Clemson, SC - Florida State traveled to a place it has struggled and once again got bit. Parker Messick pitched a very good game but some sloppy and unlucky play cost FSU the game. Both teams were given quite a bit of help as there were six errors scored in the game but an eighth inning grand slam sank the ‘Noles, 6-4.
Clemson jumped out to a one-run lead in the first inning after picking up a lead off double which was later driven in by a sac-fly. FSU tied the game in the second with an RBI double from Treyton Rank. The tie would not last long as the Seminoles grabbed the lead in the third when Jordan Carrion was able to score from third while Jaime Ferrer was caught in a rundown. Clemson’s Max Wagner evened the score at two in the fourth with a solo shot.
Colton Vincent would be responsible for the next two runs with a squeeze bunt in the sixth and then an RBI double in the eighth. The Seminoles would turn to Davis Hare in the eighth after Messick pitched seven innings. Messick’s final line was 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 8 K. Unfortunately, Hare could not continue Messick’s success. Hare allowed two singles to open the inning. He then induced two straight ground balls that only led to one out after a fielding error by Logan Lacey. To the plate stepped Wagner again for the Tigers and over the fence another ball was deposited for the Tigers, this time a grand slam. FSU would be unable to come back in the ninth, dropping game one by two runs.
Parker Messick is a good pitcher with good stuff but what makes him truly great is his ability to perform when he doesn’t have everything going his way. Against the Tigers Messick threw seven innings on 107 pitches giving up just two runs. He got hit hard a couple of times and those are the two runs that scored (a double and a solo shot) but only gave up four hits, didn’t walk anybody and struck out eight. Messick was good but wasn’t his best but he has the rare ability to perform at a high level in situations like that.
FSU heats up on the base paths even if not the score board
Florida State did a good job of not only getting on base but getting in scoring position. FSU had a batter reach second base in seven of the nine innings. On the day they picked up 4 doubles and were 8-19 on advancement opportunities. They did a good job of being aggressive on the base paths and taking advantage of Clemson’s four errors on the day. That’s usually a recipe for scoring a lot of runs.
The ‘Noles get contributions from new(er) faces
Jordan Carrion, Brett Roberts and Treyton Rank all had multi-hit games with Jamie Ferrar and Colton Vincent each pitching in with a double. That’s four new comers and a spot player providing all of your hits and almost half went for extra bases. This is a team depending on a lot of new faces but outside of Vincent all of these players are expected back for next year.
FSU should have scored more
FSU’s nine hits were all recorded by five batters and every player except Brett Roberts and Colton Vincent struck out at least once. Unfortunately FSU was only 3-17 with runners on base and just because it was the kind of day he had Lacey left four runners on. The Seminoles had been doing a good job of cutting down on the strikeouts but fanned 14 times against Clemson. Of note Lacey had two strike outs and Toral increased his team leading total to 61 with another three Ks. When they put the ball in play they did great, they just didn’t do it enough to win this game.
Logan Lacey struggles
Lacey has struggled quite a bit at the plate as of late but has played pretty good defense until today. In the seventh Lacey had a throwing error that didn’t end up hurting FSU but in the eighth things would really fall apart. Clemson led off the inning with a single to right field and a swinging bunt to third that Lacey couldn’t get out of his glove. Lacey got the unassisted out at third on the next batter but could have had a double play had he set his feet and not rushed his throw to first. The next batter grounded out to Lacey but the third baseman couldn’t handle the ball. The next batter hit his second home run of the day, this time a grand slam to give Clemson the lead.
Hare makes a bad pitch
Davis Hare has been a very good reliever for FSU this year and did a good job against Clemson. While he took the loss and was charged with four runs his defense didn’t do him much good. The single to lead off the inning fell just under Jammie Ferrar’s glove for a single and Logan Lacey had a very difficult inning. However, with the bases loaded Hare had Max Wagner down 0-2 but hung a slider to give up a grand slam and the lead to Clemson. It’s a tough loss for Hare who only had two balls leave the infield in the inning.
Up Next: The Seminoles will look to even the series tomorrow at 3:00 PM.