This is the recipe that works best for Florida baseball this season: a solid pass and a long ball.
Behind another strong start from ACC Pitcher of the Year, Parker Messick, and three home games, the Seminoles returned from an early deficit to eliminate South Miss 5-2 on Friday in Game 1 of the Oxford Regional.
FSU will play again on Saturday night against the winner of Ole Miss-Southeast Missouri State.
“We will continue to do things,” said FSU head coach Mike Martin Jr. “It may not look pretty, but we have a bunch of winners. … I’m going to fight them anytime. Special group.”
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The Seminoles came down early in the first inning thanks mainly to a pair of internal errors. The first four bullies in the Southern Miss squad reached Parker Messik, but the left ace of FSU settled in after that and did not allow another Golden Eagle to touch the home plate.
He made six innings and scattered seven hits and allowed zero runs.
“He’s an apostate. And that’s a good thing.”
Messic said: “One mistake from time to time will not kill me. In the rest of the game you have to give your team a chance. … At this point my job is to put zeros for my insult so they can bring us back lead. And it happened tonight. “
After a slow start, FSU’s crime finally found life in the sixth inning.
Tyler Martin reached for the fly dropped by the right player. After the starting pitcher of South Miss Hunter Stanley screamed at his teammate for the mistake, he subsequently ceded a two-time homer to Logan Lacey on the field 0-2. He then walked Matt Nelson before Robbie Martin played a double game.
Elijah Cable then hit his 15th Homer of the season, again on a 0-2 pitch to give Seminoles their first lead in the region. Cable was actually lost on the field, but still inserted the barrel and sent it over the fence.
“He’s so strong he doesn’t need a hand to hit him,” said Martin Jr.
Then the state of Florida extended the lead to the top of the eighth. Lacey took the inning with a double on the left line of the first field. Then Nelson, the ACC’s Player of the Year, smoked a 2-0 fastball over the fence in the left field to give Seminoles a 5-2 lead. This was the 23rd homer of the hunter’s season.
“He’s just a beast,” Lacey told Nelson, who is once again tied to the national leader in Homers.
That was more than enough for the FSU bull, which did not allow running, to sew the victory. Jack Anderson recorded the last four outs to push the Seminoles into a draw on Saturday night.
Martin Jr. said the coaching staff has not yet decided who will start tomorrow night, but it will be either first-grader in the red shirt Bryce Hubbart or junior Connor Grady.
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