April 9, 2012

Series Wrap: Martin downplays win milestone

ATLANTA - As Hunter Scantling struck out Kyle Wren to complete a weekend sweep over Georgia Tech, Mike Martin earned his place in a club that previously had only two members.

Now a winner of 1,700 career games, Martin added another line to one of the most prolific head coaching résumés in his sport's history. And although there was a banner to celebrate the moment, and a special road curtain call to commemorate it too, Martin humbly downplayed his historic feet.

"I'll be very honest with you, it doesn't mean anything," Martin said. "What means everything to me is seeing our guys have the opportunity to get to Omaha. These numbers are just that: numbers."

With all the reverence in the world, Martin's players aren't buying his pitch.

"He can downplay it all he wants," said second baseman Devon Travis. "I think it's incredible being a part of a very, very, very select group of great coaches. It's honestly just an honor (to play Sunday's game)."

"I don't buy it either," added Jayce Boyd. "That's something to be proud of and that's a very, very strong accomplishment, especially in the game that he plays. Averaging, what, 50-plus wins a year for however long he's been here? That's pretty crazy and that's awesome for him.

"I know he's tickled and excited on the inside, but he likes to keep his composure on the outside."

Although the landmark victory was an inevitability as Martin returned for the 2012 season, he is now officially in the company of Augie Garrido and Gene Stephenson as one of three Division-I coaches to ever win 1,700 games. In 33 seasons as the Seminole skipper, Martin has won 74.3-percent of the games he's managed and at an average clip of 52.3 wins per full season.

Never has Martin won fewer than 45 games in one year, a baseline that the 2012 team is poised to eclipse again as it currently stands at 27 wins and five losses. And while all the years and all the teams and all the wins culminated in Sunday's magic number, there stood Martin, still not wanting to focus on anything but this team's task at hand.

So instead of chatting about his storied career or a level of success that virtually no peer can boast, Mike Martin instead spoke about the weekend sweep and the challenges his team faces next week.

And that was a positive discussion of its own.

"It was just a weekend in which we played extremely well," Martin said.

Starting to fall

Heading into the weekend, coach Martin liked his team's recent approach at the plate. His guys, especially in the bottom half of the order, weren't producing runs because of bad swings or poor strategy. Rather, it was just one of "those" stretches in the ultimate game of failure.

The good swings and line drives started to find grass instead of gloves this weekend, especially with two of the hitters in spots 5-9 in the order.

Catcher Stephen McGee finally saw some positive results Sunday afternoon, ending a stretch of what seemed to be a statistic-defying string of loud outs. After going 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI, McGee could smile about more than just his contributions with the Seminole pitching staff.

"I'm thankful for today to have those hard hit balls drop in and find some places in the field," McGee said.

Although left fielder Jose Brizuela had an 0-for-5 Sunday, the freshman was 5-for-14 for the weekend with a grand slam, five RBI and some tough-luck outs. Josh Delph made the most of his Sunday start with a 2-for-5 afternoon that included a hustle double to right center.

As the role players are starting to show signs of life, Martin applauded their approach and poise after the sweeping victory.

"We have a mature ball club," Martin said. "There's going to be bumps in the road for everybody whether it's offense or defense. The mental toughness that we've shown is the reason we are where we are. It's a mentally taxing game."

Series MVP

Jayce Boyd, FSU first baseman

While Boyd hasn't strung together too many bad games this season, this weekend series was about as productive as it gets. Boyd only drove in two of the Seminoles' 22 runs this weekend, but he was seemingly always on base. The junior finished the series 7-for-12 with the pair of RBI, two runs scored and a .667 on-base percentage.

"Very productive," Boyd said of the weekend. "I might not want to go back to Tallahassee"

Game Results

Friday- Florida State 2, Georgia Tech 1 (10 innings) - W: Robert Benincasa (2-0) (3-1); L: Alex Cruz (1-1).

Saturday - Florida State 12, Georgia Tech 7 - W: Mack Waugh (6-0); L: Josh Heddinger (1-4).

Sunday - Florida State 8, Georgia Tech 4 - W: Peter Miller (-1); L: Cole Pitts (4-2).

Next up: Florida at Florida State, (Tallahassee, Fla.), Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. ET.


  • Cather Stephen McGee again caught every inning of this weekend's action, a rarity of the game that he is making routine. Although McGee credited his ability to catch so often to the team's training staff, he also wasn't shy about having Monday off. "I can't wait for that. It's going to be a great day," he said.

  • Third baseman Sherman Johnson's streak of 29 straight games reaching safely ended Friday night, while James Ramsey's 15-game hitting streak was snapped Saturday evening.

  • None of the three games this weekend ended in a successful save.

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