DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Florida State is once again playing its best baseball late in the season — and, for that matter, late in games. It added up to yet another Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title.
Drew Mendoza hit a two-run double in the 10th inning, and the Seminoles beat Louisville 11-8 on Sunday to win their third ACC Tournament championship in four years.
"You win with people," coach Mike Martin said, "and we have good character people."
Mendoza finished with three RBIs, and tournament MVP Cal Raleigh and Rafael Bournigal each drove in two runs to help the fifth-seeded Seminoles (43-17) become the first team since Wake Forest in 1999 to win consecutive ACC tournaments.
"A lot of teams peak at the wrong time of the year," Raleigh said. "With us, that hasn't happened, and it feels like we're climbing and we want to take that momentum into (NCAA) regionals and super regionals and get back to Omaha" for the College World Series.
Florida State improved to 16-1 in conference tournament games since 2014, with the only loss coming in the 2016 final against Clemson. Three of the Seminoles' four wins in Durham this week came in their last at-bat.
"We're used to the extra-inning feel, and I think that proved true here," Mendoza said. "We still had energy going into extras."
The Seminoles loaded the bases with one out in the 10th on a single by Rhett Aplin and two walks issued by reliever Michael McAvene (0-1). Mendoza lined a double down the right-field line off reliever Shay Smiddy to score Jackson Lueck and Aplin, and Steven Wells then scored on Reese Albert's RBI groundout.
"We're a big-inning club," Mendoza said. "We always play for that big inning. ... We eventually got it."
Freshman Jonah Scolaro (2-1) pitched a perfect bottom of the 10th, his third inning of relief, for the victory.
Zach Britton hit a three-run homer, Devin Mann added a two-run shot and Josh Stowers also went deep, giving him 10 RBIs in four tournament games for the fourth-seeded Cardinals (43-17), who had their six-game winning streak snapped.
They committed three errors — two by Mann, the second baseman — leading to four unearned runs for Florida State. Louisville, appearing in its first ACC title game, was denied its first conference title since it won the Big East Tournament in 2009.
"What a fun week of baseball," Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said. "This was good for us. We haven't played great in a conference tournament in some time. We grew up a lot this week, we got better, and if anything, we got prepared for the postseason."
Raleigh extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a two-run double in the first, and Florida State led 5-1 before Louisville rallied to take the lead, with Britton's homer making it 7-5.
"Throughout the season, we've been down and we've come back," Stowers said. "We know we're never out of any game."
Mann's two-run homer in the third pulled the Cardinals to 5-3, and he led off the fifth with a double. Martin emerged from the dugout after that, and had home-plate umpire Jeff Gosney inspect Mann's bat.
Mann said after the game that the umpire told him the bat was dented and he couldn't use it anymore.