Florida State advances to Super Regional
By Chris Bony
The Florida State baseball team advanced to the NCAA Super Regional after a blowout win against the College of Charleston, 8-1. Many questioned whether rain delays would affect the Seminoles’ performance as the deciding game 6 did not start until 22 hours after the original scheduled start time and was delayed for an hour in the third inning.
“Living in Florida we always have rain delays,” said FSU pitcher Drew Carlton, who pitched a memorable game allowing no runs and striking out nine batters. “We take breaks during practices in the fall to prepare for rain delays so it didn’t really bother me that much. As soon as the lightning warning was going on I knew I had to come back out and pitch the way I would normally pitch to give my team a chance to win.”
“Drew just pitched beautifully” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “He’s under control. He’s not a guy that’s going to feel sorry for himself if a call doesn’t go his way, and he’s going to do nothing but get better.
Florida State had two big three-run innings in the third and the fifth. D.J. Stewart drove in a run in the third with a double.
“I’ve been with D.J. now for three years,” Martin said. “I don’t know if he’s hit a ball harder than the one he dented the centerfield wall with.”
The Seminoles put the game out of reach in the fifth inning when first baseman Quincy Nieporte blasted a three-run homer. Martin called it a backbreaker with the swing of one bat for College of Charleston.
“I figured they were going to go hard in with that pitch,” Nieporte said. “He was throwing really well with that sinker-like pitch but he put it exactly where I envisioned it in my mind and I put a good swing on it.”
The Seminoles next play a best-of-three series at the University of Florida in the NCAA Super Regional beginning Thursday. Florida State’s last super regional appearance was in 2013 in Tallahassee where the Seminoles lost to Indiana in the final game.
“We’re just honored to continue playing this late in the year,” Nieporte said. “So many phenomenal programs are going home and we’re still a family going down there so it’s just going to be a blast.”
“We got to worry about getting win number one,” Stewart said. “We’re playing a great program in Florida. There’s a reason they’re a top 8 seed, but we’re looking forward to the opportunity to compete against them.”
The winner of the Super Regional advances to the College World Series.