Friday, June 18, 1999 • Box score
Florida State's 14-11, 13-inning victory over Stanford on Friday produced a laundry list of heroes for the Seminoles.
There was Kevin Cash, whose two-run homer in the ninth inning tied the game 9-9 and sent it into extra innings. There were Marshall McDougall and Sam Scott, whose solo homers answered Stanford's two-run burst in the 10th inning. There was pitcher Nick Stocks, a bust as a College World Series starter who recorded six of the biggest outs of the season. There was Ryan Barthelemy, who did his job to perfection in setting up the Seminoles' final blow.
Last, but not least, was sophomore Karl Jernigan, who had entered the game as a defensive replacement and wound up hitting a three-run homer that locked up third-ranked Florida State's spot in today's championship game.
"I was just trying to get a ball to the outfield and get that run in," said Jernigan, who drove the game's final pitch into the left-center field bleachers. "The last thing on my mind was a home run. It wasn't me who did this. I didn't do anything. "I just did my job. You can't pick out one person that did the thing that won the ballgame. This was a whole team effort, and we gave it all we had today."
Jernigan's three-run homer off Stanford reliever Tony Cogan brought to an end a game that, for sheer baseball drama, compares with any in the CWS' first 53 years. Florida State, up 7-2 after four innings, saw its hopes of making it to today's title game dimmed by a seven-run Stanford seventh inning that featured a grand-slam homer by John Gall and Edmund Muth's two-run shot.
Three outs from elimination, the Seminoles got a tie when Cash followed Jeremiah Klosterman's leadoff walk in the ninth with his 14th homer. Run-scoring singles by Stanford's Josh Hochgesang and Damien Alvarado put the Cardinal back in front by two runs, but the Seminoles answered with solo homers from McDougall, who hit two Friday, and Scott.
Out of pitching - the Seminoles tied a CWS record by using seven pitchers against Stanford - the Seminoles turned to Stocks, who had failed to last past the fifth in either of his two starts. He pitched a perfect 12th inning, then got an inning-ending double play to defuse a potential Stanford rally in the 13th.
The Seminoles then used an inning-opening walk by freshman Bobby Spano, Barthelemy's single that bounced over Stanford first baseman Gall, and Jernigan's sixth homer of the year to complete their trek back through the losers' bracket to their first championship game appearance since 1986.
"This game was all about who wanted to outclutch who," Cash said.
And the last thing the Seminoles wanted to hear afterward was how surviving the emotionally draining, 4-hour-and-35-minute battle left them with little chance today against first- and second-ranked Miami. The Hurricanes cruised to their spot in the title game unbeaten in Bracket One play and will be well rested for the seventh meeting of the season with their Sunshine State rival.
"Right now, every pitcher on our staff will probably tell you that his arm is hanging," Cash said. "But come tomorrow, when we step out here in front of 25,000 people, they'll be ready to play. We'll be so pumped that there's no way we're going to let a sore arm or a bad hamstring stop us."
Said Barthelemy: "There's no doubt that today took a lot out of us, but I think we've proven we can win. Hopefully, we can carry this same attitude into tomorrow's game."
Today's final will match schools from the same state for just the third time in CWS history. The first such meeting came in 1992, when Pepperdine defeated Cal State Fullerton 3-2 to win the title.
Three years later, Fullerton scored an 11 - 5 victory over Southern California.
One notable difference in those games was that the participants had not played each other six times during the regular season, as have today's title-game opponents. Miami won five of the six, four by one - run margins.
"This is going to be quite a game," said Barthelemy, a freshman from Miami. "We were hoping to get U of M. They've beaten us five out of six, and we have something to prove."
The Seminoles have proved plenty in the first eight days of their 17th trip to Omaha. After winning their first game against Texas A&M, Florida State dropped a 10-6 decision to Stanford. Facing elimination on three straight nights, the Seminoles battled back with victories of 7-2 over Fullerton and 8 - 6 over Stanford before emerging from Friday's heart-stopper with the win.
"It's a crying shame that there wasn't 26,000 out there to see that one today," Florida State Coach Mike Martin said. "It was a tremendous day for us. I haven't stood up and yelled and screamed yet, but, boy, do I feel like it."
Friday's meeting between Stanford and Florida State drew a tournament-low 11,600 people, none of whom could complain about being short-changed.
FSU, trying to make the championship game for the third time in school history and the first time since 1986, roared out of the blocks, scoring in each of the first four innings to take a 7-2 lead. Barthelemy hit a solo homer, and McDougall had a two-run shot in the Seminoles' four-run fourth to follow his first-inning RBI double.
Stanford, held in check for six innings by Florida State starter Jon McDonald, broke through in the seventh. Gall followed three straight walks with a grand slam off reliever Mike DiBlasi, pulling the Cardinal within 7-6. After DiBlasi got two outs, he hit Alvarado with a pitch and surrendered Nick Day's triple off the center-field wall and Muth's two-run homer that finished off a seven-run uprising.
"We were on a high in the seventh, but I don't think any of us looked past the next out, the next pitch," Gall said. "We were excited for the moment, but we knew we had to get right back out there. Florida State played hard, and they kept coming after us."
Stanford starter Jason Young regrouped after his rough start and shut out the Seminoles from the fifth through the eighth, allowing just two base runners. He started the ninth by walking Klosterman on a 3 - 2 pitch, then surrendered Cash's game-tying homer on another 3-2 delivery.
Cash's homer came on the 167th pitch thrown by Young, a sophomore right-hander who brought a 12-3 record into the game.
"It was a gutsy performance by Jason," Stanford Coach Mark Marquess said.
The Cardinal got the lead back in the 10th, with walks setting up their two-run inning. Jeff Rizzo drew one with one out and, after he stole second, Joe Borchard received a two-out intentional walk. Hochgesang and Alvarado followed with run-scoring singles, again leaving Stanford needing three outs to protect the two-run cushion that would lift it to the title game for the third time in its history.
McDougall got the Seminoles back within a run when he led off the FSU 10th with his 28th homer. Two pitches later, Scott delivered his 11th to forge another tie.
"They're down, and they come up with some big swings," Marquess said. "And they just didn't do it once. We had some big swings, too. There were some huge swings from both sides, and that's what made it a great game."
Jernigan saved the biggest swing for last, launching his homer into the bleachers to touch off a celebration that left Martin dancing with joy.
"I'm just so proud of each and every member of our baseball team," Martin said. "This is something they've worked for to attain, and now we're going to play for it tomorrow."