Tallahassee, FL- Florida State baseball clinched their opening series with a 13-2 win over the James Madison Dukes on Saturday afternoon. For the second straight day, FSU got a dominant outing from their left-handed starter. Bryce Hubbart picked up his first win of the season with five scoreless innings on the mound. Four FSU hitters had multi-hit games and six separate ‘Noles picked up at least one RBI. Reese Albert led the way with three hits, while Alex Toral had five RBI.
FSU: 13 runs / 16 hits / 2 errors
JMU: 2 runs / 8 hits / 2 errors
WP: Bryce Hubbart (1-0)
- Hubbart dominates: Bryce Hubbart was as dominant as he’s ever been as a Seminole this afternoon. That dominance started from pitch one. The southpaw struck out the side in the first inning. In the second inning, he followed a leadoff single with three straight K’s. He worked a perfect third inning, including two K’s. In the fourth, he stranded a runner in scoring position with his 10th K. The Winter Garden native struck out the side in the fifth to set a career high 13 strikeouts.
Hubbart dominated mostly with his fastball up in the zone, which sat 89-91 MPH. Even if he told JMU hitters that the FB was coming, they weren’t going to hit it. He also pounded the zone with 75% strikes. Hubbart posted a final line of 5 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 13 K, 0 R, 75 pitches.
- Toral’s grand salami: Alex Toral’s going to mash as a Seminole in Dick Howser Stadium. Through his first five at-bats, he had already put two balls off the right field fence. In his sixth at-bat, he cleared it by a mile. After Reese Albert drove in a run with an RBI-single to right, Logan Lacey walked to load the bases with no outs for Toral. Toral turned on a fastball on the inner third of the plate and everybody in the park knew it was gone as soon as it left his bat. As he was rounding third and heading for home, the Miami transfer broke out the Tomahawk chop with FSU’s lead extended to seven. Toral finished the day 2-4 with 5 RBI.
- Relentless offense: The Seminoles’ offense was relentless today. The ‘Noles only scored two runs through the first four innings, but put up back-to-back five-run innings in the fifth and sixth innings. Freshman Treyton Rank led off the sixth with a double off the right field fence for his first career hit. After Jackson Greene walked, Albert doubled down the left field line for his second RBI. Lacey followed with an RBI-single to extend the lead to nine. Brett Roberts made it a double-digit lead with a sac-fly. Freshmen Jaime Ferrer and James Tibbs each drove in a run with back-to-back doubles.
- Bonus: Freshman Conner Whittaker and UNC transfer Joe Charles both made their FSU debuts out of the bullpen. A single and an error put Whittaker in a bit of a jam in the sixth inning. After a fly-out to RF, Whittaker stranded both runners with an inning-ending strikeout. Charles took over the mound in the eighth inning and showed off his dynamic arm. The fastball sat 93-94 MPH. He struck out two batters looking on his slider in the low-80s. The RHP worked a 1-2-3 frame.
- Baserunning: FSU’s baserunning cost them a couple of runs this afternoon. Isaiah Perry led off the bottom half of the first with a walk. Perry was picked off by JMU’s lefty starter, Donovan Burke, moments later for out #2. A couple pitches later, Toral doubled off the right field screen. If it wasn’t for the pickoff, the speedy Perry likely would’ve scored. In the third inning, FSU had a chance to tack on a third run. A groundball through the first baseman’s leg trickled into the outfield. Lacey looked like he would score easily, but he missed the base rounding third and had to retreat back. In the fifth inning, Brett Roberts was picked off first base for FSU’s third out on the base path.
Up next: Game three of the series will be at 1:00 PM tomorrow. Ross Dunn will be on the mound for the ‘Noles.