Florida State baseball: Seminoles picked to finish third in Atlantic by ACC coaches

Florida State baseball is predicted to finish in third place in the ACC Atlantic Division in manager Link Jarrett's first season back with his alma mater.

Jarrett, who coached Notre Dame from 2020 to 2022, and his Seminoles were picked to finish in a tie for third in the ACC Atlantic with NC State, by the conference's coaches Thursday.

Louisville (89) points edged out the Demon Deacons (84) as favorites to win the division. FSU's 58 points tied with the Wolfpack, while Clemson was picked fifth (47 points), Notre Dame came in sixth (38) and Boston College in seventh (18) rounding out the division.

Louisville and Wake Forest received six first votes piece to win the division, while Clemson and NC State each received one vote.

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Miami was the runaway favorite in the ACC Coastal, receiving 10 first-place votes. Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Duke and Pittsburgh was how the coaches voted to round out the Coastal behind the Hurricanes.

Virginia received two first-place votes, with UNC and Virginia Tech getting one apiece.

Overall, Wake Forest and Clemson were the favorites in the ACC, as picked by the coaches.

FSU opens its 2023 season at home with a three-game series against James Madison on Feb. 17.

Jarrett met with the media Tuesday for the first availability of the season. Here are three takeaways from what the first-year FSU manager, who played for the Seminoles from 1991 to 1994 for coach Mike Martin.

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Figuring out pitching

The Seminoles lost their Friday and Saturday pitchers from last season, Parker Messick and Bryce Hubbart. Ross Dunn, who began last season as the Sunday starter before faltering down the stretch, transferred to Arizona State.

"The biggest issue right now is the preparation of the arms, and not necessarily the roles of the arms, but keeping the arms healthy, starting to build pitch counts, that's the most important thing," Jarrett said.

Messick had a 3.38 ERA in 16 starts, spanning 98.2 innings and Hubbart had a 3.32 ERA in 15 starts and 76 innings.

Reliever Conner Whittaker, who posted a 1.77 ERA in 35.2 innings across 20 appearances is the top key returner. Long reliever Wyatt Crowell (2.12 ERA in 51 innings) also returns. Carson Montgomery, who pitched to a 5.00 ERA in 54 innings, is the main starter back with extensive starting experience last season.

Sophomore Jackson Baumeister, who struck out 41 batters in 27 ⅓ innings pitched, but had a 5.60 ERA, is also expected to play a role.

How each pitcher will be used is yet to be determined.

"When these guys are throwing three innings at a time, we're not really ready to establish the roles," Jarrett said. "Now I think we have guys that are capable of filling the roles. We just haven't gotten to the point to nail it down."

Starting spots up for grabs

Shortstop Jordan Carrion is the top returner for the Seminoles and is one of the few players already penciled into a starting position for Jarrett, while James Tibbs and Jaime Ferrer should be in the outfield.

Carrion hit .280 with a .356 on-base percentage last season. He was 11 for 15 on stolen base attempts.

Tibbs, who hit .300 with a .964 slugging percentage to go with 10 home runs, is also getting reps at first base. Ferrer played right field last season, but could also see time in left this season. He led the team in batting average (.320) and OPS (.975) last season, while also contributing nine home runs.

Transfers Nander De Sedas (Missouri) and catcher McGwire Holbrook (West Virginia) are expected to start at second and catcher, respectively.

However, Holbrook is currently out with an injury.

"He's got a little dinged-up hand," Jarrett said. "But he'll be back. McGuire Holbrook is a big physical guy that was at West Virginia that very potent offensive force physical guy."

Freshmen Cam Smith, Titan Kamaka and Jordan Taylor are expected to play key roles.

Smith could earn a role as the starting third baseman, while Kamaka will play in the infield and Taylor could factor into one of the outfield spots.

"We're trying to move guys around, but you start to find the spots where you feel like they play probably more ready for that in the infield right now in the outfield," Jarrett said.

Florida State 2023 baseball schedule

  • Feb. 17: vs. James Madison (5 p.m.)

  • Feb. 18: vs. James Madison (3 p.m.)

  • Feb. 19: vs. James Madison (1 p.m.)

  • Feb. 21: at Jacksonville (6 p.m.)

  • Feb. 24: at TCU (7:30 p.m.)

  • Feb. 25: at TCU (3 p.m.)

  • Feb. 26: at TCU (TBA)

  • March 1: vs. USF (5 p.m.)

  • March 3: vs. Florida Gulf Coast (5 p.m.)

  • March 4: vs. Florida Gulf Coast (3 p.m.)

  • March 5: vs. Florida Gulf Coast (1 p.m.)

  • March 7: vs. Bethune-Cookman (5 p.m.)

  • March 10: vs. Pittsburgh (6 p.m.)

  • March 11: vs. Pittsburgh (3 p.m.)

  • March 12: vs. Pittsburgh (1 p.m.)

  • March 14: at UCF (6 p.m.)

  • March 15: at UCF (4 p.m.)

  • March 17: vs. Boston College (6 p.m.)

  • March 18: vs. Boston College (3 p.m.)

  • March 19: vs. Boston College (1 p.m.)

  • March 21: vs. Florida (6 p.m.)

  • March 24: at Virginia (6 p.m.)

  • March 25: at Virginia (1 p.m.)

  • March 26: at Virginia (1 p.m.)

  • March 28: vs. Florida in Jacksonville (6 p.m.)

  • March 31: at Miami (7 p.m.)

  • April 1: at Miami (1 p.m.)

  • April 2: at Miami (1 p.m.)

  • April 4: vs. Jacksonville (6 p.m.)

  • April 6: vs. Clemson (6 p.m.)

  • April 7: vs. Clemson (6 p.m.)

  • April 8: vs. Clemson (2 p.m.)

  • April 11: at Florida (6 p.m.)

  • April 14: at NC State (6 p.m.)

  • April 15: at NC State (6 p.m.)

  • April 16: at NC State (1 p.m.)

  • April 19: at North Florida (6:05 p.m.)

  • April 21: vs. Virginia Tech (6 p.m.)

  • April 22: vs. Virginia Tech (3 p.m.)

  • April 23: vs. Virginia Tech (1 p.m.)

  • April 25: vs. Stetson (5 p.m.)

  • April 28: at Notre Dame (6 p.m.)

  • April 29: at Notre Dame (3 p.m.)

  • April 30: at Notre Dame (1 p.m.)

  • May 5: vs. Mercer (6 p.m.)

  • May 6: vs. Mercer (3 p.m.)

  • May 7: vs. Mercer (1 p.m.)

  • May 9: vs. Jacksonville (6 p.m.)

  • May 12: vs. Wake Forest (6 p.m.)

  • May 13: vs. Wake Forest (3 p.m.)

  • May 14: vs. Wake Forest (1 p.m.)

  • May 16: vs. Kennesaw State (6 p.m.)

  • May 18: at Louisville (6 p.m.)

  • May 19: at Louisville (6 p.m.)

  • May 20: at Louisville (1 p.m.)

  • May 23-28: ACC Tournament in Durham, N.C.

  • June 2-5: NCAA Regionals

  • June 9-12: NCAA Super Regionals

  • June 16-26: College World Series

Reach Ehsan Kassim at ekassim@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Ehsan_Kassim. You can also follow our coverage on Facebook (NoleSports) and Instagram (tlhnolesports).

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: FSU baseball: Seminoles picked to finish third in Atlantic by ACC coaches