Parker Messick will get the ball for Florida State in the regional opener against Southern Miss on Friday. The teams will face off at 3 p.m. (ESPNU).
“They’re a great offense,” Messick said. “They got a lot of good hitters. Nothing is going to change from my side. I’m going to pitch my baseball and do what I know how to do.”
FSU opens the NCAA Regional at Oxford, Miss., in an unusual spot. Beyond being on the road for regional play, something that beyond the 2019 trip to Georgia has been out of the norm for the program, the Seminoles are a No. 3 seed and can’t afford a first-game loss in the double-elimination, four-team regional.
While FSU coach Mike Martin Jr. could have turned to Bryce Hubbart or veteran Conor Grady, Messick is the best choice to get the Seminoles (30-22) off to a solid start.
The ACC’s pitcher and freshman of the year, Messick is 7-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 2021. He has 121 strikeouts and just 23 walks in 84 innings. While he had a few rough starts in May against Clemson and NC State, Messick has been quite consistent. He has pitched five or more innings in 13 of his last 15 starts. Messick also allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of 13 ACC starts.
FSU will play on Saturday against either Ole Miss, the regional’s top seed, or No. 4 seed Southeast Missouri State. It’s not clear who will start in game 2 for FSU, but Martin Jr. could go with Hubbart or Grady.
Matthew Kinney is in his fourth year at Southeast Missouri and is a familiar name for the Seminoles. He played at Belmont from 2012-15 and then transferred to FSU in 2016, where he appeared in 27 games out of the bullpen. Kinney also earned his sport management master’s degree. Beyond the connection with Martin Jr., Kinney was a teammate with then-freshmen Chase Haney.
For a statistical look at each of the regional’s teams, click here to read up on Ole Miss, Southern Miss, FSU and Southeast Missouri State.
Tomahawk Nation’s Brett Nevitt and theOsceola.com’s Ariya Massoudi also have posted a pre-NCAA Regional podcast to preview FSU and the other three teams on Sunday Golds. Listen on the Apple podcast app or on Spotify.