Anne Photograp News 2024

Florida baseball player Carson Montsdeoca hits 300 strikeouts at Fort Meade

Florida baseball player Carson Montsdeoca hits 300 strikeouts at Fort Meade

Fort Meade’s Carson Montsdeoca was dealing in a game against Lake Placid on April 30.

He knew before the game started that he had 294 career strikeouts, but Lake Placid, a team that had already defeated Fort Meade on April 15, had a squad ready to hit Montsdeoca’s fastball.

But it didn’t matter.

Montsdeoca was focused on winning their Class 3A, District 7 semifinal. En route to a 1-0 win, he struck out six and scored 300 for his career. The order to 300 was as follows: a fastball that painted the outside corner, an inside fastball that caused a swing and miss, and a slider on which the batter swung and missed.

“It feels great to be able to achieve something so big because it shows all the hard work I have put in over the years to get my command to be able to carry out many attacks,” Montsdeoca said.

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To discover: Carson Montsdeoca of Fort Meade knew he had something early on

A lot went into the 6-foot-4 pitcher reaching the milestone. He started pitching when he was 8.

When he first tried the sport, he had trouble throwing strikes. But the summer before his freshman year at Hardee, he got the call.

By the time his freshman year came around, he was locked up. He ended up striking out 43 batters that season. While the Hardee native also played quarterback in the fall — Montsdeoca was The Ledger’s 2023 Small School Player of the Year — he focused on baseball in the spring, finishing his sophomore season with 74 strikeouts.

That year he was recruited by the University of Florida. And that decision to become a Gator was made long before he ultimately struck out 88 as a junior at Fort Meade and 104 as a senior Miner.

This year, Montsdeoca has a 6-3 record, advancing his team to a Class 3A regional quarterfinal at Berkeley Prep on Wednesday, a chance to ultimately advance to the state playoffs for the third time in school history stands.

The multi-sport athlete enters the region with a .364 average with four home runs, 32 hits, an on-base percentage of .434, a fastball, slider, curveball and change-up of 91-93 mph.

For Montsdeoca, self-motivation is behind it all.

“I really didn’t have anyone who inspired me to start pitching,” he said. “It was just fun for me and I wanted to get the ball as much as I could. I was able to make a name for myself by pitching. I strive to go out and be the best pitcher I can be while winning games. …

“I just have more experience. I have more knowledge of the game. Knowing my pitches and being a year older has helped me. The conversations look different this year and I have a better understanding of what the coaches want from me, whether it’s at the plate or on the mound.”