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St. Pius X Football/Baseball Alum Quincy Neiporte beats Florida with Walk-off Home Run!!!!
April 15th, 2015

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Nieporte's Walk-Off Home Run Gives FSU 4-3 Win Over Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Quincy Nieporte put the finishing touches on a series victory over intra-state rival Florida Tuesday night with a towering walk-off home run to left center to open the bottom of the 12th as No. 13 Florida State (27-12) defeated the seventh-ranked Gators (28-10) 4-3 on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium.

In what finished as the longest game in series history, the Seminoles connected on four solo home runs to capture their fourth series victory over the Gators in the last six seasons.

The win also snapped Florida State’s four-game losing streak, while it marked FSU’s first win over the Gators at home since 2011. It was also the first-ever extra inning victory over UF in six tries (1-5).

“Our guys really showed from the beginning of BP today a little something that I hadn’t seen all year, they weren’t happy,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “This ball game tonight is certainly not going to make or break our season but it’s certainly important for a young club like this against a team that is extremely good. They did a heck of a job and it was a good ball game.”

Dylan Busby recorded his first career multi-home run game with solo shots in the second and fourth innings. Chris Marconcini unloaded on a solo shot to right in the eighth to tie the game at three before Nieporte came through with the game-winning smash in the bottom of the 12th.

“I can’t recall the last time I saw four solo home runs,” added Martin said. “It was a heck of a win. A lot of solid baseball tonight; I am just happy for our young men.”

Nieporte did not waste any time in the bottom of the 12th taking the first pitch from Frank Rubio (0-1) out of the park for his third home run of the season and FSU’s second walk-off win in 2015. The win on Tuesday night came in front of 6,634 – the eighth largest crowd in the school history.

“It was a fastball, a lot of anger in that one,” said Nieporte. “This (win) gives us a lot of momentum. After struggling a little last week, this is a huge win, kind of kicks us in the rear getting us going in the right direction.

“I was having the game to forget obviously until the end. Everyone came up to me and gave me the confidence and stuck with me and it was a real good feeling. It’s like a story; it actually did come down to me, which you would never imagine.”

“I think there will be some enjoyment for him,” said Martin on Nieporte’s game-winning heroics. “He is a great competitor. He is rough on himself and that is something he’s got to calm down. Just goes to show you how different our game is; he did not have good swings really all night. He had one real good swing, thank God for that one.”

Billy Strode (2-0) earned the win after working a season-high 4.0 shutout innings. The senior southpaw scattered three hits and two walks, while striking out three. The senior from Parkland, Fla., worked around a two-out bases loaded jam in the 12th after getting behind in the count to Josh Tobias. But after two foul balls, Strode got Tobias to line out to John Sansone at second to retire the side.

“What do you say about Billy Strode, 69 pitches, the most he has thrown all year,” said Martin. “(He) Walked over to me in the 11th and said right dead in my face ‘I’m ok.’ He goes back out there for the 12th and gets us back in the dugout.”

Bryant Holtmann, who was making his second start of the season against the Gators, did not factor into the decision after giving up three runs on eight hits. The senior from Albers, Ill., finished with two strikeouts and did not walk a batter for the second time this year against Florida.

Dylan Silva gave the Seminoles 2.2 scoreless innings in relief as he faced the minimum striking out two.

Florida State opened the scoring on Tuesday with the first of Busby’s two home runs. The freshman third baseman took the first pitch he saw from UF starter Shaun Anderson out of the park to left center for his seventh home run of the season and an early 1-0 Seminole lead.

Florida answered right back with two runs off Holtmann in the third. The Gators recorded back-to-back two out hits from Harrison Bader and Peter Alonso to grab its first lead of the evening at 2-1.

The Seminoles squandered a golden opportunity in the third leaving the bases loaded with one out. Josh Delph got things going with a one-out single through the right side followed by a hit-by-pitch to Sansone and a walk to DJ Stewart. Florida reliever Danny Young was able to get out of the jam by getting Nieporte to pop out to short and Marconcini to groundout to first to end the threat.

Busby tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth with his second home run in as many at-bats. This time the Sarasota, Fla., native snuck a 1-2 pitch from Eric Hanhold just inside the left field foul pole for his first career multi-home run game.

The Gators retook the lead with a solo shot of their own in the sixth. JJ Schwarz deposited a 1-0 pitch from Holtmann off the scoreboard in left for his team leading 13th round tripper of the season.

FSU left two in scoring position in the sixth after Marconcini and Taylor Walls registered singles to put runners at second and third. But Taylor Lewis recorded back-to-back strikeouts to maintain UF’s one-run advantage.

Marconcini tied the game at 3-3 with one swing of the bat in the eighth. The redshirt senior hammered a 1-1 pitch from Lewis off the side of the FSU Circus Tent beyond the right field fence for his second home run as a Seminole.

The Seminoles put two more runners on in the inning on a single by Busby and a one-out hit-by-pitch to the pinch hitting Darren Miller. But Bobby Poyner got out of the inning by getting Danny De La Calle looking on strikes and then Delph to pop out in foul territory on an outstanding diving catch by Tobias.

The Gators would threaten in the ninth when Schwarz led off the inning with a double off the fence in right center. Strode would leave the runner stranded at second retiring the next three Florida hitters, while Florida State went in order in the bottom of the inning to force extra innings.

Florida State returns to league play at home this weekend welcoming Pitt for a three-game series beginning Friday, April 17. All three games against the Panthers will air live on ESPN3. Fans can also listen to the games on 106.1 FM and free of charge on Seminoles.com and the Florida State Seminoles Game Day app. Updates from the game will also be posted on the official twitter page of the Seminole baseball team (@FSU_Baseball).

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