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The Hits Kept Coming

Florida State slugger’s records have stood the test of time

Marshall McDougall will never forget May 9, 1999.

single-game baseball records

Home Runs
No. Player, Teams Date Division
6 Marshall McDougall, Florida St. vs. Maryland May 9, 1999 I
5 Henry Rochelle, Campbell vs. Radford March 30, 1985 I
5 Josh Hamilton, St. Edward’s vs. Okla. Panhandle April 18, 2003 II
Runs Batted In
No. Player, Teams Date Division
16 Marshall McDougall, Florida St. vs. Maryland May 9, 1999 I
14 Jim LaFountain, Louisville vs. Western Ky. March 24, 1976 I
14 Jeff Hasse, Cleveland St. vs. Youngstown St. April 6, 1999 I
14 Brad Bauder, Virginia Tech vs. Georgetown April 21, 2002 I
14 Scott Shirrell, Dartmouth vs. Harvard May 4, 2002 I
14 Mike Cohan, DeSales vs. Scranton May 1, 2004 III
Total Bases
No. Player, Teams Date Division
25 Marshall McDougall, Florida St. vs. Maryland May 9, 1999 I
23 Henry Rochelle, Campbell vs. Radford March 30, 1985 I
23 Brad Bauder, Virginia Tech vs. Georgetown April 21, 2002 I
21 Brad Mott, Ripon vs. Carroll (WI) April 11, 2002 III

The day started simply enough for the Florida State second baseman: a single in his initial at bat in the top of the first inning, like he had done many times before during his career. It was, perhaps, the last ordinary thing to happen for McDougall in that spring game against the Maryland Terrapins in College Park.

The Jacksonville, Florida, native strode to the plate again in the second inning, with the score tied 2-2, and hit his first home run of the game, a solo blast to left center field. Two innings later, McDougall hit his second homer of the game, this one a three-run shot.

The hits and home runs kept coming: A two-run home run in the sixth inning. A three-run bomb to center in the seventh. Then, in the eighth inning, a grand slam gave McDougall a home-run cycle.

“After he hit his fifth one in the eighth inning, I really thought it would take a miracle for him to bat again,” Florida State coach Mike Martin said. “But then we got a couple more people on base in the eighth. I started counting in my head and realized that there was an outside chance he could come up in the ninth inning.”

And just like that, enough of his teammates reached base to let the baseball gods smile on McDougall one final time.

“It was the first pitch, and I swung as hard as I could,” McDougall said. “Maryland’s field had a high wall in center, but it was shorter than most fields. Honestly, when I hit it, I thought it was a pop-up, and then it just barely cleared the wall. So I definitely got lucky because I didn’t get all of it.”

In the end, Florida State took home a 26-2 victory over the Terrapins, and McDougall finished the game 7-for-7 with NCAA single-game records for home runs (six), RBIs (16) and total bases (25).

“It almost never happened,” Martin said, “because I tried to take him out of the game after he hit his fourth home run. But we had no one left on the bench who could play his position, so I couldn’t do it.”

The previous home run record was set by Campbell’s Henry Rochelle, who had five home runs against Radford in 1985.

“I honestly didn’t know what the home run record was at the time,” McDougall said. “I knew my teammate, Matt Diaz, had hit four home runs in a game the year before, so I knew it was at least that. After I hit the sixth home run, they announced it on the PA that it was an NCAA record.”

Across all three NCAA Divisions, Josh Hamilton of St. Edward’s is the only other player besides Rochelle to hit five home runs in a game. The other records McDougall set that day have held their marks, as well. Jim LaFountain of Louisville set the previous NCAA single-game record of 14 RBIs in a game against Western Kentucky on March 24, 1976, and Jeff Hasse of Cleveland State tied the record in a game against Youngstown State just over a month before McDougall broke it. The previous total-base record of 23 was set by Rochelle during his five-home-run performance in 1985.

Although McDougall enjoyed an 11-year professional baseball career — which included a stint in 2005 with the Texas Rangers — it’s easy to see why the incredible display of power on that spring day in 1999 remains a highlight for him.

“I played on a bunch of different teams all over. And every time I would move teams — even when I played in Mexico — the story would come out, and the other players would ask me about it,” McDougall said. “Now that I don’t play anymore, it still comes up, but just not nearly as often.”

There is one part of the story that he still marvels over.

“When we got back to the Tallahassee airport late that night, there were at least 600 to 700 people waiting for us to congratulate me,” McDougall said. “It was just amazing. I couldn’t believe it. … That’s when the day and everything that had happened really sunk in.”

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Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.

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