Fans got to their feet as Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston stepped into the lefty batters’ box to pinch-hit in the sixth on Tuesday night.
The first pitch thrown by Michael Farley broke low, hitting the switch-hitter in the foot.
A roar of boos echoed through USF Baseball Stadium, as a record-breaking crowd of 3,615 watched Winston take first base. On the football field the 6-foot-4, 228-pound Winston looks large for a quarterback — on the diamond, in a baseball uniform, he looked like a linebacker among his teammates.
USF coach Lelo Prado laughed off the thought of the hit being an intentional one.
“We threw a curveball and a changeup,” Prado said. “Who would want to fight that big guy?”
Fans dressed in garnet, green and gold trying to capture the moment as cameras flashed from the stands from both the USF and FSU sides, where spectators leaned against the fences.
Farley, who struck out five in 4 1/3 innings, struck out the next batter, ending the inning with Florida State leading the Bulls 5-1.
A similar spectacle occurred in the eighth when Winston took the plate again. Except this time, event security at the lower concourse near the FSU on-deck circle restrained multiple young men from getting near the security net.
There was opportunity for a souvenir worth more than pictures.
Grown men and children on the lawn along the left-field line raced for Winston’s foul ball.
Though Winston grounded out to second baseman Nik Alfonso, he later gave the fans more photo opportunities when he warmed up in the bullpen.
Aside from the photo opportunities, Winston gave autographs to screaming fans before the game, signing memorabilia of all sorts. Adults and children clustered around, thrusting baseballs, footballs and FSU flags. One fan even took off his shirt, not wanting the opportunity to pass.
Winston and No. 2 Florida State (9-1) attracted an overflowing crowd, the biggest in USF history.
The fans sporting both garnet and green probably would’ve been content with any outcome, but the Bulls ultimately lost 5-1.
USF pitcher Janick Serrallonga got the loss, as he gave up five runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings.
FSU’s right-fielder Brett Knief led off the second inning with a homerun to the left. The Seminoles scored three more that inning.
USF answered back in the bottom frame with Buddy Putnam’s shot down the right-field line off of pitcher Peter Miller, who struck out 11 in five innings. The Bulls weren’t able to get on the board thereafter, falling to a 9-3 record.
USF’s Luke Maglich, who came into the game leading the AAC with 18 hits, broke his 11-game hitting streak, going 0-for-4.
Daniel Portales, on the other hand, extended his streak to 11 with a single to right field in the eighth.
Much like the tailgating before Tuesday night’s game, more soft-toss, frisbee, football and food are expected to fill the parking lots before today’s game, which begins at 3 p.m.