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May 11, 2012
After playing five games in five days against Maryland and Stetson, Florida State returns to action Saturday after a few days off, beginning a stretch of six conference games in eight days to close out the regular season.
The first three games will come for the top-ranked Seminoles (40-9, 21-3 ACC) on the road at Clemson (29-20, 14-10 ACC) beginning Saturday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. (ESPN3.com), followed by three games back in Tallahassee against North Carolina State (May 17-19).
During its five game stretch earlier in the week FSU went 3-2, taking two of three from Maryland, and splitting a two-game set with Stetson.
"There's no excuses with Florida State baseball, but I don't intend to play five in a row again," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "That's just too much to ask. We've done it twice this year. I don't know of anybody else in college baseball that's done it twice. As a result of that, we're turning around and taking a couple of well-deserved days off and playing six conference games in eight days. We're not the only team in the league that is playing six games in eight days, but Clemson and Florida State are the only two."
Martin's club enters the weekend with a five-game lead over N.C. State for the top spot in the Atlantic Division, while Clemson sits six games back. All three teams have six ACC games remaining. FSU's magic number to clinch the No. 1 seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament over North Carolina is two.
"I think it would be a tremendous lift, but we know how difficult it is to win up here," Martin said of clinching the top seed over the weekend in South Carolina. "It's the toughest place to play in the league. It takes a team like we have to get it done. This team of ours is mentally tough, mentally strong, and has great leadership. That's what it takes to be successful at Clemson."
FSU had a similar opportunity against the Tigers in each of the last two seasons. In 2011, the Seminoles needed just one game to clinch the Atlantic and got it with an 8-6 win before dropping the next two to lose the series in Tallahassee.
In 2010, FSU traveled to Clemson needing just one win in three games to lock up the division, but the Tigers came away with a three-game sweep to take the division for themselves.
While the division is all but out of reach for Clemson this year, they still would like nothing more than to make the Seminoles sweat it out for an extra weekend, while padding a postseason resume that should be more than worthy of an at-large bid.
"Clemson of course is not having the year that you thought they would have, but they're still right in the thick of posteason play which of course is where everybody wants to be," Martin said. "The series this weekend means an awful lot to both teams, but certainly Clemson has their backs against the wall. They've always played well when they've had their backs against the wall-Especially when Florida State comes to town."
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