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Florida State baseball sweeps James Madison to start the season

The Link Jarrett era begins in Tallahassee

Peyton Baker/Tomahawk Nation

The Florida State 2023 baseball season kicks off with the same opponent as 2022, with the Seminoles set to host the James Madison Dukes for a weekend series.

Last season the ‘Noles swept the series by overwhelming the Dukes in almost every category. JMU was projected to be a bubble team but couldn’t quite put it all together and ended the season just a game over .500. This series is likely to be more about FSU’s new skipper than the matchup.

Fans can expect to see a different team don the Garnet and Gold but maybe not at first. Link Jarrett has a history of fielding pesky teams that don’t generally overpower opponents but do the little things well enough to come out with a win. Expect this program to reduce the number of errors in the field and base paths along with strikeouts in the box.

Fans will likely see less of a dependence on the long ball at the plate but also fewer strikeouts as the plate approach will be simplified from the Mike Martin Jr era. Similarly on the mound pitching coach, Chuck Ristano will likely focus more on breaking balls than the power approach that now-Clemson pitching coach Jimmy Belanger previously prized.

That all said, Rome wasn’t built in a day so expect change to take some time.

Florida State will be replacing all of its starters on the mound but does return some talent. Carson Montgomery will get the ball to start the season followed by Jackson Baumeister and Jamie Arnold.

  • Montgomery has always had the goods but struggled to maintain control. He’s looked good as of late in the offseason but can he maintain that for a full season?
  • Baumeister, similarly, has always supported a top-notch fastball but hasn’t always been able to put it together.
  • Arnold is a consistent pitcher that, while he’s not likely to wow you with his stuff, has good control.

Fans will probably wonder why neither Wyatt Crowell or Conner Whittaker made the starting rotation. Keep in mind that this is just the rotation for the first week and things could change as the season goes on. However, keeping those two in reserve allows the coaching staff a bit more flexibility as to when they deploy their better pitchers. This also suggests that the staff isn’t thrilled about what they have in the pen to start the season. Hopefully, a few arms will emerge to help shoulder the load.

At the plate and in the field the ‘Noles will be led by Jaime Ferrer and Jordan Carrion with stalwarts like Colton Vincent sitting at crucial spots. Heading into the year most positions are up for grabs but familiar names like James Tibbs (coming back from surgery in the offseason) are crucial players. Cam Smith (3B) is likely to be the newcomer fans most come to know but there are plenty of chances for that to change.

Florida State vs. James Madison: Pitchers, how to watch

Friday: FSU wins 12-7

Behind a strong start from Carson Montgomery and a couple of 3-5 efforts at the plate the Seminoles took an opening day win from the JMU Dukes 12-7. Montgomery pitched well in a controlled start giving up just one run in four innings. Wyatt Crowell also threw well in his 2.2 innings of work.

The offense was led by SS Jordan Carrion and freshman CF DeAmez Ross. Ross picked up three RBI on three singles along with two stolen bases while Carrion had two RBI of his own on two doubles and a single. Carrion did struggle to knock off the rust in the field a bit with two errors. Freshman 3B Cam Smith recorded his first hit as a Seminole as he barely missed a home run to center but ended up with a triple. He also made some nice plays at the hot corner.

The one bug-a-boo for the ‘Noles was the pen. David Barrett had a good first inning in relief of Montgomery but only recorded one out the next inning on an outfield assist. Brennen Oxford came in and walked the only batter he faced before giving way to Crowell. Jaden Stockton entered in the top of the ninth with FSU up by eight and was able to get two of his first three batters out but struggled to throw strikes and ended up giving up three runs in the inning. Alex Armstrong came on to finish the game retiring the only batter he faced.

Opening Days can be adventurous. There’s always a lot of nerves from the home team, especially in a year that you have a new coach. On Opening Day the score doesn’t matter, just get the win and that’s what FSU did.

Saturday: Seminoles clinch series, 5-1.

Channel: ACC Network

Watch | Listen

Jackson Baumeister RHP 0-0 0.00 ERA vs Ryan Murphy RHP 0-0 0.00 ERA

FSU got another good start, this time from Baumeister. The sophomore threw well recording five strikeouts to two walks, two hits and one unearned run. Baumeister filled up the zone but a walk and a HBP in the fifth ended his day. Connor Whittaker took over and while he scattered some hits he pitched well enough to finish out the game and secure the win 5-1.

The offense wasn’t great on the day but Colton Vincent was. The senior was only one of two Seminoles with multiple hits on the game (Jamie Ferrer), one of which was a solo shot to give the ‘Noles the lead. FSU did a good job of working walks (5) and staying away from the strike out (4).

This game might remind some of Notre Dame that past couple of years. Link Jarrett’s club played pretty clean in the field while the other team didn’t (sun issues in the outfield), found enough good pitching and did just enough at the plate to win the game. They didn’t beat themselves.

Sunday: FSU sweeps JMU, 17-10.

Channel: ACC Network Extra

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Jamie Arnold LHP 0-0 0.00 ERA vs T.R. Williams LHP 0-0 0.00 ERA

After a back-and-forth affair to start the game, the FSU offense exploded to lead the Seminoles to a season opening sweep over James Madison, 17-10. The Seminoles jumped out to a 3-0 lead through the first two innings before JMU chased freshman Jamie Arnold in the third inning. Arnold lasted 2.2 innings in total with a pair of strikeouts. It was not a bad outing, but the JMU bats found a lot of open space in the third. Doug Kirkland made his first appearance since 2020, allowing one inherited run to score before ending the the threat. In all, Kirkland tossed 2.1 scoreless in his season debut.

Cam Smith immediately handed the lead back to Florida State in the bottom of the inning with a solo blast to right field, his first of the season.

From there, the Seminole bats poured it on with runs in every inning except the seventh (FSU did not bat in the ninth). James Tibbs and Titan Kamaka both homered in the victory and FSU ended the game with 20 total hits. JMU would plate seven runs in the ninth against FSU before the Seminoles ended the rally.

Up next: The Seminoles head to Jacksonville to take on the Dolphins on Tuesday.