In a Tallahassee Regional in which every previous game had been decided by one run, FSU’s waltz to victory in the series winning game over the College of Charleston came as a surprise. Starting pitcher Drew Carlton was dominant from the beginning, both before and after a 57 minute weather delay, and FSU’s offense scored in three different bursts to advance to the Gainesville Super Regional. The game, which was delayed by lightning and rain twice before it even began, looked to be a pitching duel early, with Charleston’s starter, Hayden McCutcheon, striking out the side in the first inning and Carlton retiring the Cougars’ side in order in the bottom half. The two shutouts continued through the second inning, but the game changed in the top of the third. FSU had two of its first three batters of the inning reach and the weather delay hit. It appeared a stroke of bad luck for the Seminoles who were hitting the ball well. But the break in play did nothing to cool down the team’s bats. A DJ Stewart double, which Coach Mike Martin described as the hardest hit ball in his three years at FSU, a Quincy Nieporte single, and a Chris Marconcini sac fly made it a 3-0 game after the first three batters once the game had restarted. McCutcheon’s counterpart on the hill was completely unfazed by the stoppage, and was as dominant after it as he was in the two innings prior. Carlton pitched 6.2 innings of shutout baseball, allowing six hits, one walk, and tying a career high with nine strikeouts, earning him a spot on the all-regional team. While Carlton continued his dominance on the mound, FSU struck again in the fifth when Quincy Nieporte hit his second home run of the regional, this one a three run bomb over the left field wall that put the game away for good. Nieporte earned Player of the Regional honors for his troubles. FSU added a couple more runs in the seventh, and despite the one run that Charleston scored in the eighth, the lead was never in any danger.
With the win, the Seminoles will finally be able to move on from the rain-soaked Tallahassee Regional to the Gainesville Super Regional. With FSU’s pitching staff pitching so well as of late, the bats alive and well, and the team even looking solid in the field, the Noles will have to like their chances at taking a three game series with the Gators. For fans that have desired a true series between the same time over the last several seasons, rather than three, spaced-out, midweek games, a three game bout with a trip to Omaha on the line will surely suffice.
Quincy Nieporte was the hero as FSU won the pitchers’ duel between Boomer Biegalski and Brandon Glazer, as Florida State won 3-2 in Game 4 of the Tallahassee Regional. Both teams struggled to score runs as each team’s starter dominated hitters from the beginning of the game until the end. Ironically, it was the losing pitcher who threw more innings, Glazer throwing the maximum eight for a losing road team, while Biegalski was relieved with one out to go in the eighth. Biegalski actually started the game shakily, allowing a leadoff double on the first pitch of the game. He immediately settled in though, allowing only two hits over the following 23 outs. Things fell apart for Biegalski quickly with one out left to get in the eighth, giving up a very well hit double and a home run on back to back pitches. He posted a final line of 7.2 innings pitched, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 BB, and 8 Ks. It was telling that he still left to a resounding ovation from the Dick Howser crowd immediately after giving up the Florida State lead. The Noles had taken that lead in the 5th inning, when Josh Delph and DJ Stewart knocked in a run apiece in what was really FSU’s lone stretch of decent team hitting. After the lead was relinquished, Dylan Silva came into the game to get the final out of the top of the eighth, with Charleston seemingly having all the momentum. The newfound tie proved to be nothing but an opportunity for a new Nole hero. Nieporte, who was 0 for 3 and had hit into two double plays in the game, proved to be that hero, hitting a line drive home run just inside the left field foul pole to take the lead back for Florida State. Billy Strode came in and shut the door on the Cougars in the ninth, cementing FSU’s spot in the final two of the Tallahassee Regional. They will have two opportunities to defeat the winner of the Auburn-Charleston game to advance to the next round of the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
The Noles appeared as though they were headed for an easy win in their opening game of the Tallahassee Regional against Mercer. Despite falling behind 1-0 in the top of the 2nd Inning, Florida State immediately responded by putting a four spot up in the bottom half and looked like they would have no issue dispatching the four seed Bears. In the following inning, however, starter Mike Compton hit a very rough patch, allowing three runs on three hits. From that point on, both offenses fell largely silent, the game remaining deadlocked at four throughout the game’s first nine innings. Both teams had a few chances, most dangerous of which came to Mercer, when they had runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out in the 6th, but Dylan Silva came into the game and held the Bears scoreless in the frame, the same outcome for every other inning from the 5th inning through the 9th. Silva was the real hero for the Noles. He came into the game in the aforementioned, impossible spot, got out of it unscathed and then continued to cruise from into the 9th for 3.1 innings of exemplary relief work. Billy Strode came into the game in the 9th, finishing out the regular innings and working around a pair of singles in the 10th to keep the game deadlocked.
The Noles came to the plate in the bottom of the 10th with the bottom of the order due up, the team not having scored a run since the 3rd. Ben DeLuzio led things off with a single, and when Taylor Walls dropped down a nice sacrifice bunt, he was rewarded by a throwing error from the catcher, allowing him to reach safely. Danny De La Calle, who had struggled all night at the plate followed by dropping down a gorgeous sacrifice down the 1st base line, moving both runners into scoring position with only 1 out. Josh Delph stepped into the batter’s box with the chance to win it and immediately fell behind 0-2 in the count. He watched three close ones to push the count full and he cracked the next pitch he saw through the right side of the infield for the walk off with a 5-4 final score.
It was an unconvincing night for many Seminoles at the plate, and Compton was less than stellar in the start, but the bullpen was lights out and the team came up with enough hits when it needed them most. The win sends FSU into the winners’ bracket where they will take on the College of Charleston. FSU will look to take a commanding lead in the regional with a win in the 6 o’clock game.
FSU dropped the series finale to Coastal Carolina on Sunday afternoon 4-2, failing to complete the series sweep over their top 25 foe. The Noles mustered 2 hits and two runs against starter Shane Sawczak in his three innings of work, but were held hitless by Bobby Holmes in his six innings of relief work. Coastal Carolina scored enough early, with a chorus of bunts and a pair of well hit balls into the outfield turning into three runs for the Chanticleers in the third. FSU starter Drew Carlton was not lights out by any means, but his biggest mistake was reacting to a shout of “Third!” that seemed to come from the Dick Howser Stadium crowd. The play was on a sacrifice bunt to the left of the mound, with the clear play still at 1st base. Carlton heard the shout, quickly turned and made the ill-advised throw hard and low, sending it into the outfield, allowing the runner to come home and the bunter to move to 2nd. If Carlton had made the proper play, Coastal Carolina would have scored at the very least one fewer run in the inning. The Chanticleer bats were held quiet for much of the rest of the afternoon, but with Holmes’ stellar effort on the mound, the 3rd inning alone was enough for the visitors to avoid the series sweep.
FSU will try to rebound from the loss on Tuesday when the team travels to DeLand, FL, to take on the Stetson Hatters, before making their way up north for a weekend series at Louisville. The season is winding down now for the Seminoles, and in spite of the loss this afternoon, the series win over a top 25 team in Coastal Carolina is an important one, as the team looks to get in the groove ahead of post-seasin play.
FSU easily took game 1 of its weekend series with the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Friday night. Boomer Biegalski had a career night on the mound the Nole offense was ruthless all night long. Boomer got off to his customary rough start, allowing three walks in the first inning, but escaping without allowing any runs. After the 3rd walk of the inning the load the bases, Boomer retired 13 straight, and did not allow a single hit until giving up a leadoff solo home run over the right field fence in the 7th. He responded by striking out the side immediately after in what would be his final inning.
The entire FSU lineup made contact all night long, scoring 16 runs despite having only three extra base hits. DJ Stewart led the Noles with five RBI, two of which came on his 11th home run of the season, a two run shot in the 7th inning. Coastal Carolina’s starter, Mike Morrison was making only his 2nd start of the season and it showed, as he didn’t make it beyond the 4th inning, allowing seven runs in 3+ innings of work. The Chanticleer bullpen did not fair any better, however, as the Noles’ bats were alive all night long, even as the starters were all pulled.
The blowout was a nice response for the team after being the victims of a blowout themselves on Sunday against Miami. Mike Martin and Stewart were both very quick to point out that this is still a very good team, though, and that FSU will have to be ready to go again tomorrow. Mike Compton will get the start in that one as Florida State will look clinch the series victory.
FSU won each game of Saturday’s double header to sweep the Pittsburgh Panthers in the weekend series between the two teams. Game 1 proved to be a battle, with the offense doing just enough to overcome starter Mike Compton’s unlucky start and Alec Byrd’s shaky 7th inning. Game 2, however, was a game that saw FSU being able to sleep walk their way to a series sweeping victory, due to an offensive outburst in the 4th and 5th innings and an impressive pitching performance from freshman starter Drew Carlton.
The first game on Saturday had the feel of a boxing match, with FSU answering Pitt’s punches every time they needed to. The Panthers scored two runs in the 1st off of Compton on four hits, not one of them a well-hit ball. Compton pitched about as well as you can while allowing four hits and two runs and an inning, as two bloopers that barely left the infield, an infield single, and a bunt single were responsible for the damage done by the Pitt offense. FSU answered immediately, via a Chris Marconcini three run homer, his third home run of the series and fourth of the week. John Sansone added a solo homer in the 3rd to push the lead to 4-2. Compton went on to pitch a gem for the rest of his outing, allowing just two hits from the 2nd to 6th inning. Things got a bit rocky upon his departure, though, as Alec Byrd allowed a three run home run in his inning of work in the 7th, allowing Pitt to retake the lead. Again, though, the Noles answered back immediately, with two runs in the bottom of 7 when Sansone hit his second homer of the ball game, this time to give FSU the lead for good. Dylan Silva and Billy Strode combined to pitch the game’s final two innings without allowing a single base runner. Ironically, the lone Florida State pitcher to not pitch well in the game was the one who got the win, but the Noles were surely happy with the comeback victory.
Game two was a bit easier for Florida State. Drew Carlton pitched well, allowing one run and four hits in six innings of work, buying the offense time to take a 10-1 lead through a three run 4th and seven run 5th. Again, Chris Marconcini and John Sansone played key roles in the team’s offensive production, the two combining for 5 RBI in the that two inning stretch, with Marconcini hitting yet another homer to take his tally to four for the series and five for the week. Quincy Nieporte and Ben DeLuzio, who showed a couple of glimpses of snapping out of his season-long slump in the two games today, each drove in a pair as well. The bullpen was a bit shakier in the second game, with Cobi Johnson especially struggling in his first appearance as a reliever. He was officially responsible for four runs, though some of those came with Alec Byrd on the mound, as the reliever again looked less than stellar in a relief effort. Dylan Silva, though, continued his excellent day of work, pitching 1.2 innings of hitless baseball while striking out three to end any true threat of a Pittsburgh comeback. Alex Deise allowed an unearned run thanks to the first two errors of the series in the 9th inning, but even that run came on a game-ending double play.
Florida State should be buoyed by the series sweep over a conference foe that should some fight, especially in the second game of the series. The Noles improved to 30-12 on the season and 14-7 in ACC with the pair of wins today. A key stretch is on the horizon for the Noles, with weekend series against Miami, Louisville, Coastal Carolina, and Clemson all to come. For that reason, it was important that FSU took all three wins from team in Pittsburgh that’s not at the level of FSU’s remaining schedule. The team made true to their word that the midweek win over Florida would improve the team’ confidence. Hopefully that will continue as the regular season enters its home stretch against some of the toughest teams FSU will face all season.