh and ended his day.
David Harrison allowed a run on three hits in 3.2 innings for the Wolfpack. Kent Klyman (7-2) earned the win in relief, pitching 2.2 innings and giving up two runs on two hits while striking out two.
Rhett Aplin and Cal Raleigh each had a pair of hits in the game for FSU, with Raleigh pushing his season average to a team-high .330.
Evan Edwards hit NC State’s fifth home run of the weekend with two outs in the second inning, giving the Wolfpack a 1-0 lead. Brett Kinneman hit his 17th home run of the season with two outs in the fourth inning to double the NC State lead.
Raleigh answered with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, his 12th of the year. Raleigh’s ball cleared the left field bullpen and traveled 403 feet to cut the NC State lead to 2-1.
FSU loaded the bases in the fifth inning on a single, walk and hit batter, but Klyman forced a strikeout and fielder’s choice to get out of the inning without allowing a run.
NC State loaded the bases in the seventh inning off Sands on a pair of singles and a walk. He gave way to Clayton Kwiatkowski, who allowed a bases loaded walk and a double play that scored a run to push the Wolfpack lead to 4-1.
FSU answered with a two-spot of its own in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from Aplin and an RBI double from Raleigh. NC State scored the game’s final run in the top of the ninth, when Steven Wells lost a Kinneman pop up in the sun that fell in for a double. Kinneman scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly.
- Rhett Aplin singled in the first inning to extend his streak of reaching base to 32 games. He hit 2-for-5 in the game and is hitting a team-best .319 in ACC games on the season.
- Cole Sands struck out 6 batters in the first 3 innings and 8 total.
- Cal Raleigh homered in the fourth inning, his 12th of the season. That extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. He had an RBI double in the 7th and has a team-high 48 RBI on the year.
- Jackson Lueck was hit by a pitch twice Saturday, the second time in his career with 2 HBP (Oakland, 2017).
- Rafael Bournigal walked twice, tying a season high.
Florida State heads to Durham, N.C., for the 2018 ACC Baseball Championship. With the weekend series win against NC State, FSU earned the No. 6 seed in the tournament and will be paired with No. 3 NC State and No. 10 Virginia in pool play. Game times and tournament schedule are expected to be released Sunday morning.
The Seminoles are the defending ACC Champions, winning all four games last season in Louisville, Ky., as the No. 8 seed.