Photo courtesy of Phil Kelly/Florida State athletics
Over the years, the rivalry between Florida State and Miami has produced some memorable moments on the diamond.
The teams have met many times in the NCAA Tournament and even once for a national championship. It didn’t rise to that magnitude, but on this day five years ago, the Seminoles really needed a win over Miami. Jackson Lueck provided it with a walk-off home run in the 10th in a 3-2 victory.
Setting the Stage
Ranked No. 4 in the country, Miami was going for a doubleheader and 3-game sweep of FSU on May 21, 2016. After taking the first game on the series two days prior, the Hurricanes began a doubleheader with an 8-5 victory.
The Seminoles were in their biggest funk of the season, having lost six of seven. Lueck would turn the tide.
Jim Voyles, Matthew Kinney and Tyler Warmoth combined to work three scoreless innings of relief to get FSU to the bottom of the 10th with the score tied at two apiece. Lueck led off the inning.
Miami reliever Ryan Guerra needed just one pitch to retire Quincy Nieporte to end the ninth. He threw just two in the 10th before leaving as the losing pitcher.
After a first-pitch strike, Guerra left a breaking pitch out over the plate. Lueck didn’t miss it as he blasted the righty’s offering over the center field wall for a walk-off home run.
FSU had won the game and avoided the sweep, 3-2.
FSU was on the short end of a 2-1 score at the seventh-inning stretch, but drew even in the bottom of the inning. The Seminoles nearly squandered a lead-off triple, but Cal Raleigh was able to come through with a 2-out RBI double to tie the game at 2-2.
FSU scored first on an RBI groundout in the second inning, but the Hurricanes answered with a run of their own in the third. Miami took its first lead on a Willie Abreu solo home run in the top of the seventh.
Lueck finished 2-for-3 with two of the three runs for FSU. Raleigh had three of the nine hits for the Seminoles. Jacob Heyward had two of the five Miami hits and scored a run in the loss.
For FSU, the victory would spark a turnaround. FSU won eight of its next nine games, which included another walk-off win over Miami in the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles would go on to fall to Clemson for the ACC Championship before losing to Florida in the Gainesville Super Regional.
Throughout the course of the 2016 season, the Seminoles had several walk-off wins. The lone walk-off home run however, came on this day five years ago.