March 11, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – If anyone was unsure if All-ACC closer Tyler Chambliss could make the move from the bullpen to starter, the junior is erasing all doubts. Saturday night Chambliss improved to 5-0 as he struck out 15 batters in a complete game victory leading No. 2 FSU (17-1, 2-0) past Maryland 6-2. It was the most strikeouts by a Seminole pitcher since April 26, 1997 when Randy Choate fanned 15 Maryland batters as well. It was the first complete game of Chambliss’ career and the first by a Seminole in the regular season since May of 2004. The victory was the 14th in a row by FSU.season since May of 2004. The victory was the 14th in a row by FSU.
“I felt good today,” said Chambliss after the outing. “I located my fastball well inside. My curveball was really outstanding. The defense was great behind me. It was fun out there. I wanted the complete game bad. I thought I had a shot at it versus Florida but everything fell apart in the seventh. Once I got past the seventh tonight there was no way I was coming out of this ballgame.”
Chambliss was the story of the night as the right-hander set career highs for innings pitched (nine), strikeouts (15) and pitches (123). He walked just two batters and gave up seven hits and two runs. The complete game was the first by a Seminole since June 4, 2005 when Bryan Henry went the distance in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional versus Auburn.
“He reminded me of a lot of Richie Lewis and Jonathan Johnson they way he pitched tonight,” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin of Chambliss’ outing. “He located his fastball extremely well and just dominated with his curveball. It was a very impressive performance.”
The Seminoles collected 11 hits on the night, 10 of which were singles. They had two bunt base hits turn into runs and did not commit an error in the game. Tony Thomas, Jr. was the only Seminole with multiple hits, Shane Robinson the only Seminole with an extra base hit and Danny Diaz the only FSU player with multiple RBIs.
“When you look up there and see a zero in the last column and the starting pitcher struck out 15 you certainly expect to win,” said Martin. “I like to see us do what it takes to win a baseball game. You aren’t going to be able to go out there and score nine runs every night. Tonight we had to scratch and claw for every run we got. Two our runs we scored because of a bunt base hit.”
On Friday it took Maryland (6-9, 2-3) seven innings to get on the board versus FSU but that wasn’t the case Saturday. A single, sac bunt and double gave the Terrapins an early 1-0 lead. It was the first time all season Maryland scored a run in the first inning of a game.
FSU recorded its first hit of the game off Terp starter Ben Pfinsgraff (1-3) off a Ryne Malone bunt base hit. Buster Posey then followed with a single. A sacrifice bunt by Thomas moved both runners into scoring position. Diaz tied the game up driving in his 11th RBI of the year. Tommy Oravetz put FSU in the lead with the second RBI of his career. The freshman, making his first ever start, ended up on third when the left fielder allowed his base hit to roll all the way to the wall. FSU was unable to score the rookie though as the game moved into the third.
Maryland got back on the board in the sixth. Gerry Spessard recorded his second double of the game and his fourth of series. He then came home on an RBI single by Chad Durakis before Chambliss ended the inning with his ninth K.
With FSU holding on to the 3-2 lead, Thomas opened the bottom of the seventh with a base hit ending the evening for Pfinsgraff. Thomas swiped second. Oravetz then came up and bounced a ball high in front of the pitcher. New hurler Seth Overbey threw the ball away allowing Oravetz to move to second as Thomas came in with FSU’s fourth run of the game. Robinson recorded a base hit on a bouncer up the middle putting runners on the corners. Jack Rye then delivered an RBI single making the score 5-2 while extending Rye’s streak of reaching base safely to 18 games.
Florida State got an insurance run in the eighth. Thomas led off with a bunt single and moved to second on a throwing error. Diaz then drove the run home making the game 6-2.
Sunday’s finale will start at noon and be broadcast by SUN Sports, FSU’s first televised game of the year. Michael Hyde (3-0) will take the hill for FSU and will face Mike Sufczynski (0-0). Game Tracker will be available for every game this season along with a live radio broadcasts available on WFLA locally and free on the Internet at seminoles.com.