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Flashback: 49 years ago, FSU and USC faced off for CWS title

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The game went deep into the Omaha night with zeroes accumulating on the scoreboard. Sound familiar?

This was the case on Saturday when FSU defeated Arkansas 1-0 and again in Michigan’s 2-0 win over the Seminoles in the College World Series.

And it was also the case 49 years ago Tuesday, as the Seminoles and Southern Cal were deadlocked in a 1-1 game that would decide the 1970 CWS champion. The game went into extras and kept going, all the way until the 15th inning when USC’s Frank Alfano had an infield single to give the Trojans a 2-1 win.

It was a tough loss for FSU, which had made a run to the CWS title game but saw two pitchers leave the game due to injury. Pitcher Pat Osburn hit a grounder but badly injured his knee on a play in which a throwing error allowed Tom Porter to score a run in the fifth inning.

USC’s Cal Meier had an RBI single in the seventh to tie the game at 1.

FSU’s Mac Scarce pitched 7.1 innings, retiring the first 13 batters he faced, before he had to exit the game with a blister on his index finger.

Alfano’s chopper back to the mound in the 15th wasn’t fielded cleanly by FSU reliever Carl Gromek and USC won the game.

FSU made a run to the CWS title game after knocking off Arizona and Dartmouth, before falling to Texas. But the Seminoles bounced back to defeat Ohio and got revenge against Texas to advance to the title game.

Jack Stallings won 248 games at FSU in six seasons. He won more than 1,250 games at FSU, Georgia Southern and Wake Forest. He died in 2018 at 87 in Tallahassee.

Hat tip to Rich Halten of Garnet and Great for the story idea. Game stories from the Florida Times Union and Omaha World-Herald provided details.

Comments

  1. Jerry Kutz Reply

    Jack Stallings was the head coach when I arrived as a student at FSU. I remember going to games at the stadium which wasn’t much better than my Grapeland Heights little league field in Miami. It featured a chainlink backstop and what 10-12 rows of temporary wooden bleachers?
    And yet the ‘Noles had been to the CWS since 1958 just over 10 years after transitioning from an all-girls school to co-ed…
    There was always an air about FSU Baseball, a pride about it, and great, great talent. Not many programs can boast never having a losing season in the history of the sport.
    Lots of tradition in that one photograph and story.

  2. Dan Owens Reply

    My Dad, Bill Owens, broadcast that game and I listened to it from my bunk bed into the wee ours on a transistor radio (remember those?). FSU has always had a strong program, never having a losing season. I believe this will continue under the new coaching staff whoever it is. FYI, Dad also broadcast the 1972 National championship in basketball vs. UCLA, which culminated an historic run by our basketball team. I wonder how many local announcers can say they broadcast a national championship in two sports?

    • Bob Ferrante Reply

      Hey, Dan. Thanks for sharing. I have heard this from a few people about the 1970 game. Since it wasn’t televised, the connection to fans was on WTNT in Tallahassee.

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