Logan Lacey arrived at Florida State with thoughts he would pitch. He’s quite happy Mike Martin Jr. told him to pick up a bat and hit, though.
Lacey grew up in Tallahassee, attending Godby High and playing at Tallahassee Community College. As a senior at Godby High in 2017, he was the Tallahassee Democrat’s Big Bend player of the year (.438 with four home runs and 16 doubles and 135 strikeouts in 63 innings on the mound).
After spending time during the shortened 2020 season at FSU, Lacey has been a fixture in the Seminoles’ lineup in 2021 at multiple positions. He is often at third base but has also played in center field. Lacey’s .296 batting average and 12 doubles are second on the Seminoles to only Matheu Nelson, the ACC player of the year (.332 and 16 doubles for the FSU catcher).
In May, Lacey is hitting .338 (21 of 62) with 18 RBI in 15 games. He has four of his seven home runs in that month. Lacey sat down with the Osceola on Thursday to discuss the season, his role with the team and more. FSU (30-22) plays against Southern Miss on Friday at 3 p.m. to open the Oxford (Miss.) Regional.
After not getting to play a postseason in 2020, how fun has this year been and the journey to an NCAA Regional?
Lacey: It’s amazing. That’s what we’ve all worked for all year since we got here in the fall. We’ve had our mishaps here and there, but we’ve worked hard. We’ve come through. And we are where we are because of our work ethic as a team. We have a lot of chemistry.
You grew up in Tallahassee and followed the Seminoles. Was it always the plan to attend FSU?
Lacey: The nature of me growing up, obviously a hometown kid, I grew up watching Buster Posey and James Ramsey, all the greats. I saw how successful they were and so I knew there was something here that was allowing them to further their careers down the road. And I knew I definitely wanted to be a part of that. This was definitely the highest on my list. But I had to make sure. I had other teams talking to me and I just had to see what fit me best.
Did your parents, grandparents or relatives take you to games at Howser as a child?
Lacey: I started coming when I was really young with my grandpa. He started bringing me when I was about 8. And I played travel ball with a team called the Tallahassee Lightning. And I think I was around 12, we actually got to come out on the field that day. I was at shortstop. I remember looking at the fans, it was just a crazy feeling. I was like, ‘Wow, I really want to do this one day.’ It really helped me push forward and helped me with my vision down the road.
At Godby and TCC, you pitched a lot. What was the plan when you got to FSU?
Lacey: I came in initially to Florida State as just a pitcher. And I had light arm issues coming from TCC. But with the trainers that we have here, they got me right. And we have an unbelievable pitching staff. And so the coaches knew that, and I don’t think they needed me as much to play that role. And one day (prior to the start of the 2020 season), we just had practice and Meat needed more hitters. He knew that I was a two-way guy at TCC so he wanted me to come up. And I got a hit. He just wanted me to keep doing that every day. And eventually it turned into me just being a position player. And I’ve loved it. I don’t miss pitching much either.
You have started primarily at third base but also in the outfield. How much do you enjoy the various roles?
Lacey: Oh, yeah, definitely love getting extra gloves. It’s just more swag you get to have. I like playing all the positions and playing center definitely is a new one for me this year because last year it was mainly right (field), and there wasn’t much you had to cover. But center it seems like a whole new ballgame out there, you got a lot more ground you have to cover and you still have to be a leader out there and communicate. I prefer playing center or third base. I don’t really have a preference. It’s an amazing feeling being able to do both.
Third base can be difficult, it’s the hot corner but sometimes you also have to charge a grounder or bunt. How has the position challenged you?
Lacey: There’s not much I’ve had to learn. I have a great reaction. And what’s really helped me is I’ve always played short in the infield, so I always knew to attack the ball and use those hands. Meat really engrained in my head that third base is a hot corner, so you don’t really need to use two hands. It’s easier just for me to stick my hand out there and snag a ball. And I’ve also learned that I’ve got a couple of stingers trying to do that this year. And it’s really helped tremendously.
It seemed like you got more comfortable at the plate, hit a groove in April. Do you agree?
Lacey: Yeah, I felt really comfortable right at that Miami series (March 19-21). I was like, ‘Wow, I’m seeing the ball really well. And I’m really feeling it right now at the plate.’ And then I strained my hamstring and then that sent me back. I wasn’t able to see live pitching for a while. And I missed two series (a total of five games). It really hurt me coming back in because I had to get back into my groove. But the coaches were real patient with me and they allowed me to do that. I was able to catch up once I was able to get it going. It really sucked watching from the side and then not being able to help in certain situations. But I have a great trainer and he got me out there as quick as he could.
For a while FSU was under consideration to host a regional but now you’re on the road in Oxford. This team has played well, going 11-8 in road games. Why do you think that has been the case?
Lacey: I don’t really know what it might be. I guess it’s because we get to be on the road, we’re in hotel rooms and we get to be closer with each other, spend more time. And it’s a funny thing, a lot of people say that’s because other teams have batter’s eyes. That always gets brought up, which is pretty funny. But I don’t believe that has anything to do with it. And just the fact that we get to play in front of other fans and how they heckle us, I think that helps helps us lock in a lot more.