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Parker Messick, Matheu Nelson speak to media

“We’re ready to rock and roll.”

Florida State baseball is just two days away from Opening Day. The Seminoles announced their weekend rotation earlier today, with Parker Messick being the Seminoles’ ace. Opening day’s starting battery spoke to the media today, as Messick and Matheu Nelson sat down at the podium.

Messick spoke on what it means for him to be named the opening day starter. He also spoke on what it took to get here, as he shedded a good bit of weight and added a new breaking ball over the course of the off-season. The southpaw also talked about the competition within the team for weekend roles. (Full transcription at bottom of article)

FSU’s starting catcher also talked about work that he put in during the offseason, as he was another Seminole that dropped weight after the 2020 season came to a close. Nelson also spoke on what it’s like to face and catch the Florida State pitching staff every day.

You can find both interviews here:

Everything Messick had to say:

On earning the #1 starter’s spot: “It’s everything that you come here and work for. It was mine coming in as a freshman and I have always been one of those guys that’s going to work for the top spot. No matter what I got to do, so that’s what I did. It just really means a lot that your hard work is kind of worth it and everything.”

On improvements he made to be a starter over off-season: “Yeah, Belly really worked on me with a new off-speed pitch. I built a new curveball. Really able to locate that. He really worked on the mental side of pitching and being able to control yourself on the mound which really helps as a starter being able to go longer Innings with more stuff that happens in the game that I’m going to have to deal with. So just being able to handle all that stuff and then also working on my body. It’s kind of what I did to prep myself for the season.”

On the addition of new curveball: “I think it’s going to allow me to go deeper into games. If teams key up on one certain pitch, I’m able to go to another one and not necessarily that’s the only reason I added it. It allows me to do different stuff to lefties and righties I can use different combinations of pitches and I was just really excited that I’m finally getting it down in the zone for consistent strikes.”

On if he liked the competition within the pitching staff: “Absolutely. I’m always one for competition. I mean, we’re all great friends on the team, so just knowing that we were competing against each other for whatever role it was, we didn’t necessarily know where we were going to be and we have a deep staff this year. So it’s just always fun messing with each other and just bantering and just having fun with each other, trying to compute with each other and make each other better and ultimately that’s what it did and we finally got our roles down. We’re ready to rock and roll.”

On the potential of the staff: “I’m very excited. Everyone made it tough. Like I didn’t know where I stood. I didn’t know really where anybody stood because every guy that we pretty much ran out there this fall, I mean the the hitters did well, but I mean our pitching staff has just been absolutely dominant and the guys that we run out there every day. It’s like, who do we have today in the scrimmage and we start naming off the guys and it’s like, ‘man the hitters are going to have another tough day.’ We have so many arms that we can just run out there and whether they’re crafty or power arms, they just get guys out. So it was tough competition throughout the fall and spring.”

“We’re going to take it one game at a time. But I think we can go a long way. I mean we have power guys, we have Crafty guys, and we have everything in between. We can mix it up a lot on different teams. And if the team hits, you know faster pitching better, we have some guys that can throw it a little softer and mix up the pitches and if guys are better at hitting the crafty guys, we have some guys that can come in and blow 96 right past them. So, I mean it’s a really talented staff and we’re all really excited about what we can do this year.”

On how he mentally approached the long off-season: “I just took it as another long offseason the time was basically gifted to us to just get a lot better and during a season is more of putting what you did training wise to the test and we just had basically a longer offseason to just be able to get better the whole time and that’s how I know myself and pretty much all of our teammates took all that time to really work on our bodies, work on our game, mental and physical, and just get us a whole lot better. Now we’re going to be ready to ready to go this season.”

On what it will be like to face non-FSU hitters: “Very excited. I’m tired of seeing the same guys since early fall, you know, we love them to death, but I’m ready to see somebody in a different uniform and kind of turn on that ‘Bulldog mode’ and actually be able to pitch like I know how to pitch. It’ll be a lot more fun.”

On Carson Montgomery’s impression on the team so far: “Absolutely great impression. I mean not only his talent. I’m speaking more as a kid off the field, he’s a great kid. He could easily be one of the kids that were supposed to get drafted, come in and be cocky expecting all this stuff, and he’s absolutely not that way. One of the most humble kids I’ve ever talked to. Great kid. I love him to death and he’s an absolute baller. He will go out on the field and I think he’ll dominate this season and it’ll be well deserved because he is one of the most humble kids I could ever talk to.”

On Mike Martin Jr.’s excitement with the pitching staff: “Oh, I know he loves it. I mean every practice he says, you know, like congrats to our pitching staff because we did well again, but I will say that he’s doing a really good job because, the hitters got to us a couple time, on me especially, they got to me a couple times on this spring. So they’re starting to turn it on. As excited as I am about our pitching staff, I’m really excited about our lineup this year. I think it’s going to be dangerous and that aspect of the game as well.”