No. 23 Florida State baseball (30-22, 21-17 ACC) ended their ACC Tournament with a 6-3 win over Miami (32-19, 20-17). The win completed a season sweep of Miami, as the Seminoles outscored the Hurricanes 40-5 over four games. FSU jumped out to an early lead to get back on track after a rough opening game on Wednesday. At the plate, the Seminoles produced seven hits and two extra base hits. Three of FSU’s six runs came with two outs. On the mound, the Seminoles allowed eight hits and walked five while striking out 13. FSU made just one error in the field. Mike Martin Jr. is 4-0 against Miami as the Seminoles’ head coach.
- After being blown out on Wednesday by Duke and trailing by five after the first inning, the Seminoles needed a quick start against the Hurricanes. The middle of the order provided the spark the ‘Noles were looking for. Logan Lacey was first to reach base on a one-out walk. Matheu Nelson followed with a line drive single into right to push Lacey to third. Robby Martin got the Seminoles on the board with a single into right of his own. After a strikeout, Dylan Simmons came through with a clutch, two-out knock to post a crooked number on the scoreboard. Simmons ripped Jake Garland’s first pitch into the right-center field gap to score both Nelson and Martin and extend the early lead to three. The two-out hit was Simmons’ fourth double of the season.
In the bottom half, Parker Messick worked around a two-out walk for a scoreless first inning. The southpaw struck out Adrian Del Castillo with a high fastball to end the inning. Today was the first time in the last four games and just the second time in the last eight games that the Seminoles have held the opponent scoreless in the first inning.
- Parker Messick was hit around in his last two starts coming into the day. Despite that, he was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year at the start of the week. Messick showed why he earned that award today. The bulldog attitude was on full display in Charlotte this afternoon. After the scoreless first, Messick ran into trouble in the second inning. Miami scored their first run on a wild pitch and had two runners in scoring position with just one out. The Plant City native got out #2 on a slow roller to first with the infield pulled in. He stranded both runners with an inning-ending strikeout on a full-count changeup to Tony Jenkins. In the third, Messick stranded a one-out double with his third straight inning-ending strikeout. The redshirt freshman looked to be running into trouble again in the fourth. Raymond Gil sent the first pitch of the inning just over the left field wall for his eighth homer of the year. Messick’s next pitch hit Alex Toral’s arm, but Messick quickly erased him off the base paths with a routine 4-6-3 double play. Alejandro Rosario ended the top of the fifth with a strikeout and had a few words for the FSU dugout. After Rosario’s chirps, Messick was at his very best. After a lineout, Messick posted his first 1-2-3 inning with back-to-back strikeouts. The lefty ended his day with a few words for the Miami dugout as he walked off the field with a 5-2 lead before a rain delay. Messick posted a final line of 5 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 R, and 85 pitches.
- The Seminoles took advantage of some Miami mistakes in the fifth inning to get their three-run lead back from the first inning. Jackson Greene led off the inning with a single through the right side of the infield. Greene now has a hit in four of his last six games and has reached base in nine of the last ten games. Ryan Romano, making his first start since May 1st, beat out an infield single to put two on with no outs. Tyler Martin laid down a perfect bunt towards third base. A miscommunication between the pitcher and third baseman allowed the ball to roll slowly towards the infield dirt as Greene scored all the way from second. The bunt went down as an RBI single for Martin, as no Hurricanes touched the ball. After Lacey reached on Miami’s second E6, Nelson just missed a grand slam with a sacrifice fly to the center field warning track to push the lead back to three at 5-2. The sac-fly was Nelson’s 64th RBI of the season.
- Bonus: FSU’s veteran arms out of the bullpen were lights out today. Clayton Kwiatkowski entered the game after a one hour rain delay. Kwiatkowski allowed a leadoff single on his first pitch, but quickly settled in. The southpaw induced a fly out for out #1 before striking out two straight Hurricanes to end the inning. Kwiatkowski has a 1.88 ERA in 24 IP. Conor Grady came out of the Florida State bullpen to get in work before a potential start in next week’s regionals. Grady, who was a reliever for the majority of his first two seasons in Tallahassee, was at his very best. Grady worked a 1-2-3 seventh with an inning-ending strikeout. In the eight, he set down three more batters in order with two K’s. Grady’s fastball was as sharp as it’s been this season at 92-93 MPH and the slider induced lots of soft contact and swing-and-misses. The redshirt junior lowered his ERA to 3.90. Jonah Scolaro entered the game with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning with a three-run lead. Scolaro battled Anthony Vilar for 10 pitches before putting him away with a curveball for strike three looking to end the game. The strikeout notched Scolaro’s first save of the season.
- Bonus: Logan Lacey provided insurance for the Seminoles in the 9th inning. Lacey lifted a two-strike pitch over the left field wall for a two-out solo home run. The solo homer extended FSU’s lead to 6-2. It was Lacey’s seventh homer of the season.
- The Seminoles’ defense didn’t give Messick much help in the first inning. Christian Del Castillo chopped a grounder to first, but Tyler Martin misplayed it and didn’t get a glove on the ball as it went for a leadoff single. Gil followed with a single through the right side, which would’ve been a routine play if he hadn’t been playing in double play depth due to the missed grounder. Carlos Perez shot a single into right field to push a runner to third with one out. A wild throw from Martin in right field, way up the third baseline and over Nelson’s head, would have allowed another run to score if Nelson hadn’t been able to quickly track the ball down. The errant throw went down as an error as Perez was able to move up to second with ease. FSU’s defense needs to do a better job of helping their pitchers out of jams and the outfielders need to do a better job of throwing the ball to the right places accurately.
- The Seminoles could have put Miami away in that fifth inning with another productive out or hit. Elijah Cabell came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out after Martin walked. Cabell struck out looking on a slider for out #2. Three Seminoles were stranded as Simmons went down swinging on another strikeout.
- Jack Anderson struggled to close the game out with a four-run lead in the ninth. Anderson has been lights out in the closer role for Mike Martin Jr. late in the season but struggled today. The right-handed pitcher allowed a leadoff single and walked the following batter to start the ninth. After a pop-up, another single loaded the bases with one out. Anderson induced a grounder for out #2, but another walk loaded the bases again and ended his day. Today was the first time since opening day that Anderson had multiple walks in an outing.