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Three up, three down: Timely hitting leads FSU baseball to comeback win over no. 18 Virginia Tech

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‘Noles hammer VT bullpen for six hits and four runs.

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Florida State baseball overcame an early 3-0 deficit for a 6-4 comeback win over no. 18 Virginia Tech today. The ‘Noles struggled early, but chipped away with timely hits and power productivity late in the game. FSU’s offense produced nine hits and three extra base hits. In the field, the ‘Noles made just one error while the pitchers walked just two batters. Davis Hare stranded two Hokies on base with a strikeout and a fly-out to hammer the door shut.

Three up

  • FSU came up with timely hits and power production today. Robby Martin started Florida State’s late comeback in the sixth inning. With runners on the corners and two outs, Martin ripped a liner into left field for a two-out RBI. It was Martin’s best piece of hitting in 2021, as he shot a low and outside fastball the other way. Martin came up big again for the Seminoles in the ninth. The outfielder produced his second opposite-field, RBI-single to up FSU’s lead to two.

Reese Albert struggled against VT’s left-handed starter, but didn’t miss his opportunity when he faced a righty. Albert got all of a 1-0 pitch and left the ballpark. The outfielder took advantage of a 92 MPH, middle-middle fastball for an absolute no-doubter. It was Albert’s second bomb of the season and FSU’s first homer in four games.

Logan Lacey provided the highlight of the day off the bench. With a runner on third and one out in the eighth inning, Lacey turned FSU’s deficit into a lead. Lacey blasted a two-strike fastball over the left-field wall for a two-run homer. It was the Tallahassee native’s first of the season and second of his career.

Ryan Romano, making his FSU debut after a face injury early in spring, extended the Seminoles lead with his first career hit. Romano also walked on the day. When FSU hits for power and produces timely hits, they’ll be a tough team to beat.

  • Parker Messick didn’t have the dominant start that he did last week, but still gave the Seminoles a chance to win. The southpaw battled for five innings against one of the best offenses in the country. Messick’s best pitch on the day was his changeup, which he used for both roll-overs and swing-and-misses. Messick was able to work himself out of trouble often, stranding five Hokies on base. His ability to battle in a tough environment gave the Seminoles a chance to make a comeback late in the game. The second-year freshman posted a final line of 5 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 7 K’s, 3 R, and 2 ER.
  • Florida State’s defense in the fifth inning was outstanding. Jackson Greene made a ridiculous catch for out number one, as he sprinted into shallow center field for a diving catch. The catch robbed Tech of a leadoff bloop single. Greene also had a single in the next inning and scored FSU’s first run of the day. Albert put on a clinic in center field today. His best play of the day came on Tanner Schobel’s deep fly-out to center, as he caught the ball with ease at the top of the wall. Albert glides around the outfield and often makes it look easy, but he’s as good of a defensive center fielder as there is in the ACC.
  • Bonus: Matheu Nelson returned to the lineup for FSU tonight. Nelson was hit on the thumb with a 91-MPH FB last Saturday, but missed just one game. The catcher made an immediate impact. The catcher had FSU’s first hit of the day on a perfect bunt single. He led off the eighth inning with a double down the left field line on a hard grounder. He scored the tying run on Lacey’s bomb. The Largo native also worked a walk in the ninth. Nelson is the most important player on FSU’s roster.

Three down

  • Florida State’s defense had an up-and-down day, and it cost them a couple runs. With two outs and two runners in scoring position Cade Swisher chopped a ball to first base. Tyler Martin picked it, but couldn’t hold onto the ball as it bounced away from him to bring in an unearned Tech run. Later in the game, Jonah Seagears lined a ball into LF for what should’ve been a single, but a bobble from Elijah Cabell allowed Seagears to reach second. He was advanced to third by the next batter, before scoring on a deep sac-fly from Fitz Genther. He likely would not have scored if Cabell fielded the ball cleanly in left.
  • It was tough to watch Florida State’s at-bats today early on. Peyton Alford was dominant and efficient. Coming into the day, he had seven walks in 8.1 IP. He walked none today. He had struggles with efficiency so far this year but ran through FSU’s lineup with ease. He also posted a career high 5.2 IP in just 66 pitches and tied a career high with 10 strikeouts. FSU can get away with striking out, but they can’t get away with it when they’re swinging at pitches outside of the zone. If Florida State isn’t producing free passes in the box, they’ll be in trouble.
  • Messick’s stuff wasn’t at its best today. The Hokies were able to produce hard contact and extra base hits early because of command issues with his fastball. Messick struggled to get his FB down below the belt and even in the zone early on. The Hokies started to sit on his off-speed which led to some big hits. Gavin Cross opened the scoring with a solo-shot to left-center field. Schobel drove multiple balls to the fence off the southpaw. Messick also allowed two free passes to go along with three extra base hits. Despite the struggles with stuff, he showed the composure to put together a quality outing.

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