May 24, 1998
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State earned the right to its 16th appearance in the College World Series with a 16-10 win over Auburn in the final of the NCAA Atlantic II Regional in front of 4,766 fans at Dick Howser Stadium.
Freshman rightfielder Matt Diaz once again led the Seminoles offensively as he drove in six runs on four hits, including three doubles, and earned Most Valuable Player honors for his efforts. Diaz batted .750, with seven home runs, five doubles and 19 RBI in four games as the MVP.
Florida State set a new NCAA Regional record with runs scored per game. The Seminoles averaged 19.0 runs per game after scoring 76 in four games. FSU also belted 80 hits, including 18 home runs, in the four-game offensive tear.
FSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as second baseman Brooks Badeaux led off the game with a basehit. Third baseman Jose Zabala then homered to right field to put the Seminoles on the board, 2-0. Designated hitter Terry Henderson doubled to center field and Diaz followed with a double to right field for FSU’s third run of the game.
Badeaux finished the day with a 4-for-4 outing, tying a career-high for hits.
The Seminoles added six more runs in the second inning sparked by a two-run single by centerfielder Brian Cox and a three-run double by Diaz. Cox extended a 23-game with three hits and two RBI on the day.
Florida State made the score 12-0 in the third inning on an RBI-basehit by Badeaux and RBI-double by Zabala. Zabala set a new career-high with four RBI on the day.
Right-hander Nick Stocks hurled five scoreless innings before surrendering five runs in the sixth inning. Stocks (7-3) struck out six batters and allowed five runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched.
Auburn starter Kevin Knorst (5-4) lasted just 1 1/3 innings after giving up nine runs on seven hits. Knorst struck out two and walked three in the outing.
FSU right-hander Scott Proctor earned a save after holding the Seminoles’ lead for 3 2/3 innings.
Catcher Jeremy Salazar, Zabala, Diaz, Cox, pitcher Wes Crawford earned NCAA Atlantic II Regional All-Tournament Team honors.
Florida State is making its 16th trip to the College World Series and 10th appearance under Mike Martin. It is the Seminoles’ ninth appearance in the last 13 years.
FSU 363 100 300 16 20 2 AUB 000 007 003 10 12 1
E-Proctor, Zabala, Rich. DP-FSU 1. LOB-FSU 8, Auburn 9. 2B-Cox, M. Diaz, Groves, Henderson, Zabala. HR-Zabala, Faulkner, Rich.