The Daily Nole

40-Year Nole Anniversary: Mike Martin Get First Win as FSU Head Coach

Larry Novey/FSU athletics

Throughout his illustrious career, legendary Florida State head baseball coach Mike Martin won more games than any college coach in any sport. That feat however, had to start somewhere.

On this day 40 years ago, Martin earned his first win as FSU head coach. After dropping the first two games to rival Miami, the Seminoles avoided the sweep on Feb. 24, 1980 with a thrilling 9-8 road victory over the Hurricanes.

For much of the day, the sweep appeared inevitable. Through six innings, FSU trailed 8-2. The Seminoles would push across seven runs over the final three innings and keep rival Miami off the scoreboard to earn the victory.

In both the top of the seventh and eighth inning, FSU was able to use a pair of bases-loaded walks to cut the deficit to 8-6. Entering the top of the ninth, FSU trailed 8-6, but the heroics of a man with a last name familiar to baseball fans delivered the Seminoles and their first-year head coach.

Miami brought in closer Neal Heaton, who promptly gave up a single to FSU’s Mike Fuentes and a double to Jeff Ledbetter. With one out and the tying run on base, freshman outfielder Mike Yastrzemski wasted little time putting the Seminoles in front.

The son of Hall of Famer and Triple Crown winner, Carl Yastrzemski, the freshman outfielder blasted a Heaton fastball into the left field stands for a 3-run home run. Reliever John Gagnon, who actually played an offensive role in the FSU comeback, earned the win for the Seminoles.

The victory served as the beginning of a 7-game winning streak and Martin would never again have a losing record at any point in his career. Martin would spend four decades as the head man in Tallahassee and win 2,029 games. The first one of those happened on this day 40 years ago.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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