“Individually this weekend was a confidence boost for me, but ultimately it just shows how this team is,” said Nieporte. “Even though I wasn’t swinging the bat well early on we were having team success. Now that I am able to get my bat going it just shows how good this team can be when we are all clicking.”
Tyler Holton (2-2) took over for starter Cole Sands with one out in the fourth inning and preceded to hold Notre Dame to two hits and two walks while striking out five Fighting Irish batters. He was followed by Jim Voyles, who left the game after being struck in the head, and Matthew Kinney, who combined to allow three hits and one earned run.
Notre Dame capitalized on three FSU errors, including a potential inning-ending out at first, as it established a 5-0 lead behind five unearned runs in the first inning.
Florida State’s offense caught fire in the fifth inning when Matt Henderson reached on a hit by pitch and both Walls and John Sansone followed with a walk. Lueck drove a single through the right side of the infield, scoring Henderson and Walls, to give the Seminoles their first runs of the afternoon.
After the Irish defense picked off Sansone at second, Cal Raleigh plated Lueck from first with a double down the right field line. Two pitches later Nieporte capped off the five-run rally with a two-run home run over the left field wall, marking his third home run in as many games, knotting the game at 5-5.
Nick Graganella led off the sixth inning with a single to third, becoming the first of three straight FSU hitters to record a hit along with Henderson and Walls. With Henderson at third, following a wild pitch, Sansone provided the one-run lead with a sacrifice fly to left field. Lueck also connected on a single to left, bringing Walls home from third, as FSU stretched the advantage to 7-5.
The lead ballooned to six runs in the bottom of the sixth after back-to-back hits by Petrey and Graganella put two runners on base with one out. Henderson drew a walk to load the bases before Walls connected on his third career home run, first grand slam, over the left field wall for an 11-5 lead.
“It was a great win for us today,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Cole Sands did not pitch poorly, but we just didn’t do what we normally do on defense. To fall five runs down, maintain our poise and continue to make good at-bats, I just can’t say enough about what this team has done thus far.”
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).