Florida State’s Parker Messick won ACC pitcher and freshman of the year honors last season and he hasn’t slowed down so far this year.
Messick and Bryce Hubbart have formed the most effective 1-2 punch in the country through two weeks.
The redshirt sophomore left-handers have combined to strike out 46 batters and walk just three in 23 2/3 innings for the Seminoles (5-2). They’ve allowed one run and nine hits.
“They’re two different guys, Messick and Hubbart. That’s what makes it tough on people,” coach Mike Martin Jr. said. “They’re two totally different animals but cut from the same cloth of wanting to be the best they can possibly be.”
Messick turned in one of the top performances of the weekend, allowing one hit over seven innings in a 7-0 win over Samford on Friday. He walked none and struck out 13, his second straight outing with double-digit strikeouts and seventh of his career. He threw 85 pitches, 63 strikes.
“I was telling my coaches I don’t know if I’ve had a guy or seen a guy in college baseball as good as him,” Martin said. “He’ll gut things out when things aren’t going his way and when he doesn’t have his best stuff.”
Messick throws a mid-90s fastball, curve, slider and changeup — and all of them were working against Samford. Martin said calling pitches is like playing a video game for pitching coach Jimmy Belanger.
“Whatever pitch you want to call, just throw something out there and he’s going to land it,” Martin said. “They’re all above-average pitches.”
Hubbart on Saturday allowed four hits, walked one and struck out nine in six innings in a 7-1 win.
IN THE POLLS
Texas (8-0) posted two shutouts while sweeping Alabama in Austin and remains the consensus No. 1 team in the polls.
D1Baseball.com ranks Mississippi (6-0) second and Arkansas (4-2) third. Collegiate Baseball newspaper has Stanford (6-1) No. 2 and LSU (7-1) No. 3. The Nos. 2 and 3 teams by Baseball America are Stanford and Notre Dame (5-1).
Stanford had last week’s most impressive set of wins. Playing in the Round Rock Classic in Texas, the Cardinal beat Louisiana-Lafayette 5-1, Indiana 13-0 and then-No. 2 Arkansas 5-0.
Cardinal pitchers came out of the weekend on a 24-inning shutout streak and have now recorded four shutouts in seven games — one off last year’s total in 56 games.
Freshman Tommy White continued his early-season tear with four more home runs in North Carolina State’s three-game sweep of Quinnipiac. White is batting .588 through eight games and leads the nation with nine homers and 29 RBIs.
Granted, Tennessee hasn’t faced the level of pitching it will when it goes against Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma in Houston this week, but the Volunteers’ prodigious offensive production so far is nuts.
The Vols have outscored the opposition 117-7 while starting 7-0 for the fourth straight year, and their 16.7 runs per game and 24 home runs lead the nation.
Tennessee homered 13 times against Iona over the weekend and set a three-game series scoring record with 68 runs. The previous mark was 59 in a three-game sweep of Tusculum in 1909.
SAINT PETER’S FEAT
Saint Peter’s took of three of four from Coppin State, which, as D1Baseball.com pointed out, is notable because those three wins matched the Peacocks’ combined total of nonconference victories over the previous five years.
The Peacocks (3-2) are out to their best start since opening 5-1 in 2008. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference program lost 77 straight games over the 2017-18 seasons.
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