This post appeared on The Daily Nole on June 15, 2016
Another successful baseball season for Florida State came to an end on Monday night as the Seminoles were ousted by rival Florida in the NCAA Super Regionals for a second straight year. FSU finished 41-22 to run its streak of consecutive seasons with at least 40 wins to 39, but was unable to get back to the College World Series for the first time since 2012.
Though losing to its rival wasn’t the ending the Seminoles had hoped for, the 2016 campaign certainly had its moments. Looking back, here are the top five moments for Florida State from this past season:
5. Noles Homer Six Times to Clinch Tallahassee Regional (June 5)
The Tallahassee Regional to open the NCAA Tournament turned out to be an offensive explosion as FSU scored 43 runs over the three games to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals. After beating Alabama State and Southern Mississippi, FSU advanced with an 18-6 victory over South Alabama on June 5. The Seminoles hit six home runs in the finale — the most by an FSU team in more than eight years. Dylan Busby homered twice while Cal Raleigh, Hayden Kelly, Tyler Holton and Jackson Lueck all left the yard. On the mound, starter Cole Sands was exceptional, allowing just a run on two hits in five innings as FSU clinched its 39th straight 40-win season.
4. FSU Blasts Louisville in Rubber Game (April 10)
In what at the time was a pivotal series in the ACC Atlantic division race, No. 5 Louisville came to Tallahassee looking to show that it was the team to beat in the division. After splitting the first two games however, the Seminoles closed the series with an impressive 16-5 romp in the rubber game. Dylan Busby finished with a home run and five RBIs in the win while the FSU offense tagged Louisville starter and highly-sought pro prospect Kyle Funkhouser with eight runs in just 3 1/3 innings. Over the third, fourth and fifth frames, the Seminoles scored 14 runs.
3. Carlton Shuts Down Gators to Open Super Regional (June 11)
Florida State traveled to Gainesville for the NCAA Super Regional to face No. 1 national seed Florida. The Seminoles had lost five straight and nine of 11 to the Gators coming in, but starting pitcher Drew Carlton made sure that streak would end. Carlton worked a 2-hit shutout against Florida while not allowing a single Gator runner to reach second base and facing just one over the minimum. The effort came in a 3-0 win and gave the Seminoles the inside track to the College World Series. Unfortunately for FSU, the Gators would return the favor with shutouts in each of the next two games to take the best-of-three Super Regional and advance to Omaha.
2. Noles Down Miami with Two Walk-Offs in One Week (May 21 and 28)
In a 1-week span, Florida State evened its season series with rival Miami with a pair of walk-off hits. During the second game of a doubleheader and the regular season finale on May 21, the Seminoles and Hurricanes headed to extra innings even 2-2. After Matthew Kinney and Tyler Warmoth retired Miami in the top of the 10th inning, Jackson Lueck led off the bottom half with a solo home run, giving the Seminoles a 3-2 victory. In a de facto ACC semifinal a week later in Durham, Warmoth entered the ninth inning with FSU leading 4-2. Unfortunately, Warmoth was unable to hold the lead as the Hurricanes plated a pair of runs to tie the contest, 4-4. In the bottom half of the inning however, the Seminoles responded as Dylan Busby singled home Cal Raleigh with the bases loaded, sealing a 5-4 victory and a second straight berth in the ACC Championship.
1. Combined Walk-Off No-Hitter (March 9)
It’s not every day that a no-hitter happens in college baseball, but a combined walk-off no-hitter is probably close to unheard of. That’s what took place at Dick Howser Stadium on March 9 against Toledo. Cole Sands, Cobi Johnson and Jim Voyles combined to work nine no-hit innings against the Rockets, but a throwing error by FSU shortstop Taylor Walls in the fourth inning allowed two runs to score. The contest entered the bottom of the 9th even 2-2 with FSU needing a run to complete the no-hitter. Darren Miller would score that run on a bunt single down the first base line by Matt Henderson, giving FSU its first no-hitter since Chris Chavez tossed one against Charleston Southern in 1998.