The winningest coach in college baseball history will end his career in Omaha.
And perhaps this time, Florida State’s Mike Martin will finally get that elusive national title.
The Seminoles continued their run Sunday by securing a super regional sweep at No. 13 overall seed LSU. They clinched Martin’s 17th College World Series berth on a walk-off single in the 12th inning.
Florida State wasn’t the only team to secure its spot in the eight-team Omaha field Sunday — No. 2 seed Vanderbilt, No. 8 seed Texas Tech, No. 6 seed Mississippi State and Michigan joined No. 7 seed Louisville, which clinched its CWS bid Saturday. Two additional teams will advance Monday.
But the Seminoles — namely Martin — served as the sport’s big story on a thrilling day of home runs and drama.
Once the winning run crossed the plate to give FSU a 5-4 victory over the Tigers on Sunday, an ESPN2 camera found Martin in the dugout — and the 40-year coach was fist-pumping and yelling as his players flooded the field to celebrate. He hugged his son Mike Jr., an assistant coach. He shared a moment with his wife, Carol.
He eventually got to address the Florida State fans who were still hanging around the dugout.
“My four favorite words,” Martin shouted to the FSU supporters. “See you in Omaha!”
Several other teams experienced similar glee Sunday.
Vanderbilt lost its super regional opener to Duke on Friday, but battled back to win twice in a row, eliminate the Blue Devils and advance to Omaha for the first time since 2015. The Commodores hit five homers in a 13-2 win Sunday.
Texas Tech relied on the long ball, too. But the Red Raiders needed every one against a persistent Oklahoma State squad.
Tech hit four homers Sunday — the biggest a go-ahead, three-run shot in the eighth inning by sophomore Kurt Wilson, who erased a one-run deficit and put his team ahead 8-6 in the winner-take-all final. Texas Tech will make its second consecutive CWS appearance and its fourth in six years.
Mississippi State secured its second straight trip to Omaha by knocking off Stanford on Sunday. The Bulldogs have yet to lose a game in the NCAA tournament.
Michigan topped No. 1 overall seed UCLA 4-2 late Sunday night. Wolverine pitchers Tommy Henry and Benjamin Keizer combined for eight strikeouts.
It’s been two years since Florida State made a run to Omaha, but this one has a Cinderella feel for Martin and the Seminoles.
FSU limped into the NCAA tournament, earning one of the final four at-large berths after dropping the regular season’s final series to Louisville and quickly exiting the ACC tournament.
But the Seminoles twice beat No. 4 overall seed Georgia on its home field to win a regional. Then they took down LSU — and they had to rally from a 4-1 deficit Saturday.
Now Martin has a chance to hoist a trophy in Omaha for the first time. Junior Drew Mendoza, who delivered the winning hit Sunday, thinks FSU has a good chance to do just that.
“We’re playing our best baseball now,” Mendoza said. “For whatever reason, (Martin’s) got something going on and knows how to get us going at the right time.”
Martin’s 17 CWS appearances tie Texas’ Cliff Gustafson for the most in the event’s history. The Seminoles were national runners-up in 1986 and 1999.