The Daily Nole

20-Year Nole Anniversary: FSU Tops Stanford in Wild Thriller to Reach CWS Final

Damian Strohmeyer/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Florida State and Omaha are two words that have commonly been used in the same sentence of late. That was also on this case 20 years ago.

A spot in the College World Series finale was on the line as the Seminoles took on Stanford in Omaha on June 11, 1999. FSU was down to its final at-bat on two separate occasions before ultimate prevailing in walk-off fashion in 13 innings by a 14-11 score to reach the College World Series championship game.

Karl Jernigan played the role of hero for FSU by blasting a walk-off 3-run home run in the bottom of the 13th to deliver the Seminoles. Prior to the at-bat, Jernigan had been just 1-for-6 in Omaha.

As dramatic as Jernigan’s walk-off home run was were the events that led to that moment. The Seminoles trailed by two runs as they came to the plate in both the ninth and 10th innings before ultimately prevailing.

The Seminoles were on the short end of a 9-7 score in the ninth inning when catcher Jeremiah Klosterman reached to start the inning. One batter later, third baseman Kevin Cash left the yard with a 2-run home run to force extra innings.

It looked as though Cash would prolong FSU’s season for only an inning. The Cardinal pushed across two runs in the top of the 10th inning on RBI singles from Josh Hochgesang and Damien Alvarado, forcing Florida State to put up another two spot to keep the contest going. The Seminoles would do just that.

In the bottom of the 10th, Marshall McDougall, who had homered six times in a contest earlier in the season, cut the lead in half with a solo home run in the 10th — his second of the day. Two batters later, Sam Scott left the yard to knot the score at 11.

Mike Smalley and Nick Stocks combined to work scoreless frames in the 11th, 12th and 13th to give the FSU offense the chance to ultimately end it. Bobby Spano walked to start the frame for the Seminoles in the 13th before Ryan Barthelemy singled to put runners on the corners with no one out and to set the stage for Jernigan.

Jernigan blasted the second pitch he saw from Stanford lefty Tony Cogan into the left-center field bleachers, sending FSU to the College World Series finale against rival Miami. It was the second win for the Seminoles over the Cardinal in as many days and a third elimination game victory in three days.

McDougall and Barthelemy each had four hits for an FSU team that finished the day with 19. As a team, FSU homered six times. Jernigan, McDougall and Cash all finished with three RBIs. Stocks worked a pair of scoreless innings to get the victory.

The day started well for FSU as it scored runs in each of the first three innings before pushing across four in the fourth to take a 7-2 lead. Stanford responded with a 7-run seventh to go up 9-7 before the drama ensued over the game’s final innings.

Unfortunately for the Seminoles, they would come up one run short to rival Miami in the College World Series championship the following day, 6-5. FSU has not been to the CWS championship since, but hopes to change that this year. The last time however, that a spot in the championship was clinched for the Seminoles came in dramatic fashion and on this day 20 years ago.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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