Tallahassee, FL- Florida State baseball opened the season with a 4-1 win over the James Madison University Dukes. The win was Mike Martin Jr.’s first opening day win as a head coach. Parker Messick picked up the win after 5.2 innings of one-run ball. The offense didn’t have a ton of fireworks on the night, but they grinded out at-bats. The ‘Noles struck out just three times and didn’t make an error on the night. On the mound, FSU’s staff combined to strike out 18 batters.
FSU: 4 runs/7 hits/0 errors
JMU: 1 run/5 hits/0 errors
WP: Parker Messick (1-0)
Save: Jonah Scolaro (1)
- The newcomers in the middle third of the order: Florida State’s offense is going to get a lift from a bunch of newcomers this season. A couple of those newcomers were on display in the second inning. After laying off a slider on the first pitch he saw as a Seminole, Brett Roberts drove a fastball over the right field fence for a solo HR. Moments later, freshman James Tibbs went the other way for a solo HR of his own in his first career at-bat. Tibbs’ first-pitch blast gave the ‘Noles a 2-1 lead. Roberts and Tibbs are going to be in the middle third of the order for the majority of the season.
Jaime Ferrer was another newcomer with a strong night. The freshman, hitting 6th and DH’ing, reached base in all three of his plate appearances. After two free passes in his first two plate appearances, Ferrer ripped a line drive into left for his first career single. The three newcomers in the middle third of the order combined to go 3-6 with two HRs and two walks.
- The bulldog: Parker Messick looked to be in midseason form on day one. Messick’s stuff was as sharp as it’s ever been to start the evening. He came out pumping 93-94 MPH with the fastball, which led to a 1-2-3 first inning with three K’s. The southpaw gave up a two-out solo shot to Travis Reifnider in the second but he quickly bounced back. From the third to fifth inning, Messick allowed just one baserunner. His day ended after a single and a walk in the sixth. He fell just one strikeout short of tying his career high. Messick posted a final line of 5.2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 11 K, 1 R, and 90 pitches.
- The bullpen: Jackson Baumeister turned down seven figures in the 2021 MLB draft to head to Florida State. Baumeister’s first appearance at Florida State came in a high of leverage situation. The freshman took over for Messick with two outs in the sixth inning and two runners on. The tying run stood at second and the go-ahead run stood at first. Left-handed hitter Kyle Novak stood in the batter’s box. Baumeister attacked Novak with his powerful fastball, which sat 93-95 MPH. The right-handed pitcher stranded both runners as he fanned Novak on a 95 MPH in on the hands.
Baumeister stayed in the game to begin the seventh inning. The freshman induced a shallow flyout to right field and picked up his second K. Baumeister’s day ended after a two-out walk, but Wyatt Crowell got a flyout to end the inning and strand the walk on base.
Crowell retook the mound in the eighth. The Dukes put two runners in scoring position with one out off a pair of weakly hit fly balls that dropped in the outfield. With JMU threatening, Junior called on his closer, Jonah Scolaro. Scolaro promptly got out of the jam with six pitches, striking out both batters he faced.
Scolaro retook the mound for the ninth looking for a five-out close. He shut the door on the Dukes with ease. The first out of the ninth came on a four-pitch K. After a single, he induced a weak tapper to second for out #2. He finished the game out with his fourth K on a sweeping slider. Scolaro’s final line was 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 18 pitches (17 strikes).
- Bonus: FSU’s approach at the plate made JMU pitchers grind out at-bats all night. In the sixth inning, that approach helped the ‘Noles add on two runs. Reese Albert laid down a perfect bunt for a leadoff single. Logan Lacey moved Albert to third as he roped a double into the opposite field gap. With Alex Toral coming to the plate with two runners in scoring position, JMU went to the pen for a left-handed arm. Toral fought off a couple two-strike offspeed pitches before driving in Albert with a sac-fly to left. Lacey crossed the plate a few pitches later after a wild pitch and a passed ball to extend the lead to 4-1.
- None, as clean of an opening day as you can ask for (especially after the last two seasons).
Up next: Game two of the series will be at 2:00 PM tomorrow. Bryce Hubbart will be on the mound for the ‘Noles.