Tallahassee, FL- Florida State baseball completed the sweep of the James Madison Dukes this afternoon with a 10-4 win. The offense got the ‘Noles off to a hot start with eight early runs. As a team, FSU hit .374 this weekend. On the mound, the Seminoles struggled with free passes but stranded 15 Dukes on the base paths. This is FSU’s first opening weekend sweep since 2019.
FSU: 10 runs / 14 hits / 0 errors
JMU: 4 runs / 9 hits / 0 errors
WP: Jackson Nezuh (1-0)
- Top of the order: FSU’s top of the order has been dominant this weekend. Reese Albert has been the energizer bunny for the ‘Noles. After going 3-3 the day before, Albert started his day with a line-drive single to the opposite field. Alex Toral, who had 5 RBI on Saturday, drove in Albert with a line shot over the center fielder’s head for a double to take an early lead.
Albert led off the third with a double into the left-center gap. After Logan Lacey was hit by a pitch, Toral drove in both runners with his second double of the day.
We can get used to @AlexT_20 in Garnet & Gold!— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) February 20, 2022
Now with 3 doubles, a grand slam and 9 RBI on Opening Weekend after this 2-R dub
*and a great dance*
B3 | JMU 1, FSU 3 pic.twitter.com/3TtSSUzxIX
Brett Roberts followed with a single and James Tibbs drove in Toral with a double of his own. Albert’s hit-streak stretched to seven with a single in the fourth inning. Lacey followed with an opposite-field bomb which cleared the right-field fence for a three-run shot and put the ‘Noles up 8-1.
In the eighth inning, Roberts knocked in a pair of runs to extend FSU’s lead to 10-2. The Tennessee Tech transfer finished opening weekend 4-8 with four RBI and three walks.
- Timely pitches: Florida State’s pitching staff wasn’t its sharpest today, but it made pitches when needed. Jackson Nezuh entered the game in the third inning with the bases loaded and one out. Nezuh allowed one inherited runner to score on a sac-fly but stranded three runners on base with a strikeout on a 94 MPH fastball up in the zone.
In the following inning, a two-out double put two runners in scoring position with two outs. Nezuh stranded two more runners with his second K. Andrew Armstrong took over in the fifth inning. Armstrong worked himself into some trouble with two walks, but he induced a pop out to strand the bases loaded. Jonah Scolaro entered the game in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs. He promptly induced a foul pop up to the catcher to leave the bases loaded.
- Albert off to torrid start: Reese Albert’s struggles over the last two seasons are well known. Those struggles came after a handful of injuries. On opening day, Mike Martin Jr. decided to put him in the leadoff spot. The left-handed hitter made Junior look like a mastermind with his performance this weekend. To go along with the two base knocks mentioned above, Albert also had another single and was hit by a pitch today. He finished the weekend 7-9 with 6 runs, 2 RBI, and 3 doubles. He never struck out. Albert also played superb defense in right, including a leaping catch against the RF wall in the fourth inning.
- Dunn struggles with command: Ross Dunn made his first career weekend start today. The southpaw got off to a good start as he struck out two batters in a 1-2-3 first inning. In the second inning, Dunn induced two quick outs before walking two straight batters. Both walks came on a full count. He stranded both free passes with his third strikeout. JMU’s nine-hitter led off the third inning with a bunt single. The sophomore got a flyout to left, but two more full-count walks loaded the bases and ended his day. The lefty wasn’t too far away from having a strong outing. He seemed pretty amped up, as most of his misses were fastballs up. Despite being erratic at times the FB did plenty of work. Dunn finished with a final line of 2.1 IP, 1 H, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 R.
- FSU’s pitchers had to make timely pitches because of their struggles to find the strike zone today. In the first two games of the week, the ‘Noles combined to allow just four free passes. With some depth pieces throwing today, the staff gave up 10 walks. Armstrong walked two, while Brandon Walker walked three and recorded just two outs.
Up next: Florida State will travel to Jacksonville on Tuesday to face the Dolphins for the Seminoles’ first midweek game of the season. Carson Montgomery will get the start for the ‘Noles. First pitch is at 6:00 PM. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.