BLACKSBURG, Va. – In a lightning-delayed game that lasted nearly five hours, top-ranked Florida State fell 13-12 at Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon despite home runs from Dylan Busby, Quincy Nieporte and Rhett Aplin. The Seminoles allowed the Hokies to score 11 consecutive runs to even the series at a game apiece.
“One of the windiest games I’ve ever played in,” head coach Mike Martin said. “Balls that were hit 260 feet were going 360 feet. It was one of the games in which you think you have everything under control with an eight-run lead, but it’s baseball, and anything can happen…and it did.”
Nieporte’s home run in the fourth inning was his second grand slam of the weekend and fourth of the season, setting a new Florida State record for grand slams in a season. Those four runs followed a six-run third inning, highlighted by Dylan Busby’s third home run of the season.
Virginia Tech opened the game by getting a pair of runs off FSU starter Tyler Holton in the first inning. Holton settled down and pitched until the lightning delay with two outs in the fourth inning. Entering the day with a 0.36 earned run average, the sophomore allowed six runs in 3.2 innings, with three strikeouts and three walks.
After the rain delay, Holton was relieved by Jim Voyles, who walked Tufts (credited to Holton) and allowed a three-run home run that cut the deficit to 10-7.
The Hokies took the lead for good in the seventh inning, scoring four runs against Will Zirzow (1-1) in just two-thirds of an inning.
Leading 11-10 in the bottom of the eighth, Drew Carlton entered and allowed a two-out, two-run triple to Joe Freiday that ultimately proved to be the game-winner.
For Virginia Tech, Connor Coward (4-0) relieved Joey Sullivan after the rain delay and allowed one hit, three walks and no runs in four innings of work.
In picking up his fourth save of the year, Aaron McGarity allowed a two-run home run to Aplin that closed the gap to 13-12, and Tyler Daughtry walked and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches, but J.C. Flowers popped out to center field on the ninth pitch he saw to end the game.
Aplin finished 3-for-4 with three RBI’s and a pair of runs, while Nieporte added a two-run double along with his grand slam. His six RBI’s are the most for a Seminole this season, and one shy of his career-high seven against UCF two seasons ago.
Matt Henderson and Busby also had two hits, while Daughtry walked three times and Nick Derr had an RBI single, two runs scored and two walks.
The series finale will begin Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Florida State will throw freshman Drew Parrish (2-0, 3.12 ERA), while Nick Anderson (3-1, 2.35 ERA) will go for the Hokies. The game will stream live on ACC Network Extra, and Eric Luallen will provide play-by-play on the radio.
– Taylor Walls reached on a five-pitch walk to open the game, the 34th consecutive game he has successfully reached base.
– Quincy Nieporte’s grand slam in the fourth inning was his fourth of the season and second this weekend. The four grand slams are the most in one season in FSU history, breaking a tie with J.D. Drew (1996), Jeremy Morris (1996), Dennis Guinn (2006), Buster Posey (2008) and Seth Miller (2012). He has five in his career, one shy of the career record of six by Drew and Morris.