TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State's Mike McGee couldn't believe he took a strike right down the middle on the first pitch he saw with two outs in the ninth.
"Crap," McGee said he thought to himself. "That was the one."
But then he got another fastball on the outer half of the plate and hit the you know what out of it over the 30-foot high fence in right-centerfield to give the Seminoles a 9-8 win over Vanderbilt in the first game of their best-of-three Super Regional on Friday.
"I really didn't think I was going to get a pitch to hit," said McGee, whose team-high 15th home run ended an entertaining slugfest. "I just got it up in the air and the ball was carrying pretty well today."
Was it ever. Seven home runs were among the 28 base hits between the two teams.
McGee's winning blast off Chase Reid was his third walkoff hit of the season and second walkoff homer, putting Florida State within a win of advancing to the College World Series for the 20th time and second in three years.
Daniel Bennett (5-1) pitched two innings of one-hit relief to collect the win while Reid (4-2) was tagged with the loss. Although he was hit hard while giving up six runs in the first two innings, Vandy starter Taylor Hill made it through five innings without any more damage.
Vandy's Mike Yastrzemski, the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski and son of the late former Florida State baseball star Mike Yastrzemski, looked briefly like he might have been the game's hero. The freshman outfielder homered in the eighth to give Vanderbilt an 8-7 lead, but Florida State's Jayce Boyd countered in the bottom half of the frame to tie the game and set up McGee's heroics.
Vanderbilt lost despite 16 hits and four home runs that brought them back from a 6-0 deficit after two innings.
"They really showed what they're all about," Martin said. "It was a clear display of fight on their part."
Vanderbilt, which needs two straight wins to earn its first CWS trip, knows something about swimming upstream.
The Commodores (45-19) had to win three straight games, including two over top-seed Louisville, last weekend to advance out of the loser's bracket to its first Super Regional.
"We have an elimination game, but we don't look at it that way," said Jason Esposito, who hit one of Vandy's four home runs Friday. "We just have to win two games."
Florida State starter Sean Gilmartin couldn't hold the early 6-0 lead and was chased with two outs in the top of the fifth on a run-scoring double by Curt Casali that pulled the visitors to within 6-4. Casali, who also had a double and two singles, had homered an inning earlier for Vanderbilt's first run.
"We just kept whittling away," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. "We were persistent and just couldn't hold them at the end."
The Commodores caught up to tie the score at 6-6 in the sixth when Yastrzemski doubled over the head of centerfielder Tyler Holt and scored on a single by Anthony Gomez.
Jason Esposito's 11th home run of the season, a shot over the left field wall in the top of the seventh, erased an early six-run deficit and gave Vanderbilt a short-lived 7-6 lead.
Florida State tied it in its half of the seventh when James Ramsey's sacrifice fly scored Sherman Johnson, whose 2-run homer earlier capped a four-run second inning that spotted the Seminoles their early cushion.
TCU 3, TEXAS 1:
Matt Purke gave up three hits and struck out 11 to lead TCU on Friday in the first game of their best-of-three super regional series.
TCU (50-11) scored first when Aaron Schultz's sacrifice fly to right scored Matt Curry from third in the second inning. The Horned Frogs got two more runs in the sixth on a wild pitch from losing pitcher Cole Green (11-2) and another sacrifice fly to right, from Joe Weik.
Texas (49-12) scored when Kevin Keyes hit a 2-2 breaking ball over the left field fence. The Longhorns had men on first and second in the eighth inning, but couldn't bring them home.
FLORIDA 7, MIAMI 2:
Alex Panteliodis pitched his first complete game and Florida took advantage of two errors to beat Miami 7-2 in the opener of their best-of-three series.
Austin Maddox and Mike Zunino drove in two runs each for the Gators (46-15), who improved to 32-3 at home and moved a victory away from their sixth trip to the College World Series.
The in-state rivals play again Saturday in the NCAA Super Regional.
The Gators jumped on Miami early, played flawless defense and got a career night from Panteliodis. The sophomore left-hander retired the final 14 batters and struck out a career-high 12. He allowed three hits, including a two-run home run to Yasmani Grandal.