Florida State came up short in the the tournament, but their season can still be called a success.
By BOB FERRANTEFS Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The bar has always been set high. Mike Martin feels like any team that doesn’t make it to the College World Series has fallen short.
And after 21 CWS appearances, that’s fair for a program that’s widely considered one of the 10 best in the nation.
Seminoles aren’t going to Omaha. Their season is done after Indiana’s 11-6 win on Sunday that stunningly eliminated Florida State after two games in the Super Regionals.
It’s surprising that this happened to Florida State, especially at home. And that it happened at the hands of a team from the Big Ten conference, which hadn’t sent a team to the CWS since 1984. This will sting Florida State players, coaches and fans.
It’s tough to call this an overachieving team despite the results this weekend, but in many ways it is. Florida State went 47-17. Tough to call that a disappointment.
This was a team with a few young stars and plenty of grinders. Martin and his staff may have squeezed the most they could have out of this group.
“When you look at the situations that we were faced with this year,” Martin said, “looking at the season it was just a real credit to the way our guys battled.”
It was a season of hurdles from the start. Three new starters in the infield and two more in the outfield. And then came the really high hurdles.
In February, right-hander Mike Compton, who won 12 games last season as a freshman, has soreness in his arm and then is lost for the season with Tommy John surgery.
In March, the only returning infielder and team captain, senior Justin Gonzalez, needed hip surgery. Out for the season.
In April, the leadoff hitter and only returning starting outfielder, Josh Delph, is hospitalized with meningoencephalitis. And misses six weeks of the season.
What did Florida State do? No complaining. The Seminoles kept shaking off the adversity, continuing to grind out wins.
That’s all you can do. And Florida State deserves credit for persevering.
Florida State lost 10-9 on Saturday and 11-6 on Sunday. But they were close enough that numbers like these will stick with them this summer:
The Seminoles stranded 13 runners on Saturday. They left 14 on base on Sunday. You can’t get away with that.
They made three errors on Saturday. And misplayed two Indiana doubles at the outfield wall, both of which would have been tough plays but could have been made. You can’t get away with that.
Scott Sitz gave up seven runs – six of them earned – on Sunday. The senior right-hander hadn’t allowed that many runs in a start since his freshman year. For a team that needed him to shut the door and force a Monday game, Sitz couldn’t do it.
“I just missed some spots that they took advantage of,” Sitz said.
Sitz tried to answer questions about the game, the season and his career. But he found it difficult.
“It’s so hard right now,” Sitz said and then bowed his head.
Martin stepped in. “Wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you, buddy,” he said.
That’s the kind of season it was. Florida State received contributions across its roster from so many players. The Seminoles squeezed everything they could from 2013, even if it wasn’t good enough to get to Omaha.