PITTSBURGH, Pa. – For the eighth time this season and second time in ACC action the Florida State baseball team scored double-digit runs, this time as it downed Pittsburgh 17-4 in Friday night’s series opener at Charles L. Cost Field.
The Seminoles, who moved to 14-4 overall and 4-0 in league play, were led at the plate by Pennsylvania native John Sansone (2-5, run, double) who established a new single-game career-high in RBI with five. Joining him at the plate with multiple hits were Gage West (2-4, RBI, double) and Matt Henderson (2-3) who also tallied two runs and two RBI.
Senior hurler Mike Compton, who surrendered five hits and four earned runs in 4.1 innings, also posted a pair of strikeouts as he passed volunteer coach Clyde Keller on the all-time strikeout list. He was followed on the mound by Alec Byrd, who notched one out in one at-bat.
Matthew Kinney followed Byrd, who suffered an ankle injury, and collected his first win of the season as he held the Panthers (8-7, 1-3 ACC) hitless in 1.1 innings. Kinney gave way to Ed Voyles, who earned the save after yielding only one hit and one walk, while striking out four in three innings.
“I am pleased with the way that we played the game,” said head coach Mike Martin. “We got ahead and gave up four and came right back and answered that which is great. We have to also understand that we were given some extra outs, but at the same time we took advantage of them and I am very happy for this ball club.”
Taylor Walls drew a leadoff walk and Sansone was hit by a pitch as Florida State quickly put two runners on base in the first inning. Dylan Busby sent the first hit of the game past the right side of the Pitt infield, scoring Walls from second. West doubled down the right field line to score Sansone, putting two runners in scoring position for Quincy Nieporte.
Nieporte continued the string of hits, lifting a single to right, as he scored Busby from third for the 3-0 advantage. Darren Miller brought home the final run of the frame on a double play grounder in the infield as West crossed the plate before the third out.
Pittsburgh collected its first hit of the game when Ron Sherman roped a triple into left field to open the third. Frank Maldonado reached base after being hit by a pitch, putting runners on the corners, before a sacrifice fly to left off the bat of Jacob Wright scored Sherman from third. Solid defense behind Compton held Panthers to one run.
The Seminoles tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning after Nieporte reached on a walk and eventually advanced to third on a throwing error by Matt Johnson that allowed Miller to reach second. Consecutive sacrifice flies by DeLuzio and Henderson brought home back-to-back runs as Florida State assumed the 6-1 lead.
Three straight hits to lead off the Pittsburgh fourth inning, including singles by Alex Kowalczyk and David Yanni, set up a three-run home run over the right field wall as the Panthers trimmed the deficit to a pair.
Florida State reached double figures in runs with a four-run sixth inning that began with a leadoff bunt single down the third base line by West. Nieporte followed with a fielder’s choice, moving to second on a throwing error, and scored two batters later when Henderson sent a single into left field for the 7-4 lead. Walls continues the inning with a walk before Sansone sends a bases clearing single past the left side of the infield scoring DeLuzio, Henderson and Walls for the six-run difference.
The Seminoles enjoyed another multiple run inning in the seventh, beginning when Busby scored the first run after reaching on an error and stole two bases, including home. Miller crossed the plate for the second run of the frame, on a double by DeLuzio, after reaching on a walk. Sansone was again responsible for three runs in the inning as he moved into second on a fielding error by Schnurbusch which allowed DeLuzio, Walls and Henderson to score in succession.
On Saturday, in a 3 p.m. game, Florida State head coach Mike Martin will send Drew Carlton (3-0, 3.38 ERA) to the mound to face the Panthers’ Aaron Sandefur (1-1, 2.35).
The series concludes at 1 p.m. on Sunday with Seminole freshman hurler Cole Sands (3-1, 2.70 ERA) taking the mound for the fifth time in his career.
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).