March 3, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – In 2005 Seminole pitcher Bryan Henry moved from his starting spot at third base to the mound and eventually became FSU’s Friday night starter and an All-ACC first team selection. In 2006 the Tallahassee product is making a case to be known as one of the best in the nation. Henry (4-0) was brilliant once again Friday night in leading No. 6 FSU (12-1) past Brown (0-1) by a count of 12-0. It was the third shutout of the season for Florida State surpassing the two the staff accumulated in all of 2005.
“A win is a win,” said Henry. “I doesn’t matter to me if it’s a shutout or 12-11. That is our main goal right now. It is just a bonus when the other team doesn’t cross the plate.”
“What makes me proud is the way our guys really played the game right,” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. “We didn’t go out there and take anybody lightly. We did the things necessary to get the win. Bryan got in a little trouble early, bowed his neck, got out of it. We didn’t make an error. We got a chance to play everybody. I was just very pleased with our approach to the game.”
Henry threw six innings of shutout ball raising his streak of scoreless innings to 21. He did not walk a batter for the third time in five starts and fanned seven raising his team leading total to 35. This was the 11th time in 16 career starts that Henry has allowed one earned run or less and he has now issued just two walks in his last 26 innings. It was also the 12th quality start for Henry in his career.
“I am just throwing strikes and I have all the confidence in the world in my defense,” said Henry when asked about his control so far in 2006. “I can’t even remember the last time they made an error. I just go out there and let the hitters put it in play and let my guys pick it up behind me. All the credit has to go to the defense. No errors on the board. They are doing their job.”
Henry is doing his job as well. The junior has dropped his ERA to 0.85 on the season and upped his ratio of K:BB to almost 6:1. Opponents are hitting just .211 off of him and after giving up hits to the first two batters Friday night he allowed just two runners to reach in the next five innings and faced the minimum over that span thanks to a caught stealing by Danny Diaz and a double play.
On the offensive side for FSU, eight different Seminoles recorded an RBI Friday night, six had multi-hit games and four recorded extra base hits. Dennis Guinn continued his streak of nine straight games with a hit and an RBI as he had a two-run triple, the first of his career. Josh Spivey had two hits and two RBIs as did Travis Anderson before leaving the game with an injured ankle.
“We got a couple of big hits tonight to score some runs,” said Martin. “Obviously the double by Travis Anderson was a big hit.”
After the Bears got a couple hits off Henry to start the game, FSU came back and put its first two runners on off an error and a walk from Brown starter Bryan Tews (0-1). Florida State was unable to cash in though as Tews struck out the next two batters.
The Seminoles loaded the bases with just one away in the second on an Anderson single and two Bear errors and this time they were able to cash in as a ground out brought in the first run of the game.
Spivey extended the FSU lead in the third. Guinn opened the bottom of the inning with a walk. After swiping second, Spivey drove in the run with a single through the right side of the infield. A Tony Thomas, Jr. single put runners on the corners. Anderson, starting for an injured Mark Gildea, then ripped a double just inside the third base bag brining both runs in and making it a 4-0 game.
For the third straight inning FSU put runs on the board versus Tews. After back-to-back walks to start the fourth, Guinn continued his torrid hitting with the first triple of his career driving in two more runs. Spivey followed with a double bringing Guinn home with the seventh FSU run of the game. Ryan Strauss, who came into the game to run for Anderson and stayed in the game in left, then recorded the first hit and RBI of his career making it 8-0.
Charles Cleveland continued the hit barrage as he started the bottom of the fifth with a double. Shane Robinson followed with a walk and both runners moved into scoring position on a balk. Jack Rye sacrificed the ninth run of the game home. Guinn then pushed across the 10th run with his team-leading 16th RBI on a sac fly to deep right field.
The most unlikely of Seminoles came up with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. With Cleveland standing on second, pinch hitter and relief pitcher Matt DiBlasi lined a shot off the pitcher’s shin and into center field recording the first hit and RBI of his career in just his second-ever at bat.
“That was just my second at bat ever,” said DiBlasi. “The one my freshman year they actually gave me a hit then changed it to an error when I was standing on base so it was good to get out there and redeem myself. I was like `you got to be kidding me’ when I saw it go into centerfield. There was no way I just hit that. It wasn’t like I tattooed the ball but it was pretty exciting. It was a big thrill.”
“(DiBlasi’s) brother was the same way,” said Martin when asked about pinch hitting the senior. “Whenever we had a big lead, we were getting everyone in it was always a chance to get a senior an at bat. We gave him that opportunity. We have always tried to do that. We were very professional about that. Let’s face it DiBo surprised all of us getting a base hit.”
Saturday’s second game of the series will be played at 1:00 p.m. The finale will be played at noon Sunday. That game was moved up from 1:00 p.m. due to travel restrictions for the Bears. All three Sunday home games in March will now be played at 12:00 p.m. instead of the originally scheduled times of 1:00. 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.