That's when Hammerheads manager Andy Haines saw what has gotten his team so deep into the season.
"I can't say I was totally surprised they came back, you knew they would make a run for it," Haines said. "But I told our guys, 'Limit the damage.' We're well aware of what they're capable of. For us, to keep it tied, we made some big pitches and limited the damage."
Then Haines watched his team respond with three runs in the sixth, burying St. Lucie en route to an 11-7 victory that vaulted the Marlins' Class A Advanced affiliate into the FSL Championship Series for the first time.
For Haines, the celebration was short-lived. A win that nearly slipped away is old news since the best-of-5 Finals begin in less than 24 hours.
"They had some non-alcohol champagne in the dugout, it was somewhat of a reserved celebration," he said. "We're not taking this for granted, we have a quick turnaround. The next series starts tomorrow, so there's not much time to enjoy this one."
Jupiter reclaimed the lead in the sixth as Marcell Ozuna drew a bases-loaded walk and Ryan Fisher followed with a two-run double to make it 9-6.
"To answer back just shows you the character of our guys," Haines said. "We could have been deflated, but we kept playing, kept plugging and we answered right back. We continued to make big pitches and big plays. It went back and forth. I can't say anything wrong about both teams, the way they went out. But I didn't feel good about it until Christian Yelich caught that last out."
That's not to say Haines didn't have confidence in his bullpen, a group that combined to hold St. Lucie to one run over the final four innings. Rett Varner, Raudel Lazo and Michael Brady gave up three hits after the Mets tied the game in the sixth.
"We ask a lot of all three of those guys, they answered the bell, and I can't say enough good things about them," Haines said. "You need your bullpen to shut things down and all three guys did a tremendous job for us."
Hammerheads starter Robert Morey lasted four innings and allowed four runs on eight hits, but Jupiter stuck it to St. Lucie counterpart Chase Huchingson, an All-Star left-hander who was charged with six runs on seven hits over 3 1/3 frames.
"We've seen that a lot. He's capable of getting on a roll," Haines said of Huchingson. "He's capable of shutting you down. We thought [the early runs] might set the tone, and they answered back. And that's a credit to their lineup."
Jupiter will face Lakeland, which recorded back-to-back shutouts in sweeping Dunedin in the North Division finals.
"We don't know much about them," Haines said. "Both teams are unknown to each other. We played them early and they were a much different team. We played them again and it got rained out. So they're a little unknown going in. We have a quick turnaround, so we'll find out quick enough tomorrow what they're all about."
Danny Muno fell a homer shy of the cycle, drove in two runs and scored once for St. Lucie, which also got two RBIs apiece from Richard Lucas and leadoff man Alonzo Harris.