Legendary FSU skipper Mike Martin has one last hurrah. (Aaron Fitt)


Florida State Faces Uphill Battle In Martin’s Swan Song


In a few months, Florida State coach Mike Martin, 75, plans to travel to Greece and “the Holy Land” with his wife. He will be – after 40 years at FSU — retired by then, a living legend who has won more college baseball games than anyone in NCAA history.

“Time is kind of running out,” said Martin, who has led the Seminoles to 39 consecutive regionals but is in jeopardy of seeing that streak broken. “Not a whole lot of games left.”

Much like how former Miami coach Jim Morris retired last year – a lifetime of success but then two straight seasons out of the regionals to end his career – the Seminoles train has veered off track lately.

In fact, on March 8, the Seminoles were 12-0 and ranked near the top of the polls. Now, just one month later, their season appears to be on life support, and here’s why:

• The Seminoles have lost 12 of their past 19 games and have been shut out three times in their past five games.

• They lost a home series to Boston College for the first time in 10 years.

• And they are 1-4 against their two biggest rivals, Miami and Florida, including embarrassing losses such as 11-0 at the Hurricanes on Friday and 20-7 at the Gators on March 12.

The Seminoles (19-12 overall, 7-8 ACC) salvaged the final game of this past weekend’s Miami series by winning 6-5 on Sunday. They had lost the first two games by a combined score of 15-0.

Martin laughed when asked if his Seminoles – who used three Miami errors to score three unearned runs on Sunday – finally got some breaks.

“You hit the nail on the head,” Martin said. “For a team in the middle of its season to win a game like this … You really shouldn’t think that much of it, but it was big because what has happened the past two or three weeks.”

Glory Days

Martin has led the Seminoles to 16 College World Series appearances – but FSU has never won the title.

Second baseman Luis Alicea played on the 1986 team that finished as CWS runner-up to Arizona. Later that year, Alicea was a first-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, which propelled him to a 13-year major league career.

Reached by phone on Sunday, Alicea said he still keeps in touch with Martin.

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