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Three up, three down: FSU baseball shut out in ACC opener by Pitt

‘Noles K 19 times, strand nine runners on base.

FSU sports information

Florida State baseball (2-2, 0-1 ACC) opened up ACC play with a 1-0 loss against Pittsburgh (4-1, 1-0 ACC). The Seminoles struggled to do much of anything all night offensively. FSU managed just 4 hits and 4 walks. The ‘Noles were dominant on the mound, striking out 13 batters and allowing just 5 hits.

Three up

  • Parker Messick had a bounce back start after a rough opening day. Messick’s stuff was a tick up on the night and he looked dominant at times. The southpaw sat 92-94 MPH with his FB for the majority of his outing. He induced a high-rate of swing-and-misses with his CH and buckled knees with his slider. The southpaw still struggled some with his FB command, walking four batters, but limited the damage with nine K’s. Ron Washington Jr. did the majority of the damage against Messick, sending two hits down the LF line. Messick still needs to be better with his command and efficiency on Friday nights, but took a major step forward on Friday. His final line was 5 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 9 K, 1 ER, 86 P (55 S).
  • Clayton Kwiatkowski took advantage of the extra year of eligibility last season to come back for his fifth year at FSU. So far, it’s paying off for the southpaw. Kwiatkowski looked dominant for the second time this season tonight. The southpaw walked the first batter he faced, but induced a 6-4-3 DP on his very next pitch. He worked two scoreless innings to keep the deficit to just one after seven innings, with the FSU offense in a serious funk. Through two appearances this season, Kwiatkowski is yet to give up a hit or run in four innings. He’s also struck out five hitters.
  • Florida State’s defense was really sharp on the night, led by the play of Nander De Sedas up the middle. De Sedas converted on all his chances tonight, including a dandy of a play on a slow chopper up the middle early in the game. Both Logan Lacey and Jackson Greene ate up hard hit ground balls and looked confident on the INF. FSU also turned their fifth double play of the season. The highlight of the night came on an outfield assist from Robby Martin, as he gunned a runner down at home to end the top half of the 9th. Tonight’s game, the Seminoles’ fourth of the year, was FSU’s first error-free game of the season. It took FSU 16 games to get an error-free game last season.

Three down

  • Florida State’s lineup struggled to put the ball in play tonight. Pitt’s starter, Mitch Myers, gave FSU hitters, specifically right-handed, fits all night. Myers reached double-digit K’s through just five innings. The RHP posted a new career high with 13 K’s. Florida State didn’t put up much of a fight at the plate either, as Myers walked just two batters and threw 100 pitches in six innings of work. Tyler Martin was the only starter not to K. Seven of nine hitters had 2+ K’s. The ‘Noles struck out 19 total times on the night. FSU is going to swing-and-miss a lot this year. But the K-rate simply can’t be this high, and when it is, Mike Martin Jr. needs to put some things in motion to get a pitcher out of their rhythm.
  • Elijah Cabell made his season debut tonight after missing opening weekend with a hamstring injury. It wasn’t the night Cabell was looking for. The outfielder started his season with an 0-3 night and three K’s. His biggest strikeout came with two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cabell watched a 3-2 inside fastball for the third strike. He let a lot of good pitches go on the night, including a 3-1 FB in his second at-bat which was middle-middle. Cabell’s night ended after Nico Baldor pinch hit for the OF with bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of 8th. After a limited fall and spring, it could take the slugger a few games or weeks to get going in 2021.
  • Down one run, FSU had a man on third with just one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Matheu Nelson weakly popped a ball up to first base to make it two outs. Baldor struck out to end the inning and strand the bases loaded. The heart of FSU’s order (2-5) was a combined 1-13 with 10 K’s and just two walks (one intentional). The middle of FSU’s order, made up of veteran hitters, has to be better. They have to come up in big situations and make productive outs, or FSU will struggle offensively all season.

Mike Martin Jr. post game presser:

Florida State’s next game is tomorrow night at 8:00 PM against Pitt. Carson Montgomery will toe the rubber for FSU. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network.