Big Bats Lead FSU Baseball to Blowout Win


On Tuesday night, the FSU baseball team pieced together a come-from-behind, extra-inning victory over the rival Florida Gators. Chris Marconcini tied the game in the eighth with a blast to the FSU Circus, and, of course, Quincy Nieporte sent the Seminole faithful home happy with the game-winning walk-off homer in the 12th. The big bats in the heart of the Florida State lineup continued to mash tonight, leading the No. 13 ‘Noles to a convincing 15-2 victory in the first game of FSU’s weekend series against the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Each team’s offense got started quickly in this one. Pitt’s Charles Leblanc, the game’s second batter, greeted FSU starter Boomer Biegalski with a no-doubter to left to start the scoring. The ‘Noles answered back with three in the bottom of the first, when DJ Stewart singled in one, John Sansone scored when Quincy Nieporte grounded into a double play, and then Marconcini went yard yet again, taking one the other way over the left-centerfield wall.

Pitt struck right back, cutting the Florida State lead to 3-2 in the second, but then the starting pitchers, Biegalski and T.J. Zeuch of Pitt, settled down nicely, filling the scoreboard with zeroes from the bottom of the second until the bottom of the sixth. Biegalski amassed eight strikeouts; Zeuch fanned 10.

But FSU could only be contained until the sixth, when the ‘Noles batted around and hung an eight-spot on the scoreboard. Stewart walked to begin the inning, and then came up again with the bases juiced to send one careening over the center-field wall for a grand slam that made it 11-2. FSU coach Mike Martin had to go back five years, to a ball that James Ramsey hit, to recall a ball hit that far.

More from Chop Chat

The meat of the FSU order did most of the damage again tonight, and looks to be heating up for the season’s stretch run. No. 3 hitter Stewart went 3-3 with a walk, two runs scored, and five RBIs. Nieporte, batting clean-up, was 2-4 with a run scored. And Marconcini, in the five-hole, had another big game, going 3-5 with three runs scored and six RBIs.

Where did those extra Marco RBIs come from? That would be the eighth inning, when he came up with the sacks packed. This time he got out in front of one, and sent it sailing over the right field fence to make it 15-2. Marconcini, who began the year injured, now has six home runs on the season, with three of those coming in the last two games. I asked him, after the game, what was clicking. He alluded to time spent working with Mike Martin, Jr., as well as his approach at the plate: “I feel much better out there– just more confident.”

How much muscle did the ‘Noles flex tonight? It’s the first game in which FSU has had two grand slams since April 14, 2002, when they did it against Miami.

After the game, 11 spoke about the importance of those hitting behind Stewart warming up. He cited the fact that, in 40 games, Stewart’s been walked 46 times. When those behind him produce like Marco did tonight, it is effectively “giving DJ an opportunity to play, so to speak,” the importance of which he described with one word: “phenomenal.”

The win improves FSU to 28-12 on the season and 12-7 in ACC play. This was supposed to be a standard Friday, Saturday, Sunday series, but due to impending rain on Sunday, we’ll play two on Saturday. The first game gets started at 1 pm, the second an hour after that one concludes.