"To me coaching is about seeing the exhilaration of the players when they get to Omaha, because it's the baseball mecca," Martin said. "We're in a marathon right now, trying to get to June to play for the right to go to Omaha."
If sixth-ranked Florida State follows a recipe like Saturday, they might be on their way. The Seminoles (9-1) ran its winning streak to six games with a 12-4 victory over Minnesota (0-2), helping Martin become one of eight coaches to reach the 1400 win plateau. He ranks second in winning percentage among active coaches, recording victories in almost 75 percent of his games.
Yet FSU nearly missed a chance to celebrate after starter Michael Hyde's shaky first inning. Hyde, making his first start of the season, allowed run-scoring hits to Mike Mee and Andy Hunter to give Minnesota an early 2-0 lead. However, the Tallahassee native allowed just one hit and two walks through the next four innings to earn his second win.
"I came out (nervous) even though I tried not to," Hyde said of his first start. "Once I settled down and got into a groove, with the defense behind me it's hard to give up a hit."
The Seminoles had little trouble getting timely hits after patience at the plate produced 13 walks from three Golden Gopher pitchers. FSU coaxed five free passes in the six-run third inning, the most runs scored by the Seminoles in any inning this season. 12 batters came to the plate and seven consecutive reached base safely, giving Florida State a 6-2 advantage. Travis Anderson, Buster Posey, Kyle Maxie, and Tony Thomas recorded RBI for Florida State in the third.
But it was first baseman Dennis Guinn's day that overshadowed the rest of the offense. Guinn had a career high four hits and four RBI, finishing a triple short of the cycle. His first career grand slam in the fifth was his third home run this season and extended the FSU lead to 10-2.
"It was a full count and I battled and fouled a couple pitches off," Guinn said. "He threw me a full count curve ball. It's my job to make guys pay when they make a mistake."
The 'Noles added two runs in the seventh on a run-scoring balk and Josh Spivey's RBI double. Eight Seminole starters scored a run, six recorded hits, and each drew a walk.
Sunday's series finale features Barret Browning (1-0, 3.72 ERA) on the hill for Florida State. Game time is 1:00 PM.
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