In Game 1 of the Baton Rouge Super Regional between the Florida State Seminoles and LSU Tigers, the ‘Noles rallied from a 4-0 deficit to win the opening game, 6-4. Outfielder Albert Reese carried the load bringing in four RBIs, then the FSU bullpen shut the door with 4.1 shutout innings to end the game.
Game 2 on Sunday was a role-reversal, though, as Florida State jumped out to a lead, and it was LSU’s turn to rally. After four hours and 13 minutes, the Seminoles got their biggest hit of the year from none other than the team’s highest selection in the 2019 MLB Draft, Drew Mendoza.
With Mike Salvatore standing on second base, Mendoza, facing a 2-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning, sent a line drive into right field that scored the game-winning run and advanced FSU back to the College World Series in walk-off fashion.
Head coach Mike Martin, who in 40th and final season as Florida State’s leader will appear in the College World Series for the 17th time, shared his four favorite words for the Seminole faithful on hand in Louisiana.
“SEE YOU IN OMAHA!”
The SEC and LSU’s all-time hits leader Antoine Duplantis added four more onto his career tally, including a solo home run in the fourth inning to cut FSU’s lead. An RBI single by Duplantis in the sixth inning, then then RBIs by Duplantis and Zach Watson in the eighth inning, tied the game at 4 runs before extra innings began.
Pitcher Antonio Velez (5-2) picked up his second win in as many days, throwing 4.2 shutout innings, allowing only four hits and recording six strikeouts.
“This night will be etched in stone with me for the rest of my life,” Martin said after tying Texas’ Cliff Gustafson with the most CWS appearances by any coach in college baseball history.
It’s safe to say the 75-year-old coach is hyped about returning to Omaha, Nebraska one last time.
Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas Tech, Louisville, Michigan and Vanderbilt all secured spots in the CWS as of Monday afternoon. The deciding Game 3 between Arkansas and Ole Miss will determine the eighth and final team headed to Omaha.
First, they swept the Georgia Bulldogs off of their home field in the Athens Regional. Next, they knocked LSU out at Alex Box Stadium in two-straight days. After being nearly left out of the NCAA Tournament altogether, Florida State, the lowest ranked team left in the field, will look to continue their magical postseason run in hopes of bringing the program’s first-ever national championship to Tallahassee.