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Three up, three down: FSU baseball drops ACC opener against Wake

Florida State bullpen unable to keep Wake bats in check.

Syndication: Tallahassee Democrat Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK

Winston Salem, NC - Parker Messick and the Florida State Seminoles kept the game close through five innings before FSU’s bullpen struggles were exposed. Messick started off allowing two baserunners in the first inning before settling down and striking out 11. FSU added a run in each of the second and third innings but was unable to add more against the Demon Deacon’s starter, Rhett Lowder. Wake Forest finally figured out Messick in the fifth, scoring three runs, including a solo homerun by Danny Corona.

The Seminoles turned to Wyatt Crowell for the sixth, who promptly allowed four runs on four hits in just a third of an inning. Three of those runs were from Corona’s bat again as he deposited a three-run blast over the fence. Wake Forest would tack on two additional runs against the bullpen before FSU’s Brock Mathis would connect for his second homerun of the season. In the end, the final score was Wake Forest 9, Florida State 3.

Box Score

Game Thread

Three up

Parker Messick flashes in loss

It’s no secret that Messick is an ace and a future pro major leaguer, but it’s easy to forget just how dominant he can be on the mound, even when not all his pitches are working. Messick’s final line doesn’t do his performance justice, as he had Wake Forest’s hitters flailing at times, including three strikeouts against MLB prospect, Brock Wilken. Messick struggled with his off speed stuff but filled up the zone with the fastball and threw just enough off speed pitches to keep Wake honest. Messick’s final line was 5 IP, 4 H, 11K, 3 BB, 3 ER.

Brock Mathis takes advantage of limited opportunity

Mathis has yet to see extended playing time behind the plate for the Seminoles due to his need to improve on the defensive side of the ball but when given the opportunity at the plate, Mathis has made the most of his chances. Mathis came in late to replace Colton Vincent and took one out of the park in his only at bat. It is Mathis’ second homerun of the season in just 11 at-bats.

There’s certainly a battle brewing between Vincent and Mathis. Mathis has hit very well to start the season, much better than what he’s historically hit, but Vincent is a strong presence behind the plate and has the trust of the staff. Vincent also threw out his fourth base stealer in eight attempts. Mathis deserves more opportunities but Vincent probably deserves to remain the starter.

Logan Lacey remains a staple in the lineup

Lacey reached base four times against Wake Forest, including what should have been a two-run double, but a bad call at the plate limited the damage to just one run (more to come on that), in all Lacey recorded two hits and two walks. On the downside, Lacey was the only ‘Nole with more than one hit in the game.

Three down

Wyatt Crowell’s struggles continue

FSU wants and needs to depend on Wyatt Crowell but the sophomore has struggled so far this year. Crowell has yet to last more than two innings on the year and it’s mostly due to his control. Crowell threw 11 of his 14 pitches for strikes but he also gave up four hits including a three run home run to break the game open.

Bad calls hurt Florida State early

The home plate umpire didn’t have his best day, especially in calls that would have helped Florida State. In the first inning, after allowing a lead-off double, Messick worked a full count against Wake’s Michael Turconi. Messick then put one right down the middle, a perfect strike, which the umpire called a ball. This one didn’t come back to hurt Florida State, but his next mistake cost FSU a run.

In the third inning, Lacey shot a double to right field which scored Brett Roberts, but James Tibbs was called out at home after failing to touch the plate. The play quickly went to review, which showed a clear image of Tibbs avoiding the tag and placing his hand on home. The announcers spoke to how the play would be overturned, but after a lengthy review, the play stood and Tibbs remained out, keeping a run off the board. There were more inconsistent balls and strike calls throughout the game, again, mostly not in favor of Florida State.

Too many ducks left on the pond

Getting on base wasn’t the problem for Florida State, as the offense picked up eight walks and two hit by pitches. But the Seminole bats couldn’t capitalize. In all, FSU left 12 men on base, including five in the last two innings. The ‘Noles only struck out nine times and walked eight times but scattered six hits, four of which were singles. FSU’s offense will need to catch up to their weekend rotation if they want to live up to their preseason predictions.

Next up: Florida State will look to prevent Wake Forest from clenching the series tomorrow at 1 PM.