Over the weekend, Florida State swept James Madison to start the Link Jarrett era in Tallahassee, winning by scores of 12-7, 5-1 and 17-10.
Between big hits and plenty of runs, a major theme of the weekend was a strong offensive showing up and down the lineup.
“There were more positives than negatives,” Jarrett said following the sweep. “It’s hard to beat somebody three games.”
- As noted FSU came to the park to hit. On Sunday the ‘Noles scored in all but one inning. 16 of FSU’s 38 hits on the weekend went for extra bases and they only struck out 22 times. Hits were spread out up and down the order on the weekend so it’s hard to pick one, or a few, batters that really stood out. James Madison is not likely a tournament team come season’s end but it was a nice proof of concept from a coach that has traditionally had one of the better offenses in the country.
- FSU entered the season with a lot of questions on the mound and while none of them are going to be definitively answered after just one weekend the early returns are encouraging. The Seminoles got four innings of quality pitching from both Caron Montgomery and Jackson Baumeister while Wyatt Crowell and Connor Whittaker show that they are picking up where they left off last year. Doug Kirkland and Andrew Armstrong also looked good in the few innings they pitched.
- FSU started the season off right with a sweep. Baseball is a high-variance game by its very nature as a pitcher on a good day can shut you down or sometimes hits just don’t fall like you’d want them to. Opening weekends can be especially wonky as teams are knocking off the rust from the offseason and the nerves are through the roof when starting at a place like Dick Howser. However, the ‘Noles started off pretty strong this year and pulled down three wins in a weekend.
- Certainly the biggest question this year is going to be the pitching and while FSU showed some encouragement there it also showed how thin the pen might be. Outside of the few pitchers lifted above the Seminoles struggled to find outs. On both Friday and Sunday, the pen gave up multiple ninth-inning runs highlighted by seven runs on Sunday. The coaching staff has indicated they don’t feel great about the depth of the pen and this weekend did little to change that belief.
- Link Jarrett’s Notre Dame teams usually were pretty strong in the field, at least in the area of not committing errors, but so far the FSU version of that defense hasn’t looked the part. Some nice plays were made, especially by freshman 3B Cam Smith locking down the hot corner, but the Seminoles also committed seven errors on the weekend. Maybe this is just a case of opening weekend struggles and FSU is not likely to be turned into an elite fielding team after one off-season but fans will have to wait and see.
FSU travels to the Jacksonville Dolphins on Tuesday before heading to Fort Worth to take on a TCU team that beat up some good SEC clubs this weekend. If FSU can go 2-2 on the week fans should be very happy.
Feb. 21: at Jacksonville (6 p.m.)
Feb. 24: at TCU Horned Frogs (7:30 p.m.)
Feb. 25: at TCU Horned Frogs (3 p.m.)
Feb. 26: at TCU Horned Frogs (2 p.m.)