The Daily Nole

Hot Take Tuesday: Contest at Florida is Martin Jr.’s Biggest in FSU Tenure So Far

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Florida State dropped its first ACC series over the weekend, but did finish on a high note.

The Seminoles avoided the sweep on Sunday with an easy 10-2 win over No. 16 Duke. Through 15 games in 2020, the Seminoles are off to a 10-5 start and ranked No. 19 in the Baseball America Poll.

In the first year under head coach Mike Martin Jr., FSU has held its own against very good competition. Four of the five losses for FSU came against teams currently ranked in the Baseball America top 10 and all came by just a single run.

The season is young, but Martin will take part in the biggest game of his head coaching career on Tuesday night. The Seminoles will make the relatively short trip to Gainesville to take on its arch-rival — No. 1 Florida.

Florida has arguably been the premier program of the last five years. Last season, the Gators had a string of four straight College World Series appearances snapped. In 2017, Florida won its first national championship.

Over the past several seasons, the Gators have not only had unprecedented success, but they’ve absolutely dominated FSU. Florida has won the last 11 contests between the schools and 16 of the last 17 games.

During that stretch, Florida has ended FSU’s season twice and owns five wins over the Seminoles by way of shutout. In last season’s contest in Gainesville, FSU actually led 6-0 midway through before falling in embarrassing fashion, 20-7.

Many shrug at the value of midweek games, but beating Florida is an important monkey to get off FSU’s back. After coming up just short a number of times to this point in the season, handing 16-0 Florida its first loss could serve as a huge confidence booster moving forward.

When he was selected to succeed his legendary father, there was a significant portion of the fan base that saw the hire of Mike Martin Jr. as an extension of his father’s tenure. The FSU head man affectionately known as “Meat” has sought to be different. Being able to make the rivalry with Florida competitive again would be a nice start for Martin in creating another legacy that fans in Tallahassee can be proud of.

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 Mike@TheDailyNole.com.

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