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No. 24 Florida State baseball vs. Boston College: Series preview, how-to-watch, game thread

Parker Messick, Matheu Nelson lead ‘Noles into crucial series against struggling Eagles.

FSU sports information

The No. 24 Florida State Seminoles baseball team (16-13, 11-10 ACC) will look to bounce back this weekend against the Boston College Eagles (14-16, 4-14 ACC). The Seminoles have lost four of their last five games, including a series loss to the top-10 Louisville Cardinals and an extra innings loss at Florida. Seven of Florida State’s 13 losses have been by one run. The ‘Noles are 2-7 in one-run games and 1-3 in extra innings. The Eagles have also had tough losses in ACC play, losing four one-run games and an extra inning game. After a 9-2 start, BC has lost 14 of their last 19 games, including being swept three times in ACC play.

The Seminoles’ offense have been up and down this season, but have been carried by the their power production. FSU is dead last in the ACC with a .238 average, but first with 41 home runs. Florida State is also first in the conference with 143 walks. FSU also has a .407 slugging percentage and a .354 on-base percentage. Florida State has struck out 20 more times than any other ACC team. Matheu Nelson is the league leader with 13 RBI and 39 RBI. Robby Martin is top-20 in the country with a .330 average and 32 RBI. Four of the Seminoles’ projected starting-nine have hit .225 or less in ACC play. Nelson, hitting .333 in ACC competition, is the only ‘Noles hitting over .300 against conference teams.

On the mound, FSU has shown off their talent and depth all season. Outside of recent late game struggles, the ‘Noles have given opposing offenses fits all season. Florida State’s staff has allowed an ACC-low opponents’ batting average of .214 this year. The Seminoles also lead the ACC with a 3.26 ERA and 344 strikeouts. Every FSU reliever with more than seven appearances has an ERA below 4.00, with five having an ERA below 3.00. After a five-error performance in Gainesville, the Seminoles’ have a team ERA of .968.

The Eagles are led by some top-end talent, but lack depth. Boston College has a strong offensive squad. BC is fourth in the ACC with 188 runs scored. They are also sixth with a .268 average. The Eagles don’t have a ton of power in the lineup, with just 26 homers in 30 games, but put the ball in play and apply pressure on the base paths. Boston College is second in the ACC with 38 stolen bases in 49 attempts. They also strike out just 7.5 times per game.

Boston College has struggled mightily on the mound. BC is last in the ACC with a 6.53 AVV and have allowed a .301 average against. The best ERA on the staff is a 4.05 and eight pitchers with five+ appearances have an ERA above 5.25. In 30 games, the Eagles have allowed 96 extra base hits. BC also walks over 4.6 batters per nine. In the field, Boston College has a .973 fielding percentage.

Boston College is led by head coach Mike Gambino. Gambino has a .432 win percentage in 11 years in Chestnut Hill. This will be the first time Mike Martin Jr. faces the Eagles as a head coach. FSU leads the all-time series 36-6. Boston College took the last series, winning two of three games in Tallahassee in 2019. The Eagles are 5-16 in Dick Howser Stadium.

Friday 4/16, 6:00 PM

Probable Starters: RHP Joe Mancini (9.16 ERA, 34.0 IP) vs. LHP Parker Messick (2.60 ERA, 45.0 IP)

How to watch: ACC Network Extra

Parker Messick has been every bit of the ace the Seminoles expected him to be this year. Messick was named to the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list. Whenever Messick has been on the mound under the bright lights of ACC Friday night games, the ‘Noles have had a chance to win. In ACC play, Messick has posted a 1.69 ERA and allowed a .183 average against. He’s allowed just two homer in eight starts in 2021. The southpaw has gone 5+ innings and allowed two ER or less in every ACC start. In 56.2 career innings, the second-year freshman has a 2.22 ERA. Messick is first in the ACC and fifth in the country with 69 strikeouts.

Boston College’s ace, Mason Pelio, was not listed as a probable this weekend. Pelio has struggled this season, but he entered the year as one of the top prospects in the country and held a high-octane arsenal. In his freshman season, Pelio threw seven shutout innings against the Seminoles. Instead of Pelio, Messick will square off with Joe Mancini. Mancini is a right-handed pitcher that stands 6’2 and 235 pounds. The junior faced FSU in 2019 as a freshman, allowing two hits, three walks, and three earned runs in a loss. Mancini has had a tough 2021, posting a 9.16 ERA and .354 average against in 18.2 IP. The RHP has a 1.92 WHIP and a 5.79 K/9.

Saturday 4/17, 2:00 PM

Probable Starters: RHP Emmet Sheehan (4.66 ERA, 24.0 IP) vs. LHP Bryce Hubbart (4.66 ERA, 32.2 IP)

How to watch: ACC Network Extra

Sunday 4/18, 1:00 PM

Probable Starters: RHP Alex Stiegler (5.54 ERA, 24.2 IP) vs. RHP Conor Grady (3.60 ERA, 40.0 IP)

How to watch: ACC Network Extra

BC top performers

  • Sal Frelick is one of the best outfielders in the country. D1Baseball had Frelick ranked as the top outfielder in the country in their midseason update. The outfielder is also expected to be a first round pick in the 2021 MLB draft. Frelick is 8th in the ACC with a .360 average. He has a strong hit tool with more free passes than strikeouts this season. He also has 16 extra base hits, including five homers. Frelick also leads the Eagles with eight stolen bases in 11 attempts. Frelick has struggled as of late, going hitless in five of his last eight games and has just one extra base hit in the last ten games.
  • Luke Gold has been the power bat for the Eagles this season. Gold leads the team with a .642 slugging percentage, 33 RBI, 12 doubles, and eight homers. Gold also has a .325 average and .373 on-base percentage. Gold has been hot of late with a hit in 14 of the last 16 games. Playing mostly second base, the sophomore has posted a .947 fielding percentage with four errors.
  • Cody Morissette is another potential top three round pick for the Eagles. Morissette was thought of as one of the top the third basemen in the country coming into the season, but hasn’t been as good as many expected. In his first two years at Boston College, Morissette hit .346 in 289 at-bats. This season, he’s hitting .264 through 23 starts. The junior has three multi-hit games in his last six starts. Morissette also has three homers this season for a .429 slugging percentage.

We’ll update this article with FSU’s lineup when it becomes available.

UPDATE, 4:20 PM:

No changes to the Florida State lineup today. Here are today’s starting lineups:

Sunday Golds: A Florida State Baseball Podcast’s preview of the weekend, ft. a recap of the Florida game:

First pitch of game one is scheduled for 6:00 PM from Dick Howser. The game will be broadcasted on ACC Network extra. We will have updates in the game thread below, and I’ll have updates on my twitter as well (@brettpn).