Martin Remains Optimistic

Baseball coach <b>Mike Martin</b> is pleased with Florida State's pitching staff as the Seminoles look forward to their road trip to Minnesota on Thursday. After dropping Friday's opener to the University of North Carolina-Asheville, the Seminoles (9-4) won the final two games Saturday and today in the series.

Florida State coach Mike Martin says the Seminoles must continue to progress if it expects to contend in the difficult Atlantic Coast Conference.

The ACC is widely considered one of the nation's most difficult conferences.

The Seminoles beat the University of North Carolina-Asheville two of three this past weekend at Dick Howser Stadium. Many fans continue to wonder how this young team will respond to better competition as the season progresses.

FSU will travel to Minneapolism, Minn., this weekend to play in the Dairy Queen Classic in the Metrodome, hosted by the University of Minnesota.

The Seminoles will play Nebraska on Friday, West Virginia and Minnesota on Sunday.

"We are not where we need to be, there's no doubt," Martin said.

"We have a lot of work to do this week before we leave in teaching guys the importance of learning the little things. I thought a lot of things were exploited against UNC-Asheville. We had some poor at-bats. We have some things that we just have to work on. Like not letting certain pitches get by in some situations. Being ready to hit that pitch.

"But I think what's really keeping us in all the games is the pitching staff. They have just done a tremendous job. I think we gave up two runs in three should win them all."

FSU shortstop Stephen Drew said UNC-Asheville deserved credit for playing the Seminoles well.

"They are a good club over there," Drew said. "They keep getting after it every inning. They didn't back down from us, and they shouldn't back down.

"And we shouldn't back down from them. It was a fun series. When we have runners in scoring position, we just need to do our job and score the run. To me, to us, you still have to go out and play. They may have experience but we have experience, too, on our team. Hopefully, we can do the job."

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