Get the brooms out! Baseball stays hot after a HUGE rivalry week

The Florida State baseball team broke out their brooms to do spring cleaning in a HUGE rivalry week for the Seminoles. Link Jarrett has FSU back to playing baseball at a high level, and that was on full display in an environment at Dick Howser Stadium that was unmatched anywhere in the country this past week.

On Tuesday, the Seminoles demolished the Gators, run-ruling them for a second time this season to complete the series sweep. It was an electric atmosphere in a sold-out Howser. Fans were packed in, loud, and led by the Animals of section B.

The Marching Chiefs made their first appearance at Howser and some fans even briefly climbed the outfield wall to get a glimpse of the 19-4 beating that was being handed out. Head coach Link Jarrett commented after the game, “That’s the best atmosphere that I’ve ever seen in a game that I’ve coached or played at that level.”

However, it wasn’t just that they swept the gators that was impressive, it was how they did it. Florida State outscored UF by 30 total runs over 3 games, with two games ending early. Of course, Gator fans will tell you that it’s just a midweek series, and while that is true, that mostly applies to who is on the mound. It’s still the same lineup of batters and it’s not like FSU rolled their weekend starters out there, either.

At the same time, any team is only one injury away from a midweek starter being forced into the weekend rotation, which made the Miami series sweep even more impressive. Florida State would enter the series down two starters and faced a big test for the depth of its bullpen.

Jaime Ferrer sweeping up Miami and Florida baseball helmets with a broom. and the scores from each game

FSU Sweeps Miami

The adversity of being without electric Friday starter Cam Leiter and trusted Sunday arm Conner Whittaker didn’t stop the Seminoles from rising to the challenge.

With another big rivalry series on the line, Florida State faithful were prepared to do their part. Fans packed into Howser once again, compiling an outstanding series attendance of 19,157! The Marching Chiefs made another appearance and all who were watching from both near and far were rewarded with another rivalry series sweep.

Jamie Arnold, the nation’s leader in ERA coming into the weekend, started things off with a 7-inning performance and led the Noles to a 5-4 win. In game 2, freshman Brady Louck got the start, but his night only lasted two innings after the young arm gave up a few early runs. Brennan Oxford, Joe Charles, and Connor Hults combined for a solid performance to clinch the series over the Canes behind a big 11-run offensive outing by the FSU lineup.

With the series sweep on the line, Carson Dorsey got the start in game 3. He went 3.2 innings before the Noles went to the bullpen and let John Abraham, Andrew Armstrong, and Connor Hults close the door on any hopes the Canes had of stopping the brooms from coming out. This game was a testament to the heated nature of the FSU – Miami rivalry with three players getting tossed as tempers flared late in the game.

It was quite a week for FSU baseball as the Noles went 4-0 against its rivals and sold out Howser for three of four games. This was the first time since 1960 that FSU swept Florida and Miami in the same season. It’s fair to say that FSU baseball is fun again and Tallahassee is back on the collegiate baseball map in year two under Link Jarrett.

Going Forward

While there is still a lot of baseball left to play, it has already been a season to remember, especially after how things went in 2023. Florida State is 12-0 against in-state competition, 30-5 overall, 10-5 in the ACC, and 22-1 when playing on Mike Martin field.

They came into the weekend sitting Top 5 in batting average, hits, and strikeouts per nine innings; Top 10 in ERA, runs, and slugging percentage; and Top 20 in fielding percentage, home runs, and scoring. This team is the real deal, but they have much larger goals than just beating their rivals.

The Noles will hopefully have Cam Leiter back soon, but the bullpen has answered the call after their tough outing vs. Clemson. Since that weekend, they have combined for 61.2 IP allowing just 12 earned runs on 33 hits with 65 strikeouts and a 1.76 ERA.

The Noles offense has been a big part of their success led by one of the best hitters in the nation, James Tibbs III. He currently ranks top 10 nationally in batting average (.425), slugging percentage (.881), and home runs (15). However, he’s not the only electric bat in the Noles lineup. Cam Smith is also having himself a monster season. He’s batting .408 with an astounding 60 hits, which ranks 6th in the country. The FSU lineup has seven batters with double-digit at-bats who are hitting .300 or better and two hitting over .400.

The Noles will need their bats to stay hot and the bullpen to stay dialed in as they have multiple big series coming up against Wake Forest, Duke, NC State, and the ACC tournament fast approaching. But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s stop to savor the moment of the huge week that was and how far this baseball team has come.

They are good, fun to watch, full of personality, and easy to cheer for. “State Champs” may be something normally claimed by the football team in years they beat both in-state rivals, but I think it’s fair that baseball gets to claim its place on the rivalry throne as well. It’s been an amazing season so far and here’s to a strong finish for the Seminoles! Thanks for reading and Go Noles!!

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