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FSU prepares for tough road test vs. No. 12 Va. Tech

The Florida State baseball team has had every intentions of playing a pair of midweek games but one has been lost to weather and a second to what coach Mike Martin Jr. called “inconclusive” COVID results.

Martin Jr. said three tests on Tuesday morning came back inconclusive and that they were expediting re-tests. USF’s coaching staff opted to not make the trip in favor of rescheduling the game for a time when both teams’ scheduled allowed. The Seminoles instead had an intrasquad scrimmage, with freshman right-hander Carson Montgomery on the mound. Montgomery would have been the starter had FSU played USF.

This weekend’s series at No. 12 Virginia Tech is on as scheduled, beginning Friday at 4 p.m. (all three games will stream live on ACC Network Extra). The Hokies are 8-2 going into Wednesday night’s game vs. VCU. FSU will stick with its starting rotation of Parker Messick (1-2, 3.52 ERA), Bryce Hubbart (2-1, 1.54 ERA) and Conor Grady (1-1, 3.86 ERA). Montgomery would be available for a short outing, Martin Jr. said.

“I’ve talked to quite a few coaches that have been there,” Martin Jr. said. “And they let a lot of students in and they’re pretty rowdy.”

Martin Jr. said infielder Logan Lacey is back but not 100 percent, while catcher Matheu Nelson is progressing but remains questionable for the series opener. Backup catcher Colton Vincent started on Sunday for the first time at FSU and would get the nod if needed at Blacksburg, Va. Martin Jr. said the coaches held catching tryouts and feel that infielder Jackson Greene is the best option, if needed. Freshman catcher Sebastian Jimenez is out for the season due to injury.

The Seminoles are hitting just .214 with 117 strikeouts in nine games. Six players have 10 or more strikeouts, including Robby Martin’s team-leading 17 and Reese Albert’s 14. 

“We’re battling some demons but we’re getting better,” Martin Jr. said. “We just got to stay the course.”