Three up, three down: FSU baseball leads Miami in the ACC tournament
No. 23 Florida State Baseball (30-22, 21-17 ACC) finished its ACC tournament with a 6-3 win over Miami (32-19, 20-17). The win ended a win of the season in Miami when the Seminoles beat the Hurricanes 40-5 in four games. After a tough opening game on Wednesday, the FSU took the lead early to get back on track. On the plate, the Seminoles produced seven hits and two additional base hits. Three of the six runs of the FSU came with two outs. On the hill, the Seminoles allowed eight hits and went five while hitting 13. The FSU only made one mistake on the field. Mike Martin Jr. is the head coach of the Seminoles with a 4-0 win against Miami.
- After the Seminoles were blown out by Duke on Wednesday and were five behind in the first inning, they needed a quick start against the Hurricanes. The middle of the order provided the spark the noles were looking for. Logan Lacey was the first to reach the base on a one-off walk. Matheu Nelson followed on the right with a line drive single to push Lacey into third place. Robby Martin brought the Seminoles to the board with their own single-in. After a strikeout, Dylan Simmons shot through the clutch with a one-two punch to put a crooked number on the scoreboard. Simmons tore Jake Garland’s first pitch into the right midfield to hit both Nelson and Martin and extend the early lead to three. The two-out hit was Simmons’ fourth double of the season.
In the bottom half, Parker Messick was working on a two-part walk for a goalless first inning. The south paw hit Adrian Del Castillo with a high fastball to end the inning. Today was the first time in the last four games and only the second time in the last eight games that the Seminoles kept their opponents goalless in the first inning.
- Parker Messick was beaten on his last two starts of the day. Even so, he was named ACC Pitcher of the Year earlier this week. Messick showed today why he received this award. Bulldog keeping was in full swing in Charlotte this afternoon. After the goalless first round, Messick ran into trouble in the second inning. Miami scored its first run on a wild field and had two runners in the points position with only one out. The native Plant Cityer got the number 2 out with a slow scooter and moved in the infield. He stranded both runners with inning-ending strikeouts when he joined Tony Jenkins. In the third round, Messick landed a one-off double with his third inning-ending strikeout in a row. The Redshirt novice seemed to get into trouble again on the fourth. Raymond Gil sent the first pitch of the inning for his eighth homer of the year right down the left wall. Messick’s next pitch hit Alex Toral’s arm, but Messick quickly wiped it off the base paths with a routine 4-6-3 double play. Alejandro Rosario finished the Top of the Five with a strikeout and had a few words for the FSU dugout. According to Rosario’s twitter, Messick was at his best. After a lineout, Messick posted his first 1-2-3 inning with back-to-back strikeouts. The left-hander ended his day with a few words for the dugout in Miami as he walked off the field 5-2 before there was a rain delay. Messick published a final line with 5 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 R and 85 pitches.
- The Seminoles took advantage of some mistakes in Miami in the fifth inning to regain their lead from three runs in the first inning. Jackson Greene led the inning with a single through the right side of the infield. Greene has now scored one goal in four of his last six games and hit the base in nine of his last ten games. Ryan Romano, who made his first start since May 1, hit an infield single to place two with no outs. Tyler Martin put a perfect bunt towards third base. The miscommunication between the pitcher and the third baseman made the ball slowly roll towards the infield dirt as Greene hit all the way from second place. The Bunt went under as an RBI single for Martin, as no hurricanes touched the ball. After Lacey reached E6 in Miami’s second place, Nelson narrowly missed a Grand Slam with a victim who flew onto the warning lane in midfield to push the lead back 5-2 to three. The Sac-Fly was Nelson’s 64th RBI of the season.
- Bonus: The veteran arms of the FSU from the bullpen were lights today. Clayton Kwiatkowski arrived after an hour of rain delay. Kwiatkowski allowed a leadoff single in his first place but quickly interfered. The South Paw flew to Out # 1 before triggering two consecutive hurricanes to end the inning. Kwiatkowski has an ERA of 1.88 in 24 IPs. Conor Grady came up from the Florida State Bullpen to work ahead of a possible start in the Regionals next week. Grady, who helped out most of his first two seasons in Tallahassee, was at his best. Grady worked a 1-2-3 seventh with an inning-end strikeout. In the eight he dropped three more thugs one after the other with two Ks. Grady’s fastball was as sharp as this season at 92-93 MPH and the slider resulted in lots of soft contacts and swings and misses. The Redshirt Junior lowered his ERA to 3.90. Jonah Scolaro came into play with two outs and the bases were loaded with a three-fold lead in the ninth inning. Scolaro fought 10 throws against Anthony Vilar before throwing him away with a curveball for the third strike to end the game. The strikeout was Scolaro’s first parade of the season.
- Bonus: Logan Lacey insured the Seminoles in the 9th inning. Lacey lifted a two-hit pitch across the left wall of the field for a solo two-hit home run. The Solo Homer extended the FSU’s lead to 6-2. It was Lacey’s seventh homer of the season.
- The Seminole defense didn’t help Messick much in the first inning. Christian Del Castillo hacked a grounder first, but Tyler Martin played wrong and couldn’t get a glove on the ball when it went to a leadoff single. Gil followed with a single through the right side, which would have been a routine game if he hadn’t played at double the depth due to the lack of a grounder. Carlos Perez shot a single into right field to push a runner with an out into third place. A wild throw from Martin in the right field, high up on the third baseline and over Nelson’s head, would have allowed another run to score if Nelson hadn’t been able to follow the ball quickly. The wrong throw was lost as a mistake as Perez moved up slightly to second place. The FSU defense has to help their pitchers get out of the traffic jam better, and the outfielders have to better throw the ball in the right places.
- The Seminoles could have thrown Miami away with another productive out or hit the fifth inning. Elijah Cabell came to the plate with the bases loaded and one came out after Martin left. Cabell looked for # 2 on a slider. Three Seminoles were stranded when Simmons went on another strike.
- Jack Anderson struggled to finish the game in ninth place by four runs. Anderson was the light on the close role for Mike Martin Jr. late in the season, but he struggled today. The right-handed pitcher allowed a leadoff single, leaving the following batsman to start the ninth. After a popup, another single loaded the bases with an out. Anderson induced a grounder for Out # 2, but another walk reloaded the bases and ended his day. Today marked the first time Anderson took multiple walks in one outing since opening day.