Thursday, November 23, 2017
Sports

LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday

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OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

After Mainieri's Tigers beat FSU 7-4 in a College World Series elimination game Wednesday night, an unprompted Mainieri said too much has been made about Martin having never won a national title in 16 CWS appearances.

"I hope people would just kind of let that go," Mainieri said, "because Mike's done a phenomenal job for a lot of years, impacted a lot of lives, and I think he's a phenomenal coach. So I hope you don't mind me sitting on a pedestal and saying something like that."

Martin, 73, has 1,944 career wins and is under contract at FSU through 2018. He needs 32 wins to overtake Augie Garrido as the Division I-A all-time wins leader. Martin has never won fewer than 41 games in a season since becoming FSU's head coach in 1980. All 38 of his teams have made the NCAA tournament.

Mainieri, who is in his 35th year as a head coach and has 1,374 wins, called Martin one of his idols.

"I just think way, way too much is being played about him not getting to win the final game in Omaha," Mainieri said.

UF PLAYS TONIGHT: The Gators will face TCU at 8 tonight, needing one win to advance to the CWS finals, which begin Monday. If UF loses, the teams will meet again Saturday. Sean Wymer struck out national player of the year Brendan McKay in two key situations while pitching 41/3 innings of shutout relief, and TCU beat Louisville in an elimination game. The Horned Frogs (49-17) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, with one of their runs coming on a play at the plate that withstood a video review. Wymer limited the Cardinals (53-12) to two hits after they had pulled within a run on McKay's 18th homer of the year and Logan Taylor's first homer in 123 games. McKay, the Rays' first-round pick, came up two more times with chances to tie the score or give Louisville the lead, but Wymer struck him out to end the fifth and eighth innings.

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