No. 25 Florida State baseball (19-14, 14-11) shut out Georgia Tech (18-15, 14-11) by a score of 9-0 for a game one win tonight. Four FSU pitchers combined for a four-hit shutout, their fourth shutout of the year. The shutout was FSU’s first shutout vs. GT since 2000 and first in ATL since 1985. The Seminoles’ offense broke out with an 11-hit performance. Seven of nine starters posted a hit and the ‘Noles blasted three homers. In the field, FSU made just one error.
- Matheu Nelson has been as good as any hitters in the country this year. When he steps to the plate, there’s a good chance something good is going to happen. Nelson set the tone early for the ‘Noles. After two quick outs, Nelson worked himself into a favorable count and took advantage. The catcher lifted a 3-1 fastball over the center field wall to give FSU the early lead. It was Nelson’s 16th homer of the year, making him the standalone national leader in HR’s. The home run tied Nelson with Drew Mendoza for the most home runs by a Seminole in the BBCOR bat era and we are just 33 games into the season. The Largo native also doubled down the LF line in the third inning for his 25th XBH of the season.
- If Florida State gets contributions from the bottom third of their order, they’re going to be tough to beat. They got that and then some from their bottom two tonight. Nander De Sedas led off the third inning with a first pitch triple off the very top of the left-center field wall. It was De Sedas’ second career triple. Two pitches later, Jackson Greene skied the baseball to the same part of the yard and got those couple extra feet for a two-run bomb. The homer was the first of Greene’s FSU career.
De Sedas extended the next inning with a two-out walk. A wild pitch put two runners in scoring position for Greene. The middle infielder laid down a perfect bunt, leading to an errant throw down the RF line from Brant Hurter. Both runners came home on the throw to open up a five-run lead. Greene also walked in the fifth inning. The second baseman is yet to make an error this year. If he can give FSU a big hit every few games, it will lead to lots of success for the Seminoles. De Sedas also walked in the ninth and Ryan Romano roped a leadoff single into center in the eighth.
- Parker Messick didn’t have his best stuff tonight but he battled to put together one of the best performances of the season. Last Friday, the Yellow Jackets scored 14 runs. Tonight, they were shut down by Florida State’s ace. Messick made big pitch after big pitch in six shutout innings. The command and efficiency weren’t at their best tonight, but he stayed away from hard contact all night. The Yellow Jackets produced just three hits and no extra base hits against Messick. In the first inning, he stranded two runners with a groundout. In the third, he left the bases loaded with a 3-2 CH for a strikeout. He stranded two more runners in the next inning with a weak grounder back to the mound. Messick posted a final line of 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 5 K, 0 R, and 101 pitches. His season ERA is down to 2.41.
- Bonus: Davis Hare was inserted into the lineup tonight against the left-handed starting pitcher. The two-way player gave FSU a spark in the middle of the order. Hare led off the fourth inning with a single up the middle. The next inning, he dropped another hit into center field with two outs. Hare roped his third hit of the day down the 3B line for a double. Through 13 AB’s, Hare has six hits.
- Bonus: The Seminoles’ defense came up with a couple big plays tonight. With two runners on and two outs in the first inning, De Sedas robbed Stephen Reid of a base knock. The shortstop ranged to his left, made a diving snag, and flipped to Greene at second to end the inning. In the seventh inning, Tres Gonzalez lined a ball into the right-center field gap. Logan Lacey tracked the ball down as Gonzalez headed for third. Lacey hit Greene in the chest before the second baseman made a strong throw to nab Gonzalez at third. Both plays were momentum killers for Georgia Tech. When FSU is playing defense like this behind the arms they have, they’ll be tough to beat.
- Bonus: Robby Martin put the exclamation mark on FSU’s game one win. With runners on the corners and no outs, Martin sent a baseball back to Tallahassee. The outfielder got all of a fastball up-and-in, sending it 425 feet for a 3-run jack to open up a 8-0 lead. It was Martin’s eighth homer of the season.
- Bonus: FSU’s bullpen was lights out behind Messick. Jonah Scolaro worked a 1-2-3 7th inning on 14 pitches. His ERA is down to 2.20. Jack Anderson tossed a 1-2-3 8th inning with two strikeouts on 13 pitches. His ERA is down to 2.22. Ross Dunn closed the game out with a 1-2-3 ninth inning on 12 pitches. He also struck out a batter and his ERA is down to 3.60. Florida State has one of the deepest staffs in the country.
- Messick stranded the bases loaded in the 3rd, but FSU got lucky to get out of the inning unscathed. The Yellow Jackets loaded the bases without a hit. The southpaw hit the leadoff hitter on a two-strike pitch. Three batters later, he walked Justyn-Henry Malloy with two outs. Messick induced a weak grounder to third to end the inning, but Ryan Romano short-hopped the throw to first to extend the inning and load the bases. GT couldn’t make it count, but late in the year FSU has to play cleaner and make teams beat them, rather than beating themselves.