The Daily Nole

FSU Baseball: Top 5 Moments from 2018

Ken Lanese/FSU athletics

As teams start to punch their tickets to Omaha, Florida State baseball fans sit with a bit of a sour taste in their mouths as the Seminoles were eliminated in just two games at the Tallahassee Regional.

But for the bad that the season ended on, there was a lot of good throughout the 2018 campaign as FSU won 40 games for a 41st straight season and captured a second straight ACC title. With the athletic year in the rear view, we look back on the five best moments from the Seminoles on the baseball diamond in 2018:

5. Foster Serves as the Unlikely Hero
Louisville 7, FSU 8
March 30, 2018

After giving up three runs in the eighth inning, Florida State looked dead in the water as it came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth against Louisville in late March, trailing 7-6. With one out however, Nick Derr got things started with an infield single. That brought backup catcher and pinch-hitter Jonathan Foster to the plate. Foster had just two hits prior in 17 at-bats, but made the most of his opportunity with a 2-run walk-off homer off of Louisville reliever Sam Bordner. The blast gave FSU an 8-7 walk-off win and the series.

FSU topped Boston College in the seventh annual ALS Awareness game. (Mike Gridley/FSU athletics)

4. Noles Win at Fenway
FSU 13, Boston College 7
April 21, 2018

Florida State was given a rare opportunity to play at one of baseball’s true meccas during the middle game of a 3-game series at Boston College. Rather than play in Chestnut Hill, the Seminoles and Eagles squared off at Fenway Park for BC’s annual Pete Frates ALS Awareness game. The Seminoles fell behind early, but emerged victorious, 13-7. Steven Wells finished 4-for-5 with four runs scored and an RBI while Cobi Johnson plated three runs. Jackson Lueck, Rhett Aplin and Nick Derr all finished with two RBIs.

FSU became the first team to win consecutive ACC titles since the late-1990s. (Jeremy Esbrandt/FSU athletics)

3. FSU Repeats as ACC Champions
FSU 11, Louisville 8 (10 innings)
May 27, 2018

Florida State needed extra innings to top Louisville for a second straight ACC title. The Seminoles raced to a 5-1 lead before watching the Cardinals score the game’s next seven runs. FSU was able to draw even with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. With the contest knotted 8-8 in the top of the 10th inning, third baseman Drew Mendoza ripped a 2-run double down the right field line to put the Seminoles ahead for good. Reese Albert added some insurance with an RBI groundout as the Seminoles became the first team since Wake Forest in 1998 and 1999 to win consecutive conference crowns.

FSU knocked off NC State in consecutive days with walk-off home runs to open a 3-game series at NC State. (Ken Lanese/FSU athletics)

2. Two Days, Two Walk-Off Homers
NC State 3, FSU 4 (11 innings); NC State 3, FSU 6 (10 innings)
May 17-18, 2018

The regular season ended for Florida State with a big home series against NC State. The Seminoles managed to clinch the series by winning the first two games and did so in dramatic fashion. After C.J. Van Eyk worked around a lead-off triple in the top of the 11th in the series opener, Steven Wells wasted little time providing the victory by taking NC State closer Joe O’Donnell deep for the game-winning walk-off homer. After NC State’s Brock Deatherage forced extra innings with a solo home run the following night, Reese Albert played hero in the 10th inning with a walk-off 3-run blast.

1. Martin Surpasses Garrido
FSU 3, Clemson 2 (13 innings)
May 5, 2018

After taking two of three from rival Miami the previous weekend, FSU head coach Mike Martin sat at 1,976 careers wins — tied for the most all-time with legend and Texas great Augie Garrido. In the first of three games at Clemson to kick off the month of May, nine innings of baseball wasn’t enough to decide the contest. It turned out that neither was 12. With the score knotted 2-2 in the 13th inning, senior outfielder Steven Wells blasted a solo home run to left field to put Florida State ahead. Reliever C.J. Van Eyk was able to shut the door as FSU topped Clemson 3-2 to give Martin the all-time wins record at 1,976.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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