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Three up, three down: FSU baseball clinches series with statement win at no. 18 Virginia Tech

‘Noles post 18 hits and eight extra base hits in rubber match.

FSU sports information

Florida State baseball clinched their second straight ACC series win with a 14-7 statement win over no. 18 Virginia Tech. A big shuffle in the lineup by Mike Martin Jr. woke up the ‘Noles. The Seminoles’ offense broke out in a big way with a season high 18 hits and tied their season high with 14 runs. FSU had more extra base hits (eight) than strikeouts (seven). On the mound, FSU’s veterans stepped up in a big way in the rubber match of the series. The Seminoles were sloppy in the field with three errors, but the power of the offense marginalized the poor defense. Junior hit on his moves all weekend long to manage the ‘Noles to a series win in one of the toughest environments in the country.

Three up

  • Tyler Martin produced the best game of his career today. From the very beginning of the weekend, Martin was greeted with “Who’s your daddy” chants from Hokies fans. Like he’s done for the entirety of his short career, Martin showed why he belongs. Martin had a career high five hits in six at-bats. It was the first five-hit game for FSU since Kyle Cavanaugh’s in 2018. He also scored three runs, had two doubles, and an RBI. The second-year freshman is the best leadoff hitter in the ACC, he’s left no question about it through three weeks of conference play. Martin is hitting .432 and reaching base 56% of the time. He’s struck out just twice in 37 at-bats.
  • Matheu Nelson sparked the Seminoles early. The catcher drove a three-run bomb over the center field wall for an early FSU lead. It was just the third time the Seminoles had scored in the first inning this year, and in a timely they desperately needed it after being shut out yesterday. Nelson has come up in big situations all season for Florida State. He leads the team with four bombs, three of which have been 400+ feet and 105+ exit velocity. His first-inning homer traveled 418 feet and came off the bat at 105 MPH. Nelson also stepped up in the field in the first inning. The catcher kept a wild pitch in front of him, made an athletic play to get to the ball, and threw a bullet on the money to throw out his third runner of the year.
  • Parker Messick was one of two pitchers that were surprisingly in the Seminoles’ starting lineup today. Messick was a two-way in high school, but hadn’t picked up a bat at Florida State through two years. Messick took full advantage of the opportunity. In his first career at-bat, Messick left the yard for an opposite field bomb, He put the ball in play in all five of his at-bats and posted a three-hit day. Messick also worked a walk on the day. Whether it’s on the mound or in the box, you can’t stop Messick, you can only hope to contain him. When he’s not on the mound, Messick needs to be an everyday starter for the ‘Noles. He showed a short, yet powerful swing that will consistently produce hard contact.
  • Bonus: Nander De Sedas hadn’t seen the production numbers that he wants coming into today’s game, but the confidence and comfort was there. The good at-bats paid off for De Sedas today. The shortstop lined his first homer of the season over the LF wall on a two-strike slider for a two-run bomb. The homer extended the FSU lead to five in the sixth inning. Since moving to the right-side only, the power production has been at a much higher level for De Sedas. After having 0 extra base hits in 17 games last year, De Sedas has three extra base hits in 12 games this season.
  • Bonus 2.0: Conor Grady wasn’t his best, but he came up in big moments and gave Florida State a chance to win. Florida State put up crooked numbers twice in the first four innings and Grady responded with crucial shutdown innings. After FSU’s four-spot in the first, he posted a 1-2-3 frame to start his day. He went 1-2-3 on just nine pitches in the fourth inning after a Seminoles’ 3-spot. Grady finished the day with a final line of 5 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K’s, 3 R.
  • Bonus 3.0 (it was that good of a day, I don’t care): FSU’s veteran relievers came up big time after time to give the Hokies no chance of a come back. After two defensive miscues from the ‘Noles to start the sixth, Clayton Kwiatkowski retired three straight batters on 11 pitches to strand two runners in scoring position. Jonah Scolaro entered the game in the seventh inning with two on and no outs. The southpaw stranded two runners of his own in just eight pitches. Chase Haney was last up, as he had his best outing of the season. Haney entered the game two on and no outs and promptly struck out the side.
  • Bonus 4.0 (I can’t be stopped): Robby Martin started his day 0-4 despite some good swings. He laced two balls up the middle early on, but both right into the shift. Martin drove a pitch just foul to the opposite field in the ninth inning. Two pitches later he smoked a ball over the left-center field wall for a grand slam as the Seminoles opened up a 14-3 lead. It was the best swing of the season. Martin compiled a strong weekend and looked more and more like his old self. When Martin gets going and the power starts to open up, FSU has a chance to be a scary lineup.

Three down

  • The Seminoles had a couple errors that didn’t find the scorebook early. In the first inning, the ball found the infield dirt for a one-out single as Ryan Romano couldn’t get his glove on a high pop-up. It didn’t cost FSU as the runner was erased by Nelson’s throw. In the next half inning, the Seminoles had runners on the corners with no outs, but got nothing out of it after a mental error. Martin immediately broke for second on a soft-hit liner from Logan Lacey. VT’s second baseman was able to charge in on the ball and double Martin off first with ease, which effectively ended the Seminoles’ threat.
  • Reese Albert was taken out of the game in the bottom of the second with a head/neck injury. Albert went back on a deep fly-ball and looked to lose track of where he was, which can be easy to do on an all-turf field where there’s no real warning track. The outfielder jumped up for the ball, thinking he was close to the wall, but missed the ball and fell back a few feet before hitting his head on the wall. Florida State, who has been hit with the injury bug early this season, can’t afford to be without Albert for any significant amount of time. The fourth-year player is FSU’s leader on the offensive side of the ball.
  • Martin had a rough week in the field at first base. The second-year freshman made his third error of the weekend in the sixth inning. Kevin Madden fisted a ball towards Martin and he was unable to handle a slow bouncer as he looked to rush the play. The ball got away from him as the leadoff man got on base. The first baseman looked uncomfortable for most of the weekend at the corner fielding grounders, while he was consistent in picking throws off the turf.