TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sophomore left-hander Tyler Holton tallied eight strikeouts and did not allow a hit in seven innings against No. 8 North Carolina, but Florida State fell to the Tar Heels 5-2 in 11 innings Saturday evening on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles (18-10, 6-5 ACC) were hurt by six errors, and the Tar Heels (21-6, 8-3 ACC) scored two runs in the ninth and three in the 11th to secure the win.
“We need a win,” head coach Mike Martin said. “This stuff, if you let it, can take it out of you. That wasn’t the type of game you expect us to play. We made six errors, but we have to be mentally tough enough to move on to the next day.”
Holton was again superb for the Noles, lowering his earned run average from 2.31 to 1.65 after allowing a walk and no hits in seven innings. Holton struck out eight more batters and his lone walk came on the final batter he faced to begin the eighth inning.
Florida State had to work around shaky infield defense that allowed six errors, including one each in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings while Holton was pitching. Each time, North Carolina stranded the runner.
In the eighth, after Holton walked Cody Roberts to open the frame, Drew Carlton (1-2) took over and hit Tyler Lynn before striking out leadoff hitter Brian Miller. Lynn was picked off at first by catcher Cal Raleigh, and Carlton forced Logan Warmoth to fly out to center field to preserve the shutout and no-hitter.
The Seminoles took a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning after scoring in the third and seventh innings. Jackson Lueck’s second hit of the game, a single in the third, scored Nick Derr to give FSU its first lead of the series.
In the seventh, Rhett Aplin led off with his first career triple and scored on Drew Mendoza’s sacrifice fly. FSU had a chance for more in the inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but Lueck struck out to end the threat.
In the ninth, FSU’s defensive struggles would finally lead to a pair of runs for the Tar Heels. Ashton McGee led off with a walk, and Kyle Datres hit a ball to Tyler Daughtry at shortstop that the freshman bobbled, allowing McGee to move to third. With runners on the corners, Brandon Riley flew out to center field, scoring McGee and making the score 2-1.
After a groundout from Zack Gahagan put FSU one out away from a second combined no-hitter in as many seasons, pinch hitter Michael Busch took the first pitch he saw and singled to right field, scoring Datres and forcing extra innings.
In the 11th, with Carlton still on the mound, a second error on Daughtry led to three unearned runs. For the game, all five of North Carolina’s runs were unearned.
Josh Hiatt (1-1) walked Mendoza to open the bottom of the 11th, but retired Flowers, Daughtry and Henderson in order as the Tar Heels won the series.
The series finale will begin Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and will stream live on ACC Network Extra. Fans can listen live on radio with play-by-play from Eric Luallen.
– Tyler Holton, a two-time ACC Pitcher of the Week, tied his career high with seven innings pitched. Luca Dalatri, the North Carolina starter, shared the Pitcher of the Week award in Week 2 this season.
– Logan Warmoth went 0-for-6 for North Carolina, ending a streak of 41 consecutive games of successfully reaching base.
– FSU fell to 1-1 in extra-inning games this year after beating Notre Dame 8-3 in 13 innings last week. North Carolina improved to 1-1 in extra-inning games.
– It was the first game since 2012 that Florida State committed six errors (Stetson, 5/9/12, L, 6-5).
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).