Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when Steve Sollman singled home Joe Thaman from second base with two outs. Thaman was on after drawing a walk and had moved to second on a groundout.
The Irish got another two-out run in the fourth to make it 2-0. Kris Billmaier singled to center, moved to third on Paul O'Toole's single and scored on a base hit by Javier Sanchez.
Notre Dame got an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh to push the lead to 3-0. O'Toole singled and Thaman grounded to second with one out on what looked to be an inning-ending double play, but FSU second baseman Bryan Zech committed an error to put runners on first and second. Steve Stanley's bunt single loaded the bases and O'Toole scored on Steve Sollman's sacrifice fly to center.
The Seminoles mounted a late rally in the top of the eighth. Bryan Zech doubled and came around to score on Tony Richie's two-out single off the wall in right. Notre Dame left fielder Brian Stavisky ended the inning with a sliding catch of Jerrod Brown's fly ball in fall territory.
Florida State starter Marc LaMacchia (10-2) pitched well in the loss, giving up two earned runs on six hits in 6.1 innings. LaMacchia walked two and struck out two.
Notre Dame now advances to the College World Series in Omaha, NE to play the Stanford Cardinal. It is the second World Series trip ever for the Irish and their first since 1957.
Florida State Head Coach Mike Martin
"I guess the good lord had something else in store for us this season. This was the most disappointing moment in my career. The reason I say that is that I never had a better group of young men. What they accomplished this year was unbelievable, unbelievable. Twenty-five wins. I will just tell you the God's honest truth; Notre Dame deserves to go to the College World Series. They came in here and beat us two out of three in our own backyard and I take my hat off to them and wish them the best. That was a very good baseball team. Obviously today's game was the total opposite of the other two, but it is a credit to them.
"(Left fielder Brian) Stavinsky made an unbelievable catch in the eighth inning on the ball Brown hit. Obviously it was foul, but J.B. had been swinging the bat so well that we wanted to get him back in there.
"I thought Marc LaMacchia really showed that he is ready to take the ball. if Matt Lynch and Roby Read sign or whatever works out this young man is ready to take the ball on Fridays. I was very, very impressed with his poise.
"Can't say enough about T.R., one of the highest drafts we have ever kept. He came in here and he has gotten it done all year long for us. "Give the credit to Notre Dame; they did a tremendous job."
Notre Dame Head Coach Paul Mainieri
"I'm sure we shocked the baseball world this weekend. It is a feeling you just can't explain. We really believed that we could come down here and do it; we really did believe that we could come down here and actually do it. You just don't have words to describe the way that you feel at this particular time.
"I just want to tip my hat to Florida State's team and their coaching staff. Mike Martin is one class guys n all of college baseball. He is an idol of mine. This is the first time we have had a chance to play a series against them, and I have such respect for the Florida State players, the way they played the game and the way they are taught the game. What an electric atmosphere to be here at Dick Howser Stadium. The fans are awesome and it is a great, great experience to be here.
"Obviously we are thrilled with the victory today and over the weekend. We are really excited about going to the College World Series for first time in 45 years. I am sure these kids are really excited about going. I think we are going to go there and play as hard as we can, just like we took the attitude that we were going to come here and play as hard as we could. If we are good enough, then we can win the National Championship. If not, then we are at least going to go out there and give it our best shot."