No. 24 Florida State baseball (17-13, 12-10 ACC) got back in the win column with a 10-2 win over Boston College (14-17, 4-15 ACC) tonight. The Seminoles offense broke out with 10 hits and 10 free passes. The ‘Noles only struck out seven times. All nine starters in the FSU lineup reached base. On the mound, the Seminoles got four shutout innings from their bullpen. Florida State’s staff struck out 15 batters and walked just three.
- Matheu Nelson has been the best player in the ACC so far this season. The catcher is starting to leave no doubts about it. Nelson has been dominant in clutch situations this season. For the first couple innings, BC’s starter Joe Mancini was cruising through the FSU lineup. Vince Smith started a trifecta of walks that brought Nelson to the plate with bases loaded and two outs. Nelson worked the count full and made the Eagles pay for the free bases. The third-year sophomore launched the baseball 423 feet for his second grand slam of the year. Despite only having one hit, the Seminoles led 4-0 after Nelson’s bomb. The homer was Nelson’s 14th of the year and upped his RBI total to 43 in 28 games. Both numbers lead the ACC. The homer was also his fifth with two outs and sixth with two strikes this season. The Largo native is hitting .394 with runners in scoring position. To the voters for the Golden Spikes midseason award watch list that didn’t include Nelson as a top-45 player in the country, here’s reason #148584 why you got it wrong:
Tyler Martin made it a rare night in Dick Howser. In the seventh inning, Martin stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. After falling behind 0-2, Martin lined FSU’s second grand slam of the night over the RF fence in a lefty-lefty matchup. The homer was Martin’s second of the season and his first career grand slam. The blast opened up a 9-2 FSU lead. It was the first time FSU had two grand slams in a game since April 12th, 2015.
- Parker Messick was not his best today, but he battled through some struggles for another quality outing. Despite the efficiency issues, Messick was still able to get through five innings and pick up his third win. The left-handed pitcher ran into much more trouble than usual, as he didn’t have a single 1-2-3 inning, but was able to get strikeouts when he needed them. In the first inning, Messick stranded two runners with a strikeout of Vince Cimini. He also stranded a runner in scoring position the next three innings. Half of the hits that the second-year freshman allowed didn’t leave the infield. He’s gone at least five innings and allowed two ER or less in all of his ACC starts. The southpaw finished with a final line of 5 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K, 2 ER, and 105 pitches. Messick’s season ERA sits at 2.70.
- Wyatt Crowell entered the game 0 for his last 14 at the plate. Crowell quickly erased the slump tonight. Crowell followed Nelson’s homer with a bloop single down the LF line. In his next at-bat, he lined a leadoff single up the middle, before dropping his third single into CF to leadoff the 7th. The three hits tied a career-high for the true freshman. Crowell is now hitting .279. The Eagles refused to let Elijah Cabell get to his power tonight and Cabell did a good job of being patient at the plate. The outfielder reached base in all four of his plate appearances. Cabell walked three times, roped a single to the opposite field, and finished his night with a laser double to the CF wall to tie a career-high of five times reaching base. The double was his first of the season and pushed the Seminoles’ lead to eight. Cabell is now hitting .271 on the year and .421 with RISP. When Cabell and Crowell produce like tonight, they’ll protect the top four and make the lineup much deeper.
- Bonus: Nander De Sedas entered tonight in a major slump. The shortstop was three for his last 33 at the plate. De Sedas broke out of the slump with a lead-off home run in the fourth inning. De Sedas took advantage of a middle-middle fastball in a favorable count. The ball was drove out of the deepest part of the yard, clearing the LCF with ease. The Seminoles have won every game in which De Sedas has homered. After having a two career homers entering the season, the Panama native is on pace for double-digit homers in 2021.
- Bonus: Jack Anderson entered the game in the 8th inning after Martin’s grand slam. Just like recent outings, Anderson was locked in. The right-handed pitcher needed just 14 pitches to strike out the side in order. Anderson’s season ERA is down to 2.38 and the WHIP is down to 0.75. He’s also striking out 11.12 batters per nine. The Tampa native has been FSU’s best reliever as of late and will continue to see his role expand if this trend continues.
- Reese Albert is in the slumps of all slumps. On March 14th, Albert was sidelined with a concussion after hitting the outfield fence at Virginia Tech. He had hits in four of the next six games when he returned and looked to be turning a corner on the season. Since then, it’s been all struggles for the outfielder. In his last eight games, the redshirt junior has just one hit. After an 0-3 night, Albert is one for his last 29 at the dish and hitless in the last four games. The center fielder didn’t put the ball in play tonight, striking out in each of his at-bats. His season average is down to .176 and his strikeout rate is up to 42.9%.
- The Seminoles’ defense cost them in Gainesville earlier this week and wasn’t pretty again early tonight. In the first inning, Logan Lacey fielded a slow roller off the bat of Brian Dempsey. Lacey made a decent throw, but it couldn’t be handled by Tyler Martin at first base. It didn’t go down as an error, but it should’ve been an out for Messick. After two infield singles and a walk, Messick induced a weak grounder to short with no outs in the fifth inning. The grounder had a chance for a double play, but the ball squeaked under De Sedas’ glove to load the bases with no outs, leading to two BC runs and cutting the FSU lead to three. The first run came in without the baseball leaving the infield. After a strong defensive start to the year, the ‘Noles have made an error in six straight games.
- Florida State had a chance to put the Eagles away in the fifth inning. Crowell and Cabell combined with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with no outs. The bottom third of FSU’s order couldn’t capitalize. Albert struck out before De Sedas popped out in foul territory. Vince Smith ripped a ball to third base, but it was eaten up by Cimini to strand two Seminoles.