Nieporte’s Five Hits Not Enough as Noles Fall 10-9

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Senior Quincy Nieporte had a career-high five hits Sunday against Wake Forest, but the Demon Deacons (35-16, 17-10 ACC) walked away with a 10-9 win and a series victory over the Seminoles (33-20, 12-14 ACC) on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Florida State scored three runs in the second, fourth, and seventh innings, but FSU never led after the third inning.

“This one could have been really, really great for the resume,” head coach Mike Martin said after the game. “We need to win. To heck with playing well and losing. We didn’t make an error, we just had a couple mistakes.”

Nieporte’s five hits were all singles, and he is the first Seminole since Josh Delph went 5-for-7 at Miami in 2015 (in 17 innings) that a Florida State player had five hits. Nieporte’s previous high this season was two hits, done 13 times, while he had four hits in a game in both 2015 and 2016.

The Seminoles answered Wake Forest runs in the first with three in the bottom of the second, all unearned against Connor Johnstone. Tyler Holton hit a single to centerfield, his seventh in 16 at-bats, and J.C. Flowers reached on a dropped fly ball by rightfielder Patrick Frick. With two outs, Taylor Walls hit his third triple of the season to tie the score, and Dylan Busby followed with a perfect bunt down the third base line to give FSU a 3-2 lead.

The Demon Deacons responded quickly, however, on Bruce Steel’s three-run home run in the third to retake the lead.

Florida State used four pitchers in the fourth inning as Wake Forest extended its lead to 8-3. Drew Parrish (5-3) was pulled after walking the first batter fourth inning, finishing with six earned runs in 3.0 innings; Chase Haney allowed two hits and both runners scored; Alec Byrd allowed a walk and a hit while forcing a double play; and Jim Voyles closed out the frame with a 10-pitch strikeout to Steel.

Voyles would throw 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit.

In the fourth, FSU chased Johnstone after allowing a single and three walks to trim the lead to 8-4. Chris Farish entered with the bases loaded and allowed a two-out, two-run single to Nieporte to make it 8-6.

John McCarren (5-3) took over for Farish in the fifth inning, pitching 2.1 innings and allowing three runs.

After both teams were scoreless in the fifth and sixth, Wake Forest added two runs in the seventh inning off reliever Drew Carlton. Steel’s second home run of the day made it 9-6 and an RBI single from Jonathan Pryor added another run. Jake Mueller grounded into a double play to end the inning.

FSU again answered in the bottom of the inning. Nieporte’s fourth hit of the game led off the inning, and he scored on Cal Raleigh’s seventh home run of the season. Holton singled, Nick Derr walked and Matt Henderson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Walls grounded out to score Holton to make it 10-9 Wake Forest through seven innings.

Nieporte was replaced by Hank Truluck in the eighth inning after his career-high fifth hit of the game, an infield single to shortstop. Walking off the field, Nieporte, a senior from Atlanta, Ga., tipped his cap to the Seminole faithful.

Truluck was caught stealing on the next pitch, and Drew Mendoza struck out to end the threat. Griffin Roberts earned his seventh save of the year, and second of the weekend, throwing 2.2 innings in relief, including a perfect ninth inning to secure the win.

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