Mike Martin’s last run was going to end sometime. And it was a trip to Omaha that ended a few runs short.
Brian Klein hit a solo home run in the sixth inning and Texas Tech added two runs in the eighth inning as the Red Raiders eliminated Florida State 4-1 in the College World Series on Wednesday night.
FSU (42-22) made a remarkable and improbable run to the CWS but only produced two runs in three games at cavernous TD Ameritrade Park. In the three regional wins and two Super Regional victories, the Seminoles generated 46 runs.
“It’s no doubt the most unpredictable sport,” Martin said. “Who would have ever thought six weeks ago that we would get to Omaha? I’m just so proud of the young men. They’re obviously very disappointed now. What they accomplished will not go unnoticed. To get to Omaha and have an opportunity, a lot of credit just goes to those young men. And all of the credit goes to our staff.”
On Wednesday, FSU scratched a run across by getting a walk, a hit by pitch, a sac bung and a Texas Tech throwing error. The Seminoles had other chances but couldn’t produce, notably a Robby Martin groundout with runners in scoring position in the fifth inning. Martin also sent a shot just shy of the wall in center field in the first inning.
FSU was 0 for 18 with runners on base and 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position. The Seminoles also struck out 15 times.
Conor Grady cruised through three innings, running into trouble in the fourth as he gave up an RBI single to Cameron Warren but escaped otherwise unscathed. He gave up Klein’s home run in the sixth before leaving the game.
FSU defeated Arkansas 1-0 in the opener, a run in which the Seminoles manufactured that run without a hit. On Monday, the Seminoles’ bats were neutralized by Michigan left-hander Tommy Henry in a 2-0 Wolverines win. FSU had just 11 hits in the three CWS games.
“I think that’s just baseball,” senior shortstop Mike Salvatore said. “We faced some good pitching, some good teams, and just some things didn’t go our way.”
While the lack of hitting in Omaha was a disappointment, it’s worth reminding that FSU’s RPI was dangerously close to 100 at one point this spring and that the Seminoles finished among the top eight teams in the nation.
Martin ends his 40th and final season as FSU’s head coach with a 2,029-736-4 record. He said after the game that baseball has been part of his life since he was a child but that he plans to watch games from the stands at Dick Howser Stadium in 2020.
“From the time I was seven years old until right now, and you can put a five beside that seven, it was something I just felt was time to get out,” Martin said. “It’s going to be different for me, no doubt. But I’ll be in the stands watching Florida State because they’re the ones that gave me the chance 45 years ago.”