The beginning to Mike Martin’s final season at Florida State was almost perfect.
In front of a near-capacity crowd of 4,809 inside Dick Howser Stadium, No. 11 FSU (1-0) kicked off its 2019 season with the 10th no-hitter in program history in a runaway 11-0 win over the Maine Black Bears (0-1) Friday evening.
It’s the first Opening Day no-hitter in program history, the first since March 19, 2016 and just the second this century.
“First game of the last year,” Martin said with a chuckle when reflecting afterward.
“Never thought I’d be talking to y’all on the first day of the last year about a no-hitter pitched on Opening Day.
“It was a great memory tonight…It’s very special.”
It was the second straight FSU no-hitter that came in combined fashion as starting pitcher Drew Parrish was on an innings limit and was pulled after five innings of work.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Parrish said of the no-hitter.
“Can’t really beat that.”
Sophomore Conor Grady pitched the next three innings and junior Chase Haney closed it out for the Seminoles.
“We couldn’t ask for a better start,” Grady said.
“We couldn’t do anything better.”
FSU combined to allow just three baserunners, all on walks.
On The Mound
Parrish enters his junior season as the staff ace for the first time in his career.
After posting a 2.52 earned run average in 2018, he picked up right where he left off. He allowed just one baserunner on a walk and struck out five over five innings.
Grady picked it up from there and issued one walk over three innings, striking out four.
FSU turned to Haney for the ninth in his return from Tommy John surgery.
It was the first time he had pitched in over 18 months, but the stakes didn’t rattle him as he worked around a one-out walk to preserve the historic moment.
“It felt like it was a 1-0 game. I felt like a freshman out there. It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the mound,” Haney said.
“I knew the whole game (about the no-hitter). It’s something you don’t speak about, but it’s something that you know is going on. To have that opportunity coming into the ninth to finish it out it felt great.”
Around The Horn
The special pitching performance overshadowed what was a special performance by the FSU hitters as well.
FSU scored at least one run in five of its first six innings at the plate and took the lead in the bottom of the first before an out was even recorded.
It was a team effort as FSU combined to score 11 runs on 12 hits, but Robby Martin’s showing stands out.
The freshman had hits in his first three at-bats and finished three of four at the plate with five runs batted in in his FSU debut.
“He’s improved literally on a daily basis with his hitting,” Mike Martin said of Robby, with whom he has no relation.
“He’s a special hitter.”
Sophomore right fielder Reese Albert mashed a home run and a triple which came up inches short of being another as part of his two-RBI performance.
Junior centerfielder J.C. Flowers homered to straightaway center as well after he failed to homer in 36 games last season.
Drew Mendoza added two doubles and phenom freshman shortstop Nander De Sedas had one of his own along with a fantastic barehanded grab and throw to preserve the no-hitter.
2: For an FSU program that prides itself on plate discipline, it wasn’t often on display in the win over the Black Bears. The Seminoles finished with two walks and struck out seven.
4: Of FSU’s 10 no-hitters, this was only the fourth with Mike Martin as head coach. Along with the 2016 no-hitter thrown by Cole Sands, Cobi Johnson and Jim Voyles, Chris Chavez threw one in 1998 and Jerry Nielsen threw one in 1988.
9: FSU made the most of its opportunities as the Seminoles scored more runs than they left runners on base (9).
The Seminoles are back at it against Maine Saturday for a doubleheader. The first game is set to begin at noon with the second game a seven-inning affair that will start approximately 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first.
Maine 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Florida State 3 0 2 2 1 3 0 0 X 11 12 0
E – Kerbs, C.. LOB – Black Bears 3; Seminoles 8. 2B – SALVATORE, M; MENDOZA, D. 2; DE SEDAS, N.. 3B – ALBERT, R.. HR – ALBERT, R.; FLOWERS, J.. HBP – ALBERT, R.; CABELL, E. 2; SWANSON, C.. SF – MARTIN, R.. SB – CABELL, E.
2. Win – PARRISH, D. (1-0). Loss – Laweryson, C (0-1). Save – None.
WP – Laweryson, C 2; Small, J.; HANEY, C.. HBP – by Laweryson, C (ALBERT, R.); by Small, J. (CABELL, E.); by DeLaite, T. (SWANSON, C.); by Geoffrion, M (CABELL, E.).
Umpires – HP: Doug Lee 1B: Douglas Vines 2B: Kenneth Fitts 3B: Mark Humphreys
Start: 4:04 PM Time: 2:42 Attendance: 4809. Weather: 70 and Cloudy
No. 11 Florida State vs. Maine
When: Saturday, noon
Where: Dick Howser Stadium
TV/Radio: WatchESPN/106.1 FM