College : : Story
Friday, December 09, 2011

Seminoles back to the basics

Kendall Rogers        

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No. 7 Florida State

Recruiting coordinator: Mike Martin Jr.
Number of signees: 13 (two coming in the spring)
Highest ranked prospect: OF Jameis Winston (#31 nationally, will not sign until February)
Prospects in the PG Top 50: 2
Prospects in the PG Top 100: 4
Prospects in the PG Top 500: 11
Number of pitchers: 6
Number of position players: 7
PG All-Americans: Jameis Winston
Conference class rank: #2 (ACC)

There’s always that baseball adage that offensive firepower wins games and elite pitching wins national titles.

Florida State knows this all too well.

Over the years, the Seminoles have reached the College World Series and at least had some success at times. But they've yet to win a national title, and for the most part, that inability rests on the shoulders of the pitching staff.

Last season, the Seminoles reached the Tallahassee Super Regional and split the first two games of a series against Texas A&M. In the finale, the Seminoles failed to get quality pitching and lost the contest 11-2, thus falling short of another trip to Omaha.

FSU’s pitching woes were never more clear than at the end of last season. Then, the Seminoles’ situation took an interesting turn during the offseason when long-time pitching coach Jamey Shouppe parted ways with the program.

The Seminoles wasted little time hiring former player and Oklahoma assistant coach Mike Bell, who's highly regarded in the coaching profession. Since then, Bell has embarked on a mission to transform the Florida State pitching staff into one of the nation’s elite units.

It’ll take time for Bell to accomplish that goal, but he has already made an impact with the addition of six very talented prospects in the 2012 recruiting class.

“We were really pitching oriented with this recruiting class. We ran into some really good position players that we added, and we have some good balance. However, elite pitching was the priority with this group,” Florida State recruiting coordinator Mike Martin Jr. said. “We sold this group on the rebuilding of the pitching staff. We want to have something great on the mound; we want to get back to being known as somewhat of a pitching school. That’s the attitude this group bought into it.”

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