Who’s the Pack playing?
Opponent: Florida State
Mascot: Seminoles | School Location: Sabre Headquarters, FL | Conference: ACC
2023 Record: 13-19 (4-11, 7th Atlantic) | 2023 RPI Rank: 58
2022 Record: 34-25 (15-15, 4th Atlantic) | 2022 RPI Rank: 33
2021 Record: 31-24 (20-16, 3rd Atlantic) | 2021 RPI Rank: 45
When? Where? How do I watch?
Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)
Game Time(s): Fri, Apr 14 @ 6:00pm | Sat, Apr 15 @ 7:00pm | Sun, Apr 16 @ 2:00pm
TV: Friday (ACCNX), Saturday (ACC Network), Sunday (ACCNX)
Radio: The Varsity Network (Friday | Saturday | Sunday)
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Tell me about this team
I don’t think this is what Florida State had in mind when they hired Link Jarrett.
The Seminoles are currently in the midst of a 2-16 skid the likes of which, I think it’s safe to assume, the program has never seen before. Granted, 12 of those 18 games have come against teams ranked 11th or better in RPI, with another three against a Clemson squad that ranks 32nd... but still. This is unfamiliar territory for a program that has played in an NCAA Regional every year since 1977.
Maybe this is what the program gets for running Mike Martin Jr out of town after just two full seasons, or maybe the situation within the program was that dire that a full reset was necessary. What’s for sure is that 1) Link Jarrett is one hell of a good coach, 2) it’s way too early to pass judgement on his FSU program, and 3) there is still talent by the bushel on that roster.
If there’s one area where this team has fallen woefully short of expectations, it’s on the mound. Heading into the season, the general consensus was that Florida State had the second best starting rotation in the conference, behind only Wake Forest and their absurdity of arms. Carson Montgomery, Jackson Baumeister, and Wyatt Crowell were all guys looking at 2nd-to-3rd round grades in the 2023 MLB Draft, but with the tools that could see them jump into the 1st round with a big year. That hasn’t happened, and the Seminoles have seen their team ERA balloon from 4.23 last year to 5.45 this year. The main culprit has been control (walking 5.32 batters per nine innings this year, up from 3.54 last year). Worse yet, Crowell - who hasn’t pitched in about a month - is officially out for the rest of the year as he underwent Tommy John Surgery yesterday.
Link Jarrett teams will always be able to swing the sticks, and this one is no different, but the depth just isn’t there yet. James Tibbs, Jaime Ferrer, and Cam Smith are nice pieces to build around.
This may not be the year that FSU fans had in mind, but I wouldn’t bet against Jarrett in the long run. Heck, this is still a team that is talented enough to win the ACC Tournament - if they can make it in - and keep the postseason streak alive.
Who’s on the mound for these guys?
Friday: RHP Jackson Baumeister (SO)
Saturday: RHP Conner Whittaker (SO)
1B James Tibbs (SO) - .328/.469/.664, 20.4 BB%, 20.4 K%, 2-2 SB. Stocky 6’0, 200 lbs future corner outfielder who absolutely crushes balls. He’s a 2024 1st rounder. Absurdly good hitter.
RF Jaime Ferrer (SO) - .356/.392/.570, 3.5 BB%, 16.1 K%, 2-3 SB. Another fantastic hitter with great contact skills to complement the power. He’s an aggressive swinger, though, whose biggest development will need to be patience.
3B Cam Smith (FR) - .250/.323/.475, 9.8 BB%, 27.1 K%, 2-4 SB. Big time recruit who showed up to campus and lit it up in the fall. That hasn’t completely transferred to the spring, but he’s still showing why the hype was there. A big year next year could see him drafted in the 1st round as a 2024 eligible player.
SS Jordan Carrion (JR) - .294/.328/.421, 4.4 BB%, 19.7 K%, 2-2 SB. Transfer from rival Florida. A defensive wizard up the middle, he’s a groundball hitter who tries to utilize his speed to get on base. He’s pounded out a lot more XBHs this year, but his walk rate is almost half his career average.
RHP Jackson Baumeister (SO) - 2-2, 3.47 ERA, 36.1 IP, 9.7 BB%, 32.7 K%. Draft-eligible sophomore who may work his way into the tail end of the 1st round if a team projects him well enough. Mid-90’s heater with a slider, curve, and changeup to complement. He’s shown better control this year and his numbers would be even better if not for some bad luck (opponents have a .391 BABIP against him).
RHP Conner Whittaker (SO) - 3-3, 4.93 ERA, 42.0 IP, 5.9 BB%, 22.5 K%. Pounds the zone and pitches to contact, but still has the ability to rack up strikeouts in a hurry. Doesn’t have the prototypical size of a starter, but he’s good. His changeup is his best pitch.
RHP Carson Montgomery (JR) - 0-2, 1 SV, 6.00 ERA, 33.0 IP, 14.7 BB%, 20.5 K%. Was one of the top prep arms in the 2020 draft but had huge signing demands that scared away most teams. The stuff is impressive and legit, but he just hasn’t been able to put it all together. Control has been the main culprit as he doesn’t give up a lot of hard contact.
RHP Ben Barrett (FR) - 0-0, 0 SV, 3.38 ERA, 16.0 IP, 6.3 BB%, 19.0 K%. Impressive two-way freshman with a big body (6’4, 223 lbs). In his last outing, tossed 5.0 shutout innings against #3 Florida.
Quick! Fun Facts!
Florida State has never finished a season with a losing conference record in the history of the program.
The Seminoles have been to the College World Series 20 times in program history, including an absurd 11 times in a 15 year run from 1986-2000.
Tallahassee has hosted a regional 33 times since 1976.
FSU has three alums currently at the MLB level: C Cal Raleigh (Seattle), RHP Cole Sands (Minnesota), INF Taylor Walls (Tampa Bay).
This season is going off the rails right now for Florida State, but that doesn’t mean the team has quit. NC State rides the good vibes from Tuesday’s win into the series.
Outcome: Pack take two of three.