June 5, 1999
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –– Florida State rallied for four runs in the top
of the ninth inning, the go-ahead run coming on Auburn first baseman Todd
Faulkner’s firelding error, to come-from-behind and beat the Tigers 6-3 on
Saturday night at the NCAA Baseball Super Regional at Tallahassee in Dick
Howser Stadium. The victory gave FSU (53-12) a 2-0 win in the best of
three series and a berth in next week’s College World Series at Rosenblatt
Stadium in Omaha, NE.
“I can’t say enough about being surrounded by good people,” said
Florida State head coach Mike Martin. “We have good people on this
ballclub and they really showed their character in the ninth inning. We
were agressive at the plate in the ninth, but also very disciplined.”
The Tigers took a 3-2 lead into the final inning and were two outs
away from forcing a third and deciding game on Sunday, when FSU catcher
Jeremiah Klosterman led off with the fly out to the warning track in right
field. Chris Smith then worked a walk and Brett Groves followed with a
single to center to put runners on the corners.
Auburn reliever Kolter Bean then came on for starter Brent
Schoening. Seminole pinch-hitter John Halliday greeted Bean with a double
to right center that plated Smith to tied the game. Karl Jernigan then hit
a roller to first that Faulkner could not handle, scoring Groves to give
Florida State a 4-3 lead. Marshall McDougall added a two-run single to
complete the scoring.
“It was important for us to win by coming from behind,” said
Martin. “We had a chance in the ACC Tournament to do it but didn’t. Now
in the Series, if we fall behind, we know we can come back.”
Chris Chavez struck out two in the ninth to earn his fifth save.
For the second straight night, FSU right fielder Matt Diaz staked
the Seminoles to an early lead with a home run. He hit a three-run shot in
the first on Friday night and added a two- run blast to left tonight, his
19th of the season, to give Florida State at 2-0 lead.
FSU, behind the pitching of starter Jon McDonald, held that margin
until the bottom of the seventh. With two on and one out, Faulkner hit his
sixth homer of the year over the right center field fence to give the
Tigers a 3-2 lead, their first in the series.
McDonald tired late but went 7.2 innings, scattering eight hits and
striking out four. Zach Diaz got the win to improve to 3-1, getting the
final out in the eighth.
Schoening settled down after the first and went 8.1 innings. He
struck out 11 while allowing three runs and five hits. Bean was tagged
with the loss, giving up two hits and three runs in 0.2 innings to fall to
The Seminoles will be making their seventh CWS appearance in the
last nine seasons and their 11th in Martin’s 20 seasons at Florida State
“I can’t think of a team that I have enjoyed working with more in
my time at Florida State,” Martin said. “I am really looking forward to
going back to the CWS and with these guys.”
FSU will play the winner of the Texas A&M/Clemson series in its
opening game in Omaha. First round games at the CWS will be next Friday
and Saturday. Games times will be announced on Tuesday.