College Sports

NC State baseball falls to FSU in ACC title game

N.C. State's Chance Shepard (24) heads back to the dugout as Florida State players rush the field after Florida State's 6-2 victory over N.C. State in the ACC Baseball Championship at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, Sunday, May 24, 2015.
N.C. State's Chance Shepard (24) heads back to the dugout as Florida State players rush the field after Florida State's 6-2 victory over N.C. State in the ACC Baseball Championship at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, Sunday, May 24, 2015. ehyman@newsobserver.com

A crowd of mostly N.C. State fans migrated across the Triangle on Sunday afternoon in hopes of witnessing a little history at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Instead of the Wolfpack's first ACC baseball title in 23 years, Florida State won its sixth over the same time span.

The Seminoles cruised to a 6-2 win over N.C. State in the championship game of the ACC tournament.

The streaking Wolfpack (34-21) had won 13 of 15 before running into an FSU team making its own late-season turnaround.

Second baseman John Sansone hit a key three-run home run for the Seminoles (41-19), who never trailed en route to their first ACC title since 2010.

FSU led 3-0 after Sansone's home run in the third inning. N.C. State was able to scratch out two runs in a bizarre fourth inning.

N.C. State scored its first run in the fourth after botched infield fly rule. The Wolfpack had the bases loaded when Jake Fincher popped up near the pitcher's mound. When the ball fell in front of FSU first baseman Quincy Nieporte, it looked like Joe Dunand was out on a force play at home.

Instead, after the six umpires huddled and discussed the play, Fincher was called out at first under the infield fly rule and Dunand was safe at home because he wasn't tagged on the play.

N.C. State cut FSU's lead to 3-2 on a wild pitch, allowing Bubby Riley to score from third, but FSU reliever Boomer Biegalski was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.

The Seminoles responded with two more runs in the fourth, on a single by catcher Danny De La Calle, to take control of the game.

Biegalski, who started Wednesday's tournament win over Clemson, came on in the fourth inning for starter Bryant Holtmann and closed the door on any late-inning magic for the Wolfpack.

Biegalski held the Wolfpack scoreless, and only gave up one hit, in 4.2 innings in relief for his second win of the tournament.

STAR OF THE GAME: Sansone came into the game hitting just .249 on the season, and .100 in the tournament, but staked the Seminoles to a 3-0 lead in the third inning with his eighth home run of the season.

WHAT'S NEXT: The NCAA tournament field will be revealed at noon on Monday (ESPNU). N.C. State is unlikely to host the regional round but will be back in the field of 64 for the 11th time in 13 years.

OBSERVATIONS

— Florida State lost its last five games of the regular season, two to Louisville and three to Clemson, and was out-scored 33-12 in the process.

In four ACC tournament games in Durham, the Noles went 4-0 and out-scored Clemson, Louisville, UNC and N.C. State, 23-7.

— N.C. State had won seven of Johnny Piedmonte's previous nine starts before Sunday but Piedmonte didn't factor in the decision in any of the games.

Piedmonte lasted 3.1 on Sunday and was charged with four earned runs. He struck out four and walked one batter and also hit one batter. Both of the FSU players that got a free pass from Piedmonte scored.

Walks, and hit batters (an incredible 73, compared to 49 by the opponents, on the season) have been the one blemish on the resume for N.C. State's pitchers.

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