The Florida State baseball team takes a break from the ACC schedule to play host to Troy (20-19) in a three-game series beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. All three games will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.
FSU (21-15) is in a position where it just needs to keep stacking wins. This series won’t be viewed highly in the big picture from the standpoint of hosting a regional if FSU takes all three games but a series loss would be painful.
The Seminoles’ win-loss record doesn’t look great and in a condensed schedule it was going to be quite tough to hit the 40-win mark anyway. The team can claim series wins over Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Boston College and Georgia Tech — although there were chances to pick up a second win at Louisville, against Wake or to sweep Florida and those could have made the resume argument even better for FSU’s claim to be a regional host.
D1baseball.com’s projections have FSU playing at Nashville as a No. 2 seed in a regional hosted by Vanderbilt. It’s a very weird scenario in 2021 in which none of the Florida schools are viewed as potential hosts and the nearest host sites in the south are projected as Columbia, S.C., East Carolina (Greenville, N.C.) and Charlotte (N.C.). That could change but we will learn the regional site selections in mid May.
Here is a look at some notes on the Seminoles:
What a year for Matheu Nelson. But also quite the April. With still a game to go on Friday before the calendar turns, Nelson is hitting 18 of 55 (.327) with nine home runs and 28 RBI. He has a home run in four straight games. Nelson’s national-leading 19 home runs are the most for a Seminole hitter with the new BBCOR bats and it’s the most by an FSU hitter since Buster Posey surpassed the 20-home run mark in 2008 (he finished with 26). He also has 54 RBI, which easily leads the ACC.
Tyler Martin has been on base in FSU’s last seven games. He has played in 35 games this season and been on base in 30 of those games. His .485 on-base percentage is tied for second in the ACC and his 37 walks leads the league.
With Reese Albert sidelined due to season-ending knee surgery, look for FSU to continue using reliever/outfielder Wyatt Crowell as a two-way player. Crowell is hitting .263 with 11 runs scored. Davis Hare will also do more of the same — in 18 at-bats, he has seven hits and four runs scored.
Parker Messick leads the ACC with a 2.41 ERA this season but he has been remarkable in ACC games. He has allowed 10 earned runs in 53.2 innings — a 1.69 ERA. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his nine ACC starts, a model of consistency that sets the tone for the weekend on Friday nights. He also has allowed just 18 walks with 82 strikeouts in 56 innings.
FSU will keep its weekend rotation. The matchups on Friday: Messick (4-2, 2.41 ERA) vs. Troy RHP Garrett Gainous (6-3, 3.57 ERA). The matchups on Saturday: LHP Bryce Hubbart (5-2, 3.74 ERA) vs. Troy RHP Orlando Ortiz (3-4, 5.80 ERA). The matchups on Sunday: RHP Conor Grady (4-2, 4.14 ERA) vs. TU: RHP Bay Witcher (4-2, 4.53 ERA).