TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Noles clinch the weekend series against Pittsburgh with a 6-5 win in game one of Saturday's doubleheader. A two run home run from John Sansone in the seventh inning gave No. 13 Florida State (29-12, 13-7) the lead for good against Pitt (14-23, 6-14).
Sansone finished the afternoon with his first career multi-home run game connecting on a solo home run in the third and a two-run shot in the seventh. All six of Florida State’s runs on the afternoon came off a home run marking the second time in the last three games that FSU has used the long ball to generate all of its runs in a win (Tuesday vs Florida).
For the third straight game, Chris Marconcini left the yard connecting on a three-run shot in the first. Marconcini has now recorded four home runs over the last three games driving in 10 runs.
After regaining the lead for the second time in game one, Martin turned to Dylan Silva and Billy Strode, who retired all three batters they faced in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to seal the victory. Strode struck out the side to register his 11th save of the season.
“No doubt the Marconcini and Sansone home runs following two big innings by the University of Pittsburgh was a big lift for our club,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “But let’s don’t forget that Mike Compton went out and pitched very well for six innings and kept his team in the ball game.
“I thought Dylan Silva and Billy Strode pitched very well also. It was a well-pitched game but there is still a lot of baseball left to be played this year, we just have to keep getting better.”
Both teams got off to a hot start in game one combining for five runs in the first inning. Pitt plated a pair of runs on four hits as Jacob Wright and Charles Leblanc opened the game with back-to-back singles. After a sac-bunt advanced both runners 90 feet, Aaron Schnurbusch brought home the game’s first run on a bunt single to first. Alex Kowalczyk followed with an RBI groundout to short to give the Panthers an early 2-0 advantage.
The lead was short lived thanks to one swing of the bat by Marconcini in the bottom of the inning. The redshirt senior designated hitter took a 0-1 pitch from Pitt starter Aaron Sandefur out of the park to right for a three-run shot and his third home run of the weekend. After Josh Delph opened the inning with a hit-by-pitch, Quincy Nieporte kept the inning alive drawing a two-out walk.
Sansone added a solo shot in the third to give the Noles a 4-2 lead. The New Castle, Pa., native deposited a 1-0 pitch from Sandefur over the wall in left center for his sixth home run of the season.
Pitt regained the lead at 5-4 on a three-run home run in the seventh. With Alec Byrd (5-0) on the hill, the Panthers opened the inning with back-to-back singles from Jordan Frabasilio and Ron Sherman. But Byrd retired the next two batters before LeBlanc gave the Panthers their second lead of the afternoon with his third home run of the season.
Just as they did in the first, Florida State answered the call as Sansone gave the lead right back to the Noles connecting on a two-run shot off the scoreboard in left. Danny De La Calle drew a four-pitch walk off Pitt reliever Josh Mitchell (0-2) to start the bottom of the inning and moved to second on a sac-bunt by Delph. He would score three pitches later on Sansone’s second home run of the afternoon.
Neither starting pitcher would factor into the decision in game one.
After giving up two runs on four hits in the first, Mike Compton settled down giving the Seminoles 6.0 solid innings in his second start since returning from an abdominal strain. The redshirt junior right hander scattered just two hits and one walk after the first while finishing with four strikeouts.
“To be very honest, the hits he gave up (in the first) were not very well struck,” added Martin on Compton’s performance. “He pitched a very good baseball game today.”
***Courtesy FSU Athletics