That's a Wrap

The 2005 baseball season provided an abundance of peaks and valleys for Florida State. When it bottomed out Saturday night with an 8-5 loss at Florida, perhaps the most dejected Seminole was redshirt senior catcher Aaron Cheesman, one of just four players FSU will lose to graduation.

"It's disappointing this point for me – being here for five years," said Cheesman, from Sarasota. "It sucks, never going to Omaha. I came here thinking we'd go two or three times but I guess things weren't meant to be for us.

"This team will be outstanding next season. I'd watch out for them they'll be tough to beat."

Cheesman provided unquestioned leadership for an FSU team that – at season's start – many thought would do very little.

Bucking expectations, the Seminoles reached some impressive goals that have become synonymous with the storied history of the program. Rebuilding on the fly, FSU surpassed the 50-win plateau for the 12th time in the last 14 seasons and advanced to its seventh consecutive Super Regional berth.

The Seminoles, who haven't advanced to the College World Series since 2000, also felt that familiar twinge to finish things off.

"It's hard to describe how we feel right now because we did some things that nobody thought we would do," said Cheesman, who drove in a pair of runs in his final game. "No one thought we'd play well in the ACC. No one thought we'd get host a regional. No one though we'd get out of it. But yet we did."

Cheesman – drafted in the 26th round by the Philadelphia Phillies last Tuesday - will turn his attention towards finishing a master's degree in finance and professional baseball aspirations.

His former teammates have a potentially bright 2006 to look forward to once the sting of defeat wears off. Headlining the returnees for coach Mike Martin will be Collegiate Baseball player of the year Shane Robinson, who astounded by hitting .427 and stealing 49 bases on his sophomore campaign.

"It's nice to be recognized on a national level but it doesn't mean much now with our season cut short," Robinson said Saturday, moments before boarding the team bus back to Tallahassee. "We have some work to do (next season)."

High points this season included a 13-game win streak, Robinson's school-record 40-game hit streak and consecutive walk-off wins against North Carolina. FSU also grabbed a win for Martin on the night the Dick Howser Stadium diamond was named in his honor.

Lowlights included a 15-0 defeat against Hawaii and an 18-2 ACC Tournament thrashing that cost FSU a chance to defend its conference title.

Crests and troughs aside, Martin said this team will always hold a special place in his mind.

"I've enjoyed this year with this group more than any other," Martin said. "Things were really fluid with these guys. They rooted for each other. We had great senior leadership. It was an enjoyable season in my estimation."

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