Martin facing off against former player for first, and likely last, time as Pitt comes to town

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By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
May 3, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- At face value, it's a typical week of baseball in Tallahassee with the Florida State Seminoles hosting ACC foe Pitt, but it's putting FSU manager Mike Martin in a position he's never been in before; student vs. teacher.

In 2012, the typically steady FSU baseball program was delving into uncharted waters following the departure of then-pitching coach, and now FAMU head coach, Jamie Shouppe.

The Noles began the campaign with an unprecedented three freshmen in their four-man rotation, all with a new pitching coach; Mike Bell, former FSU great Mike Bell, fresh off a stint at Oklahoma.

"The opportunity for these guys to grow and mature is right there in front of them but also to be able to hand the ball off in the middle and late part of the game to experienced guys is kind of what we're looking at here," Bell said in 2012.

The rookie arms, led by Brandon Liebrandt and Mike Compton, dominated their way to Omaha and, from there, Bell developed such superstars as Luke Weaver, currently in Arizona, and Tyler Holton, in the Diamondback's farm system.

"Mike was a guy too that being left handed certainly helped him continue along with the same lines we had in the past but it was good that he knew a lot of things that were going on, it wasn't a new position for him," Martin said earlier this week.

Now, for the first time, Bell returns in charge of his own program at Pittsburgh, making this weekend the first, and final likely, time Mike Martin will face off against a former player, returning to uncharted water like all those years ago.

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