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Three up, three down: Elijah Cabell, lights-out pitching leads FSU baseball to win over Wake Forest

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Seven straight wins for the Seminoles.

Ken Lanese/FSU sports information

Florida State baseball picked up their seventh straight win with a 2-1 win over Wake Forest tonight. The Seminoles didn’t have much hitting tonight, with just five hits, but they got the big hit when it counted. On the mound, the ‘Noles were lights out again. Four pitchers combined for nine innings of one-run ball. The Demon Deacons only produced three hits, while striking out 18 times. Davis Hare worked around a one-out error, FSU’s only of the game, with three strikeouts to slam the door shut. Mike Martin Jr. nailed every move he made on the night.

Three up

  • After a slow start to his season, Elijah Cabell was benched. Even with Reese Albert out with a concussion, he didn’t see any starts at Miami. But the outfielder stuck with it and didn’t quit on his team. When he got a couple at-bats in blowouts, he made them count with hard contact and a couple hits. The quality AB’s gave him a pinch-hitting opportunity tonight. Cabell entered the game for Messick, with two men on and two outs. He came through with the biggest hit of the night. Cabell ripped a two-strike pitch down the 3B line, which tipped off Brock Wilken’s glove and rolled into foul territory as two runners crossed the plate to give the Seminoles the lead. Cabell is still the highest ceiling player on this roster. If he can get it going, watch out.
  • Parker Messick has already earned his Master’s Degree in strikeouts. The southpaw is as dominant as any pitcher in the ACC, he’s shown it consistently through five starts now. He had a few bumps in his game tonight, with a couple two-out walks and a couple leadoff extra base hits, but made big pitches when he needed to. The bulldog mentality was best shown in the fifth inning. Messick gave up a leadoff triple, but came up with two timely strikeouts and a weak pop up to strand the triple. He followed the clutch pitching, with his most dominant inning. The southpaw struck out Wake’s 3-5 hitters in order in the sixth. Messick posted a final line of 6+ IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 11 K, 1 R, 102 P (64 S). He now has a 13.9 K/9 and 2.73 season ERA. Messick also has a WHIP of just 1.00.
  • Chase Haney hasn’t been his normal self this season, but the big sidearmer found his stuff in a big moment tonight. Haney entered the game with one runner on and no outs after a leadoff walk ended Messick’s day on the bump. The super senior promptly ended the inning with three straight strikeouts and needed just 12 pitches to do it. The key for Haney was getting ahead in each count, which allowed him to attack with his slider. He also retired the first hitter of the eighth, before Jonah Scolaro quickly retired two batters to send FSU to the ninth with a 2-1 lead.

Three down

  • FSU really struggled to put the ball in play against Ryan Cusick. In just five innings, the big right-handed pitcher struck out 12 Seminoles. The ‘Noles can still produce if they don’t have the K’s in big moments, but early tonight, they were costly. FSU left the bases loaded on a strikeout once and stranded 10 runners. Robby Martin was 0-4 with two K’s, while Messick was 0-3 with three K’s at the plate. Six of FSU’s nine starters struck out multiple times. The Seminoles had 16 total K’s.
  • Jackson Greene is really struggling this year. After an 0-4 day, Greene’s season batting average is down to .125. He’s hitting ninth for the Seminoles, but has hurt them in some big moments. In the fourth inning, Greene came to the plate with bases loaded after two straight walks. The second baseman got up 3-0 in the count, but ended up striking out on a fastball and stranding three runners. Greene has been a major positive defensively, but FSU can’t produce with this big of a liability in the double leadoff spot. When Logan Lacey returns to the lineup at third base, Ryan Romano will likely slide to second and push Greene out of the lineup.
  • Nander De Sedas came out of the game in the sixth inning. De Sedas check swung at a two-strike breaking ball and came out of the box in discomfort. He looked to have pulled a muscle or tweaked something in the lower right side of his back. The shortstop took a few swings to try to work it out, but Vince Smith replaced him. De Sedas has been a rock for Florida State at short this season. He’s made routine plays look routine, and he’s flashed his ability with a few web gems. The third-year sophomore has also given the Seminoles consistent at-bats in the bottom third of the order. FSU is already without Logan Lacey, as he’s day-to-day with a hamstring injury, and an injury to De Sedas would really harm the depth of the lineup and infield.