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Three up, three down: Pair of homers lead FSU baseball to series-clinching win over Troy

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Conor Grady sets career-high with 13 strikeouts.

FSU sports information/Ross Obley

Florida State baseball (23-16, 15-12 ACC) bounced back against Troy (21-21, 7-8 ASUN) with a 4-2 win to clinch the series in today’s rubber match. FSU baseball’s offense smashed two late homers to come from behind. On the mound, the Seminoles walked just two batters and struck out 15. FSU’s pen worked four scoreless innings to lock down the win. In the field, the ‘Noles made just one error.

Three up

  • Davis Hare has been a spark in the lineup for FSU since being put in the lineup. Today was Hare’s fifth start as a hitter and his first start of the weekend. Hare’s presence in the lineup, hitting seventh and DH’ing, changed the look of the lineup for the Seminoles. Hare jump-started the Florida State lineup with a leadoff double in the 5th inning. The redshirt junior scored on a Nander De Sedas RBI-single into center field. De Sedas’ single snapped a 17 innings scoreless drought for FSU. In the next inning, Hare gave the ‘Noles their first of the day with a 2-out solo homer over the left-center field wall. The home run was the first of Hare’s career. He’s now hitting .409 with five extra base hits in 22 at-bats. Hare needs to be FSU’s everyday DH moving forward.
  • Conor Grady allowed some hard contact today, but put together a quality outing with a boat load of swing-and-misses. After walking three batters and getting just three outs last week, the Tampa native bounced back in a big way today. Throughout five innings of work, Grady attacked Troy hitters. The veteran didn’t allow a free pass, making it a weekend free of walks for the Seminoles’ three starters. Grady got touched early, as Rigsby Mosley deposited a two-out solo homer over the right field fence in the first. For the rest of his outing, Grady was able to work around hits by staying away from the homer and coming up with big strikeouts. In all five innings of work, Grady struck out multiple batters. In the third inning, Grady limited damage to an unearned run with two crucial strikeouts and grounder. The redshirt junior set a career-high with 13 strikeouts, breaking a previous high of 11 against Clemson in 2019. Grady posted a final line of 5 IP, 7 H, 0 BB, 13 K’s, 2 R, 1 ER, 101 P (70 S). Grady’s season ERA is back down to 3.91.
  • It was another productive afternoon for Matheu Nelson. Troy had held the nation’s home run leader to no extra base hits through the first two games of the series, but Nelson broke out with two extra base hits today. In the fifth inning, Nelson came through with two on and two outs. Nelson ripped the ball past the shortstop and hustled to second for an RBI-double to tie the game at two. In the eighth inning, the catcher provided the Seminoles’ some insurance. Nelson lined a leadoff solo shot over the left field wall to double FSU’s lead. The homer was Nelson’s 20th of the year, the most by a Seminole in a season since Buster Posey’s 26 homers in 2008. The redshirt sophomore now has a hit streak of 10 games.
  • Bonus: Logan Lacey had a solid weekend for the Seminoles on both sides of the ball. For the second straight day and the 11th time this year, Lacey posted a multi-hit game. In the third inning, Lacey ripped a two-out single in front of the center fielder. Two innings later, Lacey extended the fifth inning with another 2-out single through the left side of the infield. The redshirt junior’s average is up to .288. In the top of the third, Lacey made a crucial defensive play with a man on third and one out. Lacey made a diving snag to his right before making a strong throw to third for out #2. Grady ended the threat with a strikeout.
  • Bonus: FSU’s bullpen was lights out today, as they were for the whole weekend. Tyler Ahearn relieved Conor Grady in the sixth inning. Ahearn worked around two walks for a crucial shutdown inning with three grounders to Jackson Greene. Chase Haney opened the seventh on the mound by making a nice play on a first-pitch bunt. Haney followed with a three-pitch strikeout. Ross Dunn was called upon with two outs and came up with four major outs. The freshman struck out the only batter he faced in the 7th on three pitches. In the eighth, he worked a 1-2-3 inning with a one-run lead. Jack Anderson finished the game off with three grounders for his second save of the weekend. FSU’s bullpen allowed just one run in 9.1 innings pitched this weekend.

Three down

  • Yesterday, the Seminoles couldn’t find timely hits. Early today, they couldn’t find a productive out to go along with the lack of timely hitting. In the second inning, the ‘Noles looked like they were going to crack their scoreless drought, but couldn’t get a productive out. Robby Martin led off the inning with a walk, before Elijah Cabell extended his hit streak to five games with a single through the left side. Both runners moved into scoring position with no outs on a wild pitch. Wyatt Crowell struck out after getting up 2-0 in the count. Hare popped up to first on the first pitch he saw. De Sedas stranded two runners with a strikeout to end the inning. It would’ve taken FSU two groundouts to take a 2-1 lead, instead they walked away with 0 on three non-productive AB’s.
  • The ball wasn’t put in play much with Grady on the mound, but FSU’s defense still let Grady down in the third inning. After a leadoff single, Logan Cerny ripped a ball into left-center field. Wyatt Crowell got to it, but the ball kicked off his glove and past Elijah Cabell. The kick allowed Troy to extend their lead to two and Cerny made it to third with ease and still no outs. The liner likely should’ve been a single, instead it went for a double and an error. FSU’s still looking for a defensive answer in center field with the absence of Reese Albert.
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