Martin: ‘We know we have to play well in the ACC Tournament’

Florida State has often used the ACC Tournament to strengthen its case to host a regional or be named a top-8 national seed.

After a roller-coaster season, the Seminoles (35-20) know this year they are fighting for their name to be in the NCAA Tournament field.

“We know that we’re not sealed in concrete,” FSU coach Mike Martin told the Osceola on Monday afternoon. “We know that we have to play well in the ACC Tournament so that we can not have a tough weekend – meaning anything can happen in baseball and you just got to keep battling and keep scrapping and see what happens.”

Going into Tuesday’s game against Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament, an event that the Seminoles have won the last two years, FSU has a resume that has some bright spots but also plenty of disappointment. The Seminoles won four straight ACC series (Clemson, Virginia, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh) in April and May but have also dropped series to Louisville, Miami, Boston College and NC State.

With 35 wins and 17 ACC victories, FSU has a good argument to get in. Only six ACC teams won 17 or more league games in 2019 – with Louisville (21) and Georgia Tech (19) leading the way in what has been a competitive conference.

Martin acknowledged that the Seminoles’ resume is not on stable ground and that “I don’t know when we’ve last experienced this.” FSU teams typically are in good position by the time the ACC Tournament comes around, but Martin said he won’t campaign for a spot in the field of 64.

“I’ve always left that to the committee having served on that committee years ago,” Martin said. “I just know the difficulty that they have in getting what they feel is the top 64 teams in the country. Kind of wish they had a play-in situation like they do in basketball. There are going to be some deserving teams left out of an opportunity.”

Martin was disappointed with how FSU played against the Cardinals, a series that saw a pair of lopsided losses as well as a blowout FSU win.

Now the Seminoles prepare for the ACC Tournament and pool play, where they will face Wake Forest on Tuesday at 3 p.m. and NC State on Friday at 7 p.m. (both games will air on Regional Sports Networks). They now appear to be the two most important games of the 2019 season.

Martin said he would prefer the guarantee of three pool-play games but an expanded ACC Tournament has gone to a format that includes four pools of three teams.

“You’re preparing for the most important week of the year, which is the next weekend,” Martin said of the NCAA Regionals.

The Seminoles look to be there, if they can put some wins together over the next week in Durham, N.C., as they look to continue a streak of playing in an NCAA Regional in every season that Martin has been head coach since 1980.

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