BATON ROUGE, La. – Tim Becker came up to the plate again in the postseason in a pressure situation. And the senior walk-on keeps delivering.
Becker had a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning that scored Matheu Nelson to break the tie before Reese Albert added a solo home run in the ninth as Florida State defeated LSU 6-4 in game 1 of the Super regional on Saturday night.
“Certainly you’re just hoping that he is trying to do what Meat (Mike Martin Jr.) spends so much time in doing and that’s protecting, not jumping out there,” FSU coach Mike Martin Sr. said. “He did a very good job of driving in Nelly with a big run because he refused to do anything other than what he’s been working on.”
Becker hadn’t been given many opportunities but he has already moved into the category of beloved postseason legend. He hit three home runs and had seven RBI in the Athens Regional after going 8 for 32 with four RBI in the regular season and ACC Tournament.
“Obviously Tim has done pretty well for us as of late,” Albert said. “He’s just a great guy. He’s a great teammate. He never gets down on himself. Just because of who he is it puts a lot of confidence in us that he’s going to get the job done for us.”
Loud, intense atmosphere
What makes FSU’s comeback worth savoring? Beyond the postseason stakes, it’s that the Seminoles were able to do it against LSU, on the road and settled down an intense crowd of 11,636.
“It’s just them,” Martin said. “They’re winners. And it takes winners to overcome this great environment that’s here. And I mean, it was loud. We’re proud to be here. We know there is a lot of baseball left to be played. We can’t fall in love with ourselves because we know we are playing one of the top teams in the country in front of the loudest fans I have ever played in front of in 45 years of coaching.”
Bullpen saves the day
With junior left-hander Drew Parrish going just 4.2 innings on Saturday, the pressure was on FSU’s bullpen to carry the load. And a bullpen that has often struggled in 2019, had one of its best collective nights, combining to throw 4.1 shutout innings.
Chase Haney (1.1 innings), Antonio Velez (1 inning) and J.C. Flowers (2 innings) faced just 17 hitters and gave up only two hits and two walks. One error allowed a baserunner but he was quickly erased by a double play turned by Mike Salvatore.
“I think our bullpen did a tremendous job,” Flowers said. “They came in, threw quality strikes.”
Velez (4-2) earned the win, while Flowers recorded the save (his 12th).