Former FSU Pitcher and Public Relations Director of Next Level Baseball, LLC
As the Seminoles baseball team sat down to dinner Sunday night in Omaha, you can bet the coaches and players had a hard time swallowing. The Noles find themselves on the verge of elimination in the final World Series at historic Rosenblatt Stadium. However, the game has more at stake than survival in Omaha. Because on Monday the Seminoles and Gators will face off for the fifth time this season -- except this time it’s on college baseball’s biggest stage.
To the victor: Bragging rights and a game three at the CWS. For the loser: a flight home to Florida with a very sour taste of defeat in their mouths.
Orange & Blue. Garnet & Gold. Colors that always clash when matched together. Each time the Noles and Gators step between the lines, you can bet each player will leave everything he has on the field. As if playing in the College World Series wasn’t enough for these two programs and their fans, now the rivals have the opportunity to stick it to the other on TV screens from coast to coast.
As a former Seminole, I can remember lacing up my spikes for the first time against the University of Florida and feeling something different in the locker room. Something I’m sure each one of my teammates must have felt as well.
It’s that twisted feeling in your gut when you want something so bad it hurts.
It’s knowing that on this particular day, every guy on the team will compete with everything in their being for 27 outs.
You start to realize that you’re playing for much more than yourself, your teammates and your coaches.
You finally realize what being a Seminole is all about.
When #11 addresses the team before Monday’s game against UF, there will not be a need for a motivational speech. There will not be a need to discuss everything that went wrong in Game One. And there’ll be no need to shake up the batting order or change the pitching philosophy. At this point in the season, and against this particular opponent, it’s simply time to let the athletes play.
The Seminoles have shown the ability to battle and overcome adversity all year long. When everyone counted them out, they buckled their belts a little tighter, pulled their hats down a little further and took their game to the next level.
Many people like to speculate about what adjustments the coaching staff should make and how the strategy should change heading into Monday’s game. But I believe Mike Martin and his staff will run out the same lineup, play Seminole baseball and live with the results.With an ACC title and the 20th trip to Omaha on this year’s resume, I’d say that’s a pretty solid strategy.