Florida State Head Coach Mike Martin Says Fontenot Pitched Like A “Warrior”

Although LSU was lost in the Super Regionals to a very good Florida State team, there was one story that the LSU faithful could hang their hats on. After Sunday’s loss, in his post game press conference, Florida State’s Hall of Fame head coach Mike Martin had some words of encouragement for the LSU fans.

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Coach Martin, who is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I college baseball history with 2,028 wins and 17 College World Series appearances had this to say about LSU reliever, Devin Fontenot,

“I know you probably won’t use it, but Fontenot, what a warrior. . . this Fontenot kid is a sophomore, I had the pleasure of talking to him and he’s gonna work hard this summer, come out and try to be better next year. He’s got a great attitude about life, and I just want to pass that along.” Coach Martin added that he’d, “take two of them every single year.”

That’s just great to hear from a legendary head coach that a young player, like Fontenot, is someone that he wanted people know played his heart out, and is someone he’d take two of them every single year. I think that is just a lot of class from a coach that just won his 17th Super Regional. He didn’t even have to mention it or say a thing, but Fontenot’s performance was so strong that he needed to say it, even if no one was listening. Coach Martin even met with Fontenot after the game to tell him in person how impressed he was with his performance that night.

That is hopefully something that Devin Fontenot will take with him for the rest of his baseball career. Fontenot entered into the game in the sixth inning, and only allowed one run and two hits in 6.1 innings. He struck out a career-high 11 batters out of 22 faced, and threw a career-high 97 pitches, which was previously 46 pitches.

What I think Fontenot told us with his performance on Sunday was that he can be a starter. He certainly proved himself to not just me, but also Coach Martin.

 

-Parmesan Don

@soft7parm

Dialing up FSU and LSU’s Chances in the Super Regional

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LSU looked dominant in the Baton Rouge Regionals; they went 3-0 and won pretty handedly against Stony Brook and Southern Miss. It does seem like the offense is clicking on all cylinders, and so is the pitching. Their first game against Stony Brook really set the tone of the Regional by absolutely destroying them 17-3. Then LSU, in my opinion, handled USM easily in their second and third games, winning 8-4 and 6-4. It just never felt like the games were in doubt. Everything was just rolling the Tiger’s way. Playing at home really helped with that, and thanks to Georgia getting knocked out of the postseason, LSU gets to host the Super Regional against an old baseball powerhouse, FSU.

Although FSU wasn’t the team they usually are this season, they still played well enough to finish 6th in the ACC, and their win over NC State in the ACC Tournament was a big help in their seeding, 3 seed, in the Athens Regional. In that Athens Regional, FSU did not play like a 3 seed, however. They tore that Regional up. FSU was able to win all 3 of their games and beat the 1 seed, and number 4 national seed, Georgia twice! They didn’t just win these games though, they were able to win handedly (12-3 and 10-1). It was an absolute rout.

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In the entire Athens Regional, Florida State scored 35 runs and only allowed 11. In these games, the Seminoles hit 9 home runs and batted .375. Needless to say, Florida State is hot, but I think they going to have a rude awakening once they get to Baton Rouge and play in Alex Box Stadium. In road games this year, FSU has a record of 9-10, and history has proven that they struggle in Super Regionals away from home. Although the Seminoles have reached the Super Regionals 17 of the last 21 years, they have gone 0-5 in Super Regionals away from Tallahassee. That advantage for LSU is just too great.

No matter how hot you might think Florida State is right now, LSU is just as hot, and has just so much more talent on their team. If this were in Tallahassee then this might have a different expectation and might be a closer series, but LSU at home is just too scary for any team. We are forgetting that LSU was the preseason number 1 team this year, and they are just now starting to play like it. FSU might get one, but LSU has a great chance to win this Super Regional.

LSU in 3. Book it.

Baton Rouge Super Regional Schedule:

June 8 – 3:00 PM ET – ESPN

June 9 – 6:00 PM ET – ESPN2

June 10 – 8:30 PM ET – ESPN (If Necessary)

 

-Parmesan Don

@soft7parm

ACC Tournament Final Prediction

First of all, this has been a really fun ACC Tournament. A lot of fun games. I have been tremendously surprised by the play of Florida State. I didn’t even think they would make it past Virginia Tech, much less Virginia. So that being said, let’s drive right into this championship game.

Florida State vs. Duke

When: 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN

Spread: Duke -8

Over/Under: 146.5

The only other time these teams met this year, it was a shootout. Duke ended up winning the thriller at Florida State 80-78. Duke still has more to show in this ACC tournament. Last night’s win over their biggest rival, North Carolina, was exhausting and full of emotion. I think that it might have taken a lot out of some of these guys, but now they have this confidence they didn’t have before the tournament. Duke has now gotten over the hurdle of beating North Carolina this season. If this were the regular season and they were playing at Florida State, then some might say that Duke is due for a letdown game. I don’t see that happening in this ACC Tournament final though.

That being said, Florida State has impressed me immensely. They have really made me eat my words time and time again in this tournament. I am shocked with the level of play they have had so far. I think that they can really carry their level of shooting and defensive abilities throughout the tournament into this game. As much as I’m going to hate saying this, Duke is just a much better team. I know I have been picking against Florida State all tournament long, but the addition of Zion Williamson back into the lineup has proven to be so effective. It is true how good Zion really is. I don’t think anyone in the country can have an answer for him. However, some credit for Florida State, I think that they are going to beat the spread. That’s a big spread for a conference championship game. This will be fun to watch and a close game throughout. Duke will be your 2019 ACC Tournament Champions.

Prediction: Duke 77 – 71 Florida State

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-Parmesan Don

@soft7parm

ACC Tournament Quarterfinal Afternoon Games Prediction

North Carolina St. vs. Virginia

When: 12:30 p.m. ET ESPN

Spread: Virginia -11

Over/Under: 132

In their only meeting all year, NC St. took Virginia to Overtime and lost 66-65 at home. The home court advantage might have been one of the factors that played a role in their success in that game. For Virginia, they are obviously one of the best teams in the country. They have lost only two games this season and both of those were to Duke. Where Virginia has thrived, NC St. has struggled. They aren’t the most fun team to watch offensively; however, like Virginia, they are a really good defensive team. That being said, Virginia is the best defensive team in the country. If NC St. could only put of 24 points against Virginia Tech, then I don’t think that they are going to really pour it on this Virginia team. Virginia is also one the best offensive teams in the country and have plenty of weapons that can hurt you from both inside and out. I just don’t see this being much of a game from the start. Virginia is going to win this pretty handedly and it’s going to be low scoring. NC St. will struggle in the first half to score more than 30 points, and I don’t see it getting much better in the second.

Prediction: Virginia 71 – 59 North Carolina St.

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Virginia Tech vs. Florida State

When: 2:30 p.m. ET ESPN

Spread: Virginia Tech -1

Over/Under: 134.5

These two teams have played once this year and it was at Florida St. That game ended with FSU pulling out the victory in Overtime 73-64. That was a game in which Virginia Tech looked as though they had that game locked. They were leading for most of the game and then were outplayed by FSU in the final few minutes. Then in Overtime FSU took over, outscoring Virginia Tech 12-3.

I do not see this game following the same storyline. While FSU is a really strong team, they tend to fall back early. That being said, they tend to finish strong. I think that the key for Virginia Tech is to use their strong offense. They are one of the best shooting teams in the country. FSU will try to use their stellar defense against the strong shooters of Virginia Tech and it’ll be fun to what. However, the real difference is Virginia Tech’s defense, I think, is significantly better than FSU’s offense. While FSU is a very good offensive team, I think that Virginia Tech is just too strong on defense. This will start with Virginia Tech with an early lead going into halftime that will eventually be whittled down by FSU, but ultimately won’t get there. I think Virginia Tech wins this fight, and avenges their earlier Overtime loss at FSU, proving that they are a team to watch out for.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 70 – 67 Florida State

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-Parmesan Don

@soft7parm