May 20, 1999
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Who needs Mike Martin, anyway?
The veteran coach for Florida State watched from 300 feet away Thursday as his top-seeded Seminoles rallied for a 7-3 victory over Georgia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament’s winner’s bracket.
Martin, who has 1,070 career wins, was thrown out in the fourth inning by home plate umpire Ron Sebastian for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. His team was trailing 3-0 at the time, but scored all seven of its runs over the final five innings after Martin had departed.
Martin said he deserved to be tossed, but claimed he didn’t plan the action to fire up the regular-season champions, who improved to 48-10.
I don’t play those games,” Martin said when asked if he wanted to get thrown out to spark his team. (The umpire) was definitely right.
I didn’t like sitting out here, but gosh I saw a ball club that made me so proud,” Martin added. Man, we really got after it.”
The last time Martin was thrown out of a game was in the 1994 ACC tournament in Greenville, S.C., he said.
We have a great bunch of fighters on our team, and the fact we were down we knew we had to step it up,” said FSU catcher Jeremiah Klosterman.
Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Georgia Tech (38-19) fell into the loser’s bracket and will play North Carolina State on Friday morning.
The Seminoles battled back from an early 3-0 deficit as starter Blair Varnes (10-1) settled down after giving up eight hits over the first three innings.
In fact, Florida State scored in each of the three innings after Martin was tossed, getting two in the fifth and single runs in the sixth and seventh innings as the Yellow Jackets ended up wasting Cory Vance’s 11-strikeout performance.
The Seminoles took the lead for good in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Kevin Cash, who went 3-for-3.
Then, Florida State handed the ball over to veteran closer Chris Chavez, who retired all eight batters he faced, striking out three to earn his third save of the season.
The stellar performance by Chavez ran Florida State’s bullpen scoreless streak to 27 2-3 innings spanning nine games.
I’ve been throwing the ball well all year,” said Chavez. I just wanted to come in and get the job done and throw strikes and keep our team in it.”
Did the Seminoles, who set a regular-season mark at 22-2 in league play, serve even more notice Thursday that they won’t be denied an ACC crown this time around?
If we didn’t make a statement during the regular year I don’t know what making a statement is,” said Chavez. We got after it all season and we got after it today. There is always something in the back of all other team’s minds that we’re going to get after it every game.”
By DAVID DROSCHAK, AP Sports Writer
Florida St. 000 021 103-7 12 1 GaTech 102 000 000-3 11 2
Varnes, Chavez (7) and Klosterman. Vance, Mitchell (7) and
McQueen. W-Varnes (10-1). L-Mitchell (3-1). Sv-Chavez (3).