A six-game win streak did not give the Miami Hurricanes baseball team much momentum versus in-state rival Florida State on Friday night.
Florida State left-handed pitcher Parker Messick (2-2) struck out 10 batters while hitting three RBIs, and Miami (9-5, 5-4 ACC) dropped the opening game of the three-game series to the Seminoles 13-1 at Mark Light Field.
“Obviously not a very good start to the series and to the game,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “They [FSU] played a very, very complete game, their pitcher [Messick] threw well. We knew he was going to be a little tough. He was a tough guy to pick up left, a left-hander, he kind of hides the ball. You fall behind eight to nothing in the first two innings and the game’s certainly not over, and I don’t think we folded, he was just good. He pitched behind the count, he was able to throw his breaking balls and establish it for strikes; they played good defense when they had to make plays.”
Picking up his first loss on the season, Miami freshman starting pitcher Alejandro Rosario (2-1) relinquished a multi-run rally in the first inning. Florida State center fielder Logan Lacey began with an RBI double five pitches in, and Messick’s groundout RBI scored outfielder Robby Martin to push the Noles to a 3-0 advantage early.
The second inning would only get worse for Rosario and the Canes. Though the Miami native did not allow a home run through one-and-one-thirds innings, the RBIs continued flowing, in addition to a wild pitch and a throwing error.
“With Alejandro, it was his worst outing as a Cane and his balls were up,” DiMare said. “I think it was his composure, too, he didn’t settle down. I think he was a little hyped up when they got some runs on him, so he’s got to learn from his experience and understand that he’s got to make adjustments.”
Down by eight runs, Miami pitching coach J.D. Arteaga turned to the bullpen and called upon redshirt sophomore Jordan Dubberly, who pitched four innings. The Seminoles continued to tack on runs, as the transfer from St. John’s River State gave up three earned runs, striking out just two batters.
“I thought they did a good job of hitters staying short to the ball,” DiMare said on Florida State’s approach at the plate. “They put the ball in play, they hit some hard balls, and they did a very good job. Whenever you’re hitting pitches up in the air and line drives, the pitches are probably up, and he [Rosario] wasn’t getting that sink that he had been getting in keeping the ball down.”
Miami’s lineup, meanwhile, could not get on the board until late in the seventh inning, when junior outfielder Gabe Rivera, who smashed a grand slam at Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday, singled to center field. Junior center fielder Tony Jenkins then scored on a wild pitch with two outs.
Regarding shifts to the Miami lineup for Game 2 of the series, DiMare said that he had not transitioned to what left-handed starter Bryce Hubbart (2-2, 2.30 ERA) will bring for Florida State.
“We’re gonna have a lot of lefties in our lineup because Lala’s gonna hit in our lineup, Vilar’s gonna hit in our lineup, both Del Castillo’s are going to hit in our lineup,” DiMare said. “And Toral, we need to get him going, he’s been a little inconsistent and he’s going to be in our lineup. It’s a lot of lefties that are going to be in our lineup and of course Dom Pitelli is our best infielder, but he’s going to have to do a better job offensively if he’s going to maintain playing consistently in the field.”
DiMare added that Pitelli’s potentially improved impact at the plate would maintain Miami’s sound flow defensively, with the team having committed three errors on the night.
“FSU, I thought played very well and we just didn’t play,” DiMare said. “We played like on that opening game against NC State, and we played the worst game of the year, I think. We’ve got to turn the page and be ready to go tomorrow. We still can win the series, baseball’s a crazy game. You’ve got to be mentally tough and be able to turn the page.”
Miami and Florida State will take the field again on Saturday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network.