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3 up, 3 down: No. 15 FSU baseball hands No. 1 UF first loss of the season

Florida State’s pen combines for dominant shutout as ‘Noles end the streak.

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Florida State baseball has ended the streak. The Seminoles beat the Gators for the first time since 2016 with a 2-0 win in Gainesville. The ‘Noles handed No. 1 UF its first loss of the season with a dominant outing from two LHP’s. The bats were quiet, but they did enough to win behind this staff. FSU also had no errors in a game for the first time this season.

Three up:

  • Antonio Velez was nasty, dominant, lights-out, efficient, and every other adjective in the book for a stellar pitching outing. The LHP held the No. 1 team in America to just one hit in six scoreless innings. He walked just two batters and struck out seven, while needing just 78 pitches. The changeup was as sharp as it’s ever been for Velez, as he got consistent swing-and-misses out of the RHH’s. He also used back-foot and back-door sliders to freeze the Gator hitters. He posted career-highs in IP and K’s. It was the very best Antonio Velez tonight. He’s now given up just one run in 17.2 IP this season.

Parker Messick was also dominant out of the pen. The freshman came into the highest-leverage situation possible and shut down the Gators. The LHP sat 93-94 MPH on the fastball with a 76-77 MPH frisbee slider. There aren’t many hitters who can hit him when he locates. He closed out the game with three shutout innings and 7 K’s:

  • Robby Martin has been back-and-forth between right field and DH this season after being the primary DH last year. The arm has never been in question, but the athleticism has been. The sophomore showed he can range the outfield in the first inning. Martin robbed Kirby McMullen of a solo HR as he ranged to his right and reached over the RF wall to bring the ball back into play. Robby also went 2-4 at the plate:

Logan Lacey, who had been playing RF, moved to third base for his first career infield start at FSU. The JUCO-transfer was an INF at TCC, but moved to the OF with depth issues. He showed off his INF abilities tonight, making a handful of tough plays look routine. He has 95 MPH in the tank, so the arm fits naturally at the “hot corner.” We may have seen FSU’s best defensive combination tonight.

  • Dylan Simmons had himself quite the night in his first game against the Gators. The freshman was 3-4 at the plate with two doubles. Simmons uses the middle and opposite field with the fastball, while turning on off-speed pitches. Simmons’ opposite-field approach is one of the best on the team, helping him compile a .343 average to start his freshman campaign. He’s shown the ability to hit both RHP and LHP’s, making him an option to be an everyday starter the rest of the season:

Three down:

  • Once again, Florida State struggled to produce with runners in scoring position. The Seminoles reached base to start seven of nine innings, but only produced two runs due to poor situational hitting. The Seminoles were 4-24 with runners on base and left 11 men on base. FSU also failed to execute multiple sacrifice bunts in key situations. It didn’t bite them tonight, but they need to have more productive AB’s with men on.
  • Elijah Cabell picked up his third golden sombrero of the season. As cool as that sounds, it’s not something you want to be wearing on the baseball field. Cabell was 0-4 with 4 K’s. He was late on fastballs and couldn’t lay off low-and-away sliders. It was the most uncomfortable he’s looked at the plate this season.
  • Jackson Greene has been in quite the slump lately. The struggles only continued for the JUCO transfer, as he, too, picked up a golden sombrero. It’s not often you see two of those in one lineup. Greene was 0-4 with 4 K’s, as his average dropped to .200. If he doesn’t start to hit soon, his starting spot could be in jeopardy.

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Box score