PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Florida State’s Taylor Walls closed out a weekend in which he went 8-for-10 from the plate by hitting 2-for-3 on Sunday afternoon, but it was a solid outing on the mound by Pittsburgh’s T.J. Zeuch that helped provide the Panthers with the 5-2 victory at Charles L. Cost Field.
Walls (2-3, run) was the only Seminole hitter with a hit on the day. Teammate Quincy Nieporte was responsible for one RBI, which came fourth inning on a ground out, as the other run was scored on an error.
Seminoles’ Hurler Cole Sands slipped to 3-2 on the season after yielding three runs, one earned, on four hits. Sands did notch two strikeouts before giving way to the bullpen cast of Will Zirzow, Chase Haney and Tyler Warmoth. That trio combined for five hits, two runs and struck out five Pitt hitters.
Frank Maldonado (3-4, RBI) and Alex Kowalczyk (1-3, 2 RBI, HR) led the way for Pittsburgh (9-8, 2-4 ACC) offensively. Kowalcyzk’s lone hit came on a homer to left in the seventh inning.
Zeuch earned a win in his first start of the campaign as he allowed two runs, two walks, one hit to go along with eight strikeouts. He was followed on the mound by Isaac Mattson, who earned the save, after limiting Florida State (15-5, 5-1 ACC) to one hit and converting four strikeouts.
Florida State leadoff its third consecutive game this weekend with a walk by Taylor Walls, who quickly moved into scoring position following a wild pitch. He crossed the plate as John Sansone reached on a throwing error for the first Seminole run.
The Panthers countered with two runs in the bottom half of the frame, following a throwing error at third, as Jacob Wright and Charles LeBlanc rounded the base pads for the early lead.
Sansone again reached on an error in the fourth inning, moving into second after Cal Raleigh reached on a walk. Gage West laid down a sacrifice bunt to move each runner up and Sansone scored on a grounder to the left side of the infield by Quincy Nieporte, knotting the contest at 2-2.
Pittsburgh regained the lead in the fifth, 3-2, when LeBlanc singled up the middle to put the first runner on base. A stolen base coupled with a walk and a hit by pitch LeBlanc came home on a sacrifice fly to left off the bat of David Yanni.
Another Panther run came across in the sixth when back-to-back doubles to left field by Caleb Parry and Maldonado resulted in Parry scoring for the two-run advantage. That was followed by a home run over the left field wall by Kowalczyk in the seventh as the Pittsburgh lead reached 5-2.
The Seminoles now turn their attention to a two-game mid-week set with UCF that begins on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. That will be quickly followed by a game on Wednesday that is slated for 4 p.m.
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).