TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The last out has been made on the worst season in Florida State baseball history.
For the first time in more than four decades, the Florida State baseball team is staying home for the postseason.
The Seminoles won 6-2 Saturday at Louisville to finish the regular season with a 23-31 record – the first losing season in school history – and thus concluding the 2023 campaign.
In the first year of the Link Jarrett era, the Seminoles will miss out on the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1977.
Florida State's 44 straight NCAA tournament berths from 1978 to 2022 (there was no tournament in 2020 because of COVID-19) was the longest active streak in the nation and tied with Miami for the most consecutive all-time appearances in college baseball history.
To put it into perspective, the last time Florida State missed the tournament, the current field of 64 consisted of just 34 teams. President Jimmy Carter was in his first year in the White House, "Star Wars" was the top movie at the box office and Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" was the best-selling single of the year.
Despite winning the final two games of the season against Louisville, Florida State also finished with a losing record in Atlantic Coast Conference play for the first time since joining in 1992 and won't play in the ACC tournament after finishing with a league-worst 9-21 record.
Perhaps most surprising is how Florida State's records have fallen in the first year of the Link Jarrett era.
Hired away from Notre Dame after longtime assistant-turned-skipper Mike Martin Jr. was fired, Jarrett was lured back to his alma mater with the charge of delivering an elusive national championship to Tallahassee.
A 1994 graduate of Florida State, Jarrett was a starting shortstop for the Seminoles under longtime head coach Mike Martin, who retired as the all-time wins leader after the 2019 season.
Jarrett was a candidate for the job that ultimately went to Martin Jr., his former teammate and roommate.
Under Jarrett, Notre Dame went 86-32, including a 41-17 mark in 2022. The Fighting Irish's 44-21 record in ACC play during that span was the best in the league.
Before coaching at Notre Dame, Jarrett spent seven seasons at UNC Greensboro, leading the Spartans to a 215-166 record and the Southern Conference title in 2017.
"I know the expectations from our fans, and we expect to compete for ACC and national championships," Jarrett said upon being introduced as Florida State's new skipper last June.
Although the Seminoles had slipped in the latter years of Martin's tenure (despite a surprising trip to the College World Series in his 40th and final season) and the three seasons with his son at the helm, they were never this bad.
But all the empty outings to Omaha, Nebraska (Florida State owns the NCAA record for most College World Series appearances without winning a title), and the uninspiring postseason performances in the seasons since that 2019 appearance was enough for Florida State athletic director Michael Alford (himself a former college baseball player) to make a change.
Alford, hired in late 2021, got his and Florida State fans' first choice in Jarrett, who was raised in Tallahassee and grew up with aspirations of winning a national title with the Seminoles, but the transition has been mostly disappointing.
Through its first 74 seasons, Florida State had never lost more games than it won. Until this year. That's going all the way back to the beginning, when the very first Florida State squad finished 9-8 in 1948.
This season began with promise. The Seminoles started 6-0 and played their way into the top 25 rankings early in the season, but the wheels seemed to fall off after an 11-3 record through 14 games.
It started when Jarrett lost his ace for the season. Left-handed pitcher Wyatt Crowell began the season in the bullpen before making his first and only start against Pittsburgh in March. Then he didn't pitch again and underwent surgery in April, ending his season.
Soon after, the Seminoles endured a program-worst 10-game losing streak, which included being swept by rival Miami for the first time since 2001.
By then, the writing was on the wall. This team was poised to be historically bad.
The most loyal Florida State fans never gave up hope that Jarrett could turn things around, but it didn't quite happen that way.
Now the Seminoles will return to Tallahassee looking to begin an all-new streak come 2024.