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FSU sets rotation for opening weekend

Left-hander Parker Messick has impressed as a freshman, over the summer and as he begins year 2 with Florida State baseball. And it comes as little surprise that Messick will be the Seminoles’ starter on Opening Day on Saturday.

Messick was 1-1 with a 0.77 ERA in 11.2 innings in 2020, allowing one earned run while striking out 19 (against just two walks). He pitched three innings in FSU’s road win at No. 1 Florida and was one of the top pitchers in the Florida Collegiate Summer League this summer.

“I have always been one of those guys that’s going to work for the top spot no matter what I got to do,” Messick said. “That’s what I did and it just really means a lot that your hard work is kind of worth it.”

FSU coach Mike Martin Jr. had said in the preseason the rotation was up in the air aside from Messick, acknowledging he was either in position to be the ace or in the mix for a weekend spot.

“He’s a bulldog on the mound,” catcher Matheu Nelson said of Messick. “He doesn’t care what you think of him. He’s going to locate it.”

Right-hander Carson Montgomery, a true freshman who is the highest-rated high school prospect to land on FSU’s campus and play baseball, will take the mound in game 1 of the Sunday doubleheader.

Redshirt junior right-hander Conor Grady will pitch in game 2 on Sunday. Gray went 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings (recording 15 strikeouts) in 2020. Opponents hit just .169 against him last year.

Osceola writer Nick Carlisle will have an in-depth look at the pitching staff on Friday as part of an interview with pitching coach Jimmy Belanger