June 21, 1999 - by
Seminoles Reach Championship Game!

June 18, 1999


AP Sports Writer

Box Score | Quotes

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The ball came off Karl Jernigan’s bat and just kept
going, taking Florida State into the championship game of the College World

Jernigan’s three-run homer in the 13th inning gave Florida State a 14-11
victory over Stanford on Friday and put the Seminoles into the title game for
the first time since 1986.

With runners on first and third and no outs, Jernigan said he wasn’t trying
for dramatics.

“All I was trying to do was get a ball to the outfield and bring in a run.
The last thing on my mind was a home run,” he said.

It will be an all-Florida final Saturday when the second-seeded Seminoles
(57-13) meet top-seeded Miami (48-13). The Hurricanes won five of six
regular-season games against Florida State this season.

Bobby Spano started Florida State’s 13th with a leadoff walk. He went to
third when Ryan Barthelemy bounced a single over the glove of first baseman
John Gall, who charged after trying to hold Spano.

Jernigan then hit a 1-0 pitch from reliever Tony Cogan (7-4) into the left
field bleachers. He pumped his fists as he rounded the bases, and the Seminoles
swarmed him at the plate.

Amid the celebration was Florida State coach Mike Martin, who has brought
his team to Omaha 18 times in his 19 seasons but has never won it. Arizona beat
Florida State 10-2 in Martin’s only other final in 1986.

The Hurricanes owned the season series between the teams and Martin has few
options on the mound after using seven pitchers against Stanford (50-15). But
he showed little concern in the interview room.

“We’re going to be on time and we’re going to fight for 27 outs,” Martin
said. “It’s an uphill battle, but thank the good Lord, we’re going to play for
it all tomorrow.”

Nick Stocks (13-2), Florida State’s No. 1 starter, threw the last two
innings in relief.

Stanford, which trailed 7-2 in the seventh, appeared to have it won with a
9-7 lead going to the bottom of the ninth. Cardinal coach Mark Marquess elected
to leave in right-hander Jason Young, who already had three complete games in
the postseason.

It turned out to be the wrong choice. Young issued a leadoff walk to
Jeremiah Klosterman and Kevin Cash then hit a two-run homer into the left
center bleachers, tying it 9-9. It was Young’s 167th pitch.

“The only time to extend him is in the postseason,” Marquess said. “We
talked to him. To be honest, I thought he had a better fastball in the eighth
and ninth than he had in the fourth and fifth.”

Stanford got the lead right back with two runs in the top of the 10th on
run-scoring singles by Josh Hochgesang and Damien Alvarado.

“After we took the lead with Tony on the mound, I thought we had a chance
to win it,” Hochgesang said. “But they continued to take it to us, and that’s
what it was going to take today.”

The Seminoles again came up with two runs to tie it as Marshall McDougall
led off the bottom of the inning with a homer to left, and after an out, Sam
Scott homered to left on the first pitch.

“Even when we were down, we told ourselves we weren’t going to lose,”
Scott said.

There were plenty of highs and lows for both teams, with each doing anything
to produce runs each time up. The Seminoles wore their hats backward in the
dugout and the Stanford players rubbed the bills of their caps on every pitch.

It was also a script that went exactly as Miami coach Jim Morris had hoped
as he watched from the stands.

After Miami reached the championship game by beating Alabama on Thursday,
Morris jokingly wished for extra innings to tire whichever team survived to
play the Hurricanes.

“There’s no question they threw a lot of pitchers today,” Morris said.
“They did go a lot of innings. You do whatever you need to do to win. To be
honest, that’s the same thing we would have done.”

Seminoles starter Jon McDonald left in the seventh after issuing a leadoff
walk to Eric Bruntlett and going 1-0 to Craig Thompson. At the time, the
Seminoles were trying to protect a 7-2 lead.

John Gall pulled the Cardinal within 7-6 with a grand slam off reliever Mike
DiBlasi. Left fielder Chris Smith closed on the ball and leaped as it cleared
the wall, missing the catch by a few inches.

Five batters later, Edmund Muth homered to right center, a two-run shot that
put Stanford ahead 8-7.

“We were all on a high in the seventh but I don’t think any of us looked
past the next out,” Gall said. “Immediately after those big hits, we knew we
needed to get back out there. We knew they were going to come after us again.”

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