By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
June 9, 2019
BATON ROUGE, La. (WCTV) -- The Florida State Seminoles are just one win away from the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, but they first have to defeat LSU for a second time to take the best-of-three series.
FSU mounted their largest comeback victory of the season on Saturday, thanks in part to a pair of Reese Albert home runs, scoring all six runs in their 6-4 victory in the sixth inning or later.
A Seminole win means they're in the College World Series, where they'll match up with the winner of the Fayetteville Super Regional between Arkansas and Ole Miss.
A Tiger victory means a winner-take-all game will be played on Monday evening.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Today's game can be seen on ESPN2.
FINAL: FSU 5 - LSU 4
The Seminoles are headed to Omaha. Our game story is here as Drew Mendoza walks off against the Tigers, scoring Mike Salvatore.
Middle of the 12th, 4-4
We are just about one time through the batting order in extra innings.
The nine spot, Salvatore and Albert are due. I don't say Becker because there was a pinch hitter in the on-deck circle for him in the 11th.
End of the 11th, 4-4
Once again, nothing doing for the Noles.
We go to the 12th.
Middle of the 11th, 4-4
For the second straight frame in extra innings, the Tigers leave a runner at first base.
Velez has been tremendous in relief. FSU, who hasn't had a hit since the fourth, comes to the plate with Smith, De Sedas and Nelson due.
End of the 10th, 4-4
The Noles couldn't muster a base runner in the 10th and we head to the 11th.
Mendoza thought he was safe at first on a bang-bang play but a video replay upheld the original out call. Robby Martin and JC Flowers followed up with strikeouts looking.
Middle of the 10th, 4-4
Velez issues a two-out single to Duplantis but he's stranded at first.
The heart of the Noles' order is due in the bottom of the 10th - Mendoza, Martin and Flowers.
End of the 9th, 4-4
FREE BASEBALL WHO IS EXCITED?!
Middle of the 9th, 4-4
Antonio Velez strikes out a pair as part of a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth.
It's Nelson, Becker and Salvatore due for the Noles in the ninth.
End of the 8th, 4-4
FSU goes down in order in the eighth as we head to the top of the ninth tied at 4-4.
Over the last four innings, the Noles haven't gotten a hit - just a walk and a hit batter. 13 of the last 15 Seminole hitters have been retired.
Not a great time for the offense to go quiet.
Top of the 8th, 4-4
And just like that, we are tied.
A ball off the bat of Zach Watson goes off the glove of Drew Mendoza and rolls into left field, allowing Andtoine Duplantis to score and tie the game.
David Cabrera is safe at third and, after video replay, Watson is out after trying to extend his play into a hustle double.
Top of the 8th, 4-3, FSU
We have a one-run ball game.
Josh Smith opened the top of the eighth with a double and a one-out double from Antoine Duplantis brings Smith home and makes it a one-run game.
Van Eyk's day is officially done at 115 pitches.
Top of the 8th, 4-2, FSU
Well I'll be. It appears CJ is going to go back to the mound.
Middle of the 7th, 4-2, FSU
CJ Van Eyk's day, if I had to guess, is done after 101 pitches and what a performance it has been. A 1-2-3 seventh would be a great way to cap his day.
Middle of the 6th, 4-2, FSU
CJ owes Matheu Nelson any meal he wants.
After having runners at second and third, the two tying runs, Nelson picks off the runner at third, DiGiocomo and a flyout ends the inning, and the Tigers' threat.
An inning that could have been huge for the Tigers ends huge for the Noles.
Top of the 6th, 4-2, FSU
Last night, it was the top of the sixth that got the Seminoles going in their comeback effort. LSU is trying to write the same story tonight.
The first three batters of the inning have all reached - the first time today Van Eyk has surrendered consecutive singles. Josh Smith and Giovani DiGiocomo singled to set the plate for Antoine Duplantis, who singled into left field and scored Smith, cutting the Noles' lead in half at 4-2.
"Game on," LSU just said.
End of the 5th, 4-1, FSU
Nothing to say, just letting you know I'm still here. Five are complete, and the ESPN2 broadcast was discussing the way both teams felt; they said FSU was playing kind of loose and having fun while LSU is playing very tight.
That's exactly how it felt in Athens all weekend.
Bottom of the 4th, 4-1, FSU
Tim. Becker. Folks.
After Matheu Nelson reached on an infield single (which *could* have been ruled an error but I think I would have given it a hit), Becker sliced a double into left field and it's a 4-1 game.
Top of the 4th, 3-1, FSU
Antonie Duplantis has put the Tigers on the board after a home run that went to video review because it wasn't 100% whether it was fair or foul.
Replay said it was fair and the shutout for Van Eyk is gone.
End of the 2nd, 3-0, FSU
FSU struck twice in the bottom of the second inning, though not without controversy.
The Noles loaded the bases with the first three batters of the frame - Martin with a walk and back-to-back singles from Flowers and Smith - before Nander De Santis grounded into a fielder's choice at first base.
On the play, Martin ran home from third and was tagged by Garza, the LSU catcher, but the ball came out of his glove and was ruled safe after a huddle by the umpires.
Video review later confirmed the call.
The next batter, Nelson, singled home Flowers to make it 2-0 and Mike Salvatore blooped a two-out RBI single into shallow centerfield to give FSU a 3-0 advantage.
Middle of the 2nd, 0-0
Van Eyk rolled through the first two hitters of the frame, inducing a pair of groundouts to shortstop, but labored to close the inning, issuing a walk and a single before getting Chris Reid to fly out to left field.
Van Eyk is having trouble figuring out the limits of his strikezone - he hasn't been given the top of the zone (at the letters) or the outer corner of the plate through two frames.
End of the 1st, 0-0
After what appeared to be a foul-tip strike three that was called foul, Mike Salvatore ripped a single into right field, much to the dismay of the LSU faithful, but he was erased on an inning-ending double play as Tigers' starter Landon Marceaux faces the minimum.
Middle of the 1st, 0-0
CJ Van Eyk is breezing early, as D1Baseball's Kendall Rogers explains best,
Well, CJ Van Eyk looked really, really good in the first. 95-98 mph with his FB, 83 mph with a nasty changeup and punched out Antoine Duplantis on an 83 mph CB with late breaking action. Great start for @FSUBaseball— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) June 9, 2019
A 1-2-3 inning gets the day going.
Mike Martin's final ride is proving to be an eventful and memorable one. FSU needs just one more win to secure their spot in Omaha.
First thing is first - a win against LSU.
Here's how the two sides will line up today.
Here's the look for the Tigers, who are the designated road team for this second game.
Florida State has the same starting nine, with some swapping of hitting spots.
Smith is now hitting in the sixth spot, behind JC Flowers, while Matheu Nelson has dropped to the eight spot.
Both players reached base twice yesterday - Smith on two walks and Nelson an infield single and a walk while also scoring a run. Not 100% why that strategy, but we'll see if it turns to earlier offense for the Noles.