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Notes: Toral smacks HR as FSU holds final scrimmage

Florida State held its fan day and an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday afternoon. Here are some news and notes from the game, which did not use formal scoring and no umpires were used. FSU’s TrackMan system showed balls and strikes on the video screen and coaches made calls on the base paths.

Miami transfer Alex Toral hit a home run to straightaway center and it appeared that he hit it off the end of his bat. Toral is a big left-handed bat who could hit cleanup. He also showed a good glove, making a good snag on a ground ball.

“He’s a lot more of a complete hitter than I think he was given credit for,” FSU coach Mike Martin Jr. said. “He’s kind of a coach on the field. He’s a very knowledgeable baseball guy. So he’s been a great addition.”

Brett Roberts had an opposite-field RBI double. He also displayed a good glove, playing third and second. Connor Moore also played third. Treyton Rank also played third, Jordan Carrion was often at short. Shortstop Mayes White turned a double play that was started by second baseman Jackson Greene.

Freshmen Cade Bush, who played some first base, hit a double off the screen in right-center field. Freshman outfielder James Tibbs also had an RBI single.

Catcher Colton Vincent threw out three runners, including Roberts at third. Transfer catcher Brock Mathis struggled in the field.

FSU started a pair of left-handers. Bryce Hubbart gave up Toral’s home run but was solid in his few innings. Wyatt Crowell also threw a few innings. Right-hander Jackson Baumeister struck out the first hitter he faced but also threw a couple balls in the dirt.

Mike Martin Sr. and his wife, Carol, were in the stadium.

Reflections on preseason from Mike Martin Jr.

FSU opens the season against James Madison on Friday evening. No decision yet on a No. 3 pitcher for opening weekend.

Coach Mike Martin Jr. said the availability of Jordan Carrion (hip flexor) and Tyler Martin (shoulder) will be right up to game time on Friday. Martin Jr. on Tyler Martin: “Early on, he’s gonna definitely be limited. And it would be a hitting only situation. He hasn’t seen live pitching since Ole Miss.” With Carrion, who has been battling a hip flexor, he’s had a few good days and then aggravated it trying to score on a double on Saturday.

Because of depth at various positions, especially in the infield, Martin Jr. wants to platoon players based on whether FSU will face right-handers or left-handers.

The infield defense has been improved from 2021 to the preseason. Martin Jr. said the fielding has been more consistent overall. They will also shift more.

The view from the first-base dugout as Brandon Walker pitches late in Saturday’s scrimmage. FSU’s scoreboard displays real-time analytics for players and coaches. (photo by Bob Ferrante)