An unusual late-morning start and an early exit for Bryce Hubbart made for a rough game for Florida State.
Duke scored five runs in the first inning and the Seminoles needed to use nine pitchers in a 12-1 loss on Wednesday afternoon in an ACC Tournament pool play game. The Blue Devils won their ninth straight game, and they handed the Seminoles their most lopsided defeat of 2021.
“We got our butt whipped, plain and simple,” FSU coach Mike Martin Jr. said. “Beat us in every phase. We got to throw it away and be ready for another good team. Miami’s playing very well.”
FSU (29-22) generated just four hits, including Robby Martin’s solo home run in the fourth inning. Robby Martin went 2 for 4. Tyler Martin had a double and was hit by a pitch, but FSU hitters couldn’t bring him home.
The Seminoles walked just once and struck out 13 times.
FSU is eliminated from contention for the ACC semifinals but will play its second pool play game on Friday against Miami at 3 p.m. Parker Messick (6-2, 3.30 ERA) will start for the Seminoles against the Hurricanes, but the winner of Thursday’s Miami-Duke game will advance out of the pool to a semifinal on Saturday.
While the Friday game isn’t of significance for the ACC Tournament in the big picture, Martin Jr. told the team postgame to do what they could to put Wednesday’s loss in the rear-view mirror.
“Just clear it,” Robby Martin said. “Get ready for a big game on Friday. Can’t keep this loss on our minds.”
Martin Jr. was asked if Messick may skip Friday’s start but said his sore back is “100 percent fine. Now is not the time to miss a start.” Messick had battled back soreness ahead of the series against Clemson, which prompted him to start in the third game of that series instead of the first game. He also added that Conor Grady would be used on Friday in a relief role since he won’t be needed over the weekend.
Hubbart gave up a run in the first and loaded the bases before the Seminoles went to the bullpen and called on Tyler Ahearn. Michael Rothenberg then smacked a grand slam and Duke had a commanding 5-0 lead. The Blue Devils tacked on three runs in the fifth and three more in the ninth inning.
After Hubbart and Ahearn, FSU’s bullpen was called on early and struggled. The Seminoles’ pitchers combined to give up 11 earned runs and seven walks.
Ethan Murray and Erikson Nichols hit home runs as the Blue Devils had 13 hits and eight starters scored runs.
The FSU-Duke box score can be viewed here.
FSU will play Miami on Friday at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Regional Sports Networks and will stream on ACC Network Extra. Blackout restrictions apply in some areas and on some cable/satellite providers.