Feb. 17, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – Seminole junior Bryan Henry was dominant once again Friday night as he pitched No. 7 FSU past UNC Asheville 10-0 in the series opener. The right-hander worked seven innings and did not issue a walk while fanning nine Bulldog hitters. Henry (2-0) needed just 80 pitches, 55 of which were strikes, as the Seminole offense battered Asheville pitchers all night long. Jack Rye, Dennis Guinn and Ryne Malone each homered and four FSU players recorded either multi-hit or multi-RBI games.
“I just went out there tonight and pounded the strike zone,” said Henry. “We were able to keep their guys off balance throwing off-speed pitches for strikes and my defense did a great job behind me.”
The shutout was the first for FSU since March 23, 2005 against JU and the first shutout Henry has been a part of in his Seminole career. For the second time in three starts this season, Henry did not issue a walk. It was the fourth time in 14 career starts that Henry did not issue a walk in an outing.
“The big thing is giving them no free passes,” said Henry. “They have to earn everything. With the defense making plays behind me it makes things a lot easier on me.”
While Henry was cruising on the mound the FSU bats were matching his success. Florida State scored double digit runs for the third time in six games and recorded nine or more hits for the fourth time this year. The top of the FSU line-up once again paced the offense. Florida State’s 1-4 hitters went 10-for-14 with eight runs scored, nine RBIs three doubles and two homeruns.
“We did a great job tonight especially at the plate,” said Malone who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. “I think we were all patient. That is my main goal to wait until I get my pitch. I did a good job of that as did the whole line-up. We picked up a bunch of hits.”
Shane Robinson continued his hot hitting from last game versus Auburn where he went 4-for-4. The preseason first team All-American went 3-for-4 Friday versus Asheville with three runs scored raising his average to a team-best .565. Freshman Buster Posey had a big night at the plate as well going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a career high three RBIs.
Once again Rye was the story though. The sophomore went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. He hit the first homerun of his career at Mike Martin Field as he ran his average to .563 with a slugging percentage of 1.063. Rye now has two homers on the season, which already matches his 2005 total in 179 fewer at bats.
“It was a good homerun to start with at this field,” said Rye. “It was a 2-0 count and I told myself I was going to get a good pitch to hit. I took a good swing at it. I didn’t think it was going to make it over the fence with the tall screen but it made me really happy that I got one at home finally.”
Rye upped his streak of consecutive games with an RBI and a walk to six. He leads the club with nine free passes and is second only to Malone with eight RBIs. His .679 on base percentage is also the best on the team.
“Patience is one of the main things I have focused on this season,” said Rye. “I want to find my pitch to hit and not chase anything out of the zone. It has worked really well so far. I have been able to get a lot of walks and see good pitches to hit.”
Asheville (1-1) started the game by getting their second hitter on base due to a Seminole error but the runner was wiped of the base paths by Danny Diaz who picked him off first. Florida State got off to good start in the bottom half of the inning as Robinson led off with a hit and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. It was the fifth straight at bat where the junior center fielder had recorded a hit. A ground out moved Robinson to third and he came home on a Posey bunt single. Posey swiped second and then came in to score on Ryne Malone’s team-leading third double of the season.
“We do a lot of that (bunting with a man on third) when we have an opportunity to score first,” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. “When we have a chance to score quickly we are going to do it. The infield was back at the time and Buster did a good job of getting the bunt down. A run is always important early. When you have a chance early don’t miss that opportunity and Buster did a good job for us.”
One of the turning points of the game came early on in the second inning with FSU leading 2-0. An error and two bases hits loaded the bases for Asheville with nobody out. Henry got out of the jam though by striking out the side and keeping Asheville from cutting into the FSU lead.
“They had the bases loaded versus a pitcher I consider to be one of the best in college baseball,” said Martin. “They had a chance to do some damage and Bryan really made some quality pitches to get out of it. No doubt that was the key to the game. It was a two-run ballgame and a base hit puts them right back in it.”
After Henry fired up the Seminole bench by getting out of a bases loaded, no out jam, Dennis Guinn added more excitement in the bottom half of the frame. The sophomore first baseman crushed a Chris Nigro (0-1) 2-1 pitch out of the deepest part of the park for the first homerun of his career.
“We got a big homerun from Dennis Guinn after getting out of a bases loaded jam and I think that really took the wind out of their sails,” said Martin.
Henry started the third just like he ended the second with is fourth straight strikeout. After a ground out to short Henry notched his fifth K of the game to retire the side.
After being held off the scoreboard in back-to-back innings, FSU added to their lead in the fifth with a two-out rally. It started with a Robinson single. Just as it seemed like the fifth pick off of the game was about to be recorded when Robinson was caught between first and second, the UNCA throw down to the shortstop sailed into centerfield allowing the junior to move up to third. Rye then drew a walk setting the stage for Posey. The freshman laced a double into the gap in right bringing both runs home and making it a 5-0 game. It was the second and third RBIs of the day for the shortstop.
In the sixth inning Mark Gildea led off with a base hit and was followed by Robinson who recorded his third hit of the day and seventh in the last two games. A Rye sac fly brought in the sixth run of the game and moved Robinson up to third. A walk put Posey on base and then Malone cleared the bases with a towering shot over the fence in right as FSU broke out to a 9-0 lead.
“That homerun meant a lot,” said Malone. “I worked the count pretty good after getting down 0-2 early. I saw a couple pitches, fouled a couple off and got him to hang one over the middle. I was fortunate to get that at bat. We had two outs but the guys ahead of me did a good job keeping the inning alive.”
Rye continued his torrid pace in the eighth when he sent a two-out shot over the fence in right to extend the FSU lead to 10-0. The sophomore has now equaled his homerun total from his entire freshman season in just six games. It was the first homer Rye has ever hit at Mike Martin Field and it extended his streak of games with a walk and an RBI to six.
Game two of the series began at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Game Tracker will be available for the contest along with a live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.