Feb. 17, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State (8-0) remained hot at the plate posting double digit hits for the seventh time in eight games as the Seminoles downed Hofstra (0-5) 16-1 on Saturday afternoon. FSU pounded out 19 hits as nine went for extra bases, including two triples, one each by Mark Hallberg and D’Vontrey Richardson, and a three-run home run by Tony Thomas, Jr. Thirteen Seminole batters registered at least one hit to remain undefeated in 2007.
“I think it was one of those days that everything went our way,” said head coach Mike Martin. “They (Hofstra) of course used some pitchers that have not had a chance to get outside and develop, as I’m sure they will get better in the coming months, making adjustments to some pitches that we took advantage of today. It was one of those days that everything went our way. Hofstra is a much better ball club then what the score indicated. Hofstra is going to be a club that is really going to cause some problems in their league.”
Starting pitcher Michael Hyde (3-0) earned his third straight decision working five scoreless innings allowing just one hit and two walks, while striking out two. The senior right hander is 11-1 in his last 14 starts for the Seminoles dating back to last year.
“I felt good,” said Hyde. “The key that Coach Shouppe told me before the game was to come out and make them hit the ball. I tried to do that for the most part. They hit the ball hard a few times. They have good hitters and took some good swings on some pitches. Luckily the ball fell my way today.”
FSU once again got on the scoreboard early as they built an 8-0 lead after three innings. In the first eight games, the Seminoles have outscored the opposition 48-5 through the first three innings.
The Seminoles plated the first run of the ball game in the bottom of the second. With one out in the inning, Richardson and Brandon Reichert hit back-to-back singles of Hofstra starter Drew Luedtke (0-2). Following a Thomas walk, starting shortstop Mark Hallberg sent a sacrifice fly out to right field driving in Richardson from third for an early 1-0 advantage.
The Seminoles would build to their lead in the bottom of the third as they sent 11 batters to the plate scoring seven runs on seven hits. Jack Rye led off the inning with a single to right center followed by a double by Dennis Guinn and an RBI single by Jason Stidham. Richardson cleared the bases with his first triple of the season. The freshman center fielder drilled a ball to the wall in left center plating Guinn and Stidham and ending the afternoon for the Pride starting pitcher. Ryan Dunn replaced Luedtke and could not close the door on the Seminole batters. Reichert continued his hot hitting welcoming Dunn to the game with his fourth hit of the series, an RBI single to left, which plated Richardson. After a balk sent Reichert to second, Thomas drove in the senior first baseman with a double to the wall in right. Thomas would come around to score on the very next play as Hallberg tripled to right field for his second, three-bagger of the season. Posey would cap the seven-run third with a sacrifice fly RBI to right.
Hyde didn’t need anymore help as he allowed just two Pride batters to reach second base in his five innings of work. The lone hit was a double to left center off the bat of designated hitter Patrick Rogers in the second.
Florida State scored two more runs in the sixth as the inning started with back-to-back doubles by Buster Posey and Ruairi O’Connor. Posey would come around to score on a wild pitch, while O’Connor scored on a sacrifice fly RBI by Mark Gildea.
The Seminoles would finish their scoring in the bottom of the eighth all highlighted by a three-run home run by Thomas. Ohmed Danesh started the inning with a single to the shortstop and advanced to second on a Josh Spivey pinch hit to left, his first hit of the season. With two on and two out, Devin Gonzalez registered his first RBI of the year lacing a single to right field scoring Danesh. Thomas then stepped up to the plate and muscled a shot in on his hands over the wall in left for his first home run of the season and just the second Seminole home run of the year. After a Tommy Oravetz walk, Brady Thomas hit a double to right center for his first hit of the season. Oravetz and Thomas would come around to score just two batters later as Danesh collected his second hit of the inning with a two-run double to right field.
The Seminole pitching staff stifled the Hofstra bats all afternoon as the Pride finally struck with their second hit of the game with one out in the ninth. Danny Rosen worked the ninth and allowed two hits and one run. Thomas, who moved to shortstop in the sixth, almost made an acrobatic catch over his head to preserve the shutout, but the ball trickled out of his glove as he hit the ground. Hofstra’s Matt Prokopowicz was credited with the hit and RBI on the play scoring Felix Adamkiewicz, who came racing around third with two outs.
Florida State finished the game scoring in double figures for the sixth straight game, a feat last matched in May of 2003. It also marked just the fifth time since 1996 that the Garnet and Gold has put together such a streak. As a team, the Seminoles are hitting .423 as eight hitters, including seven starters, are batting over .400. Through the first eight games, Florida State has pounded out 130 hits and scored 102 runs.
“We are all just going out there and playing our baseball,” said Thomas. “Every body isn’t trying to do too much, just going out there, doing the job and get everything done. Even when we do get jammed or fooled, we seem to find the holes. Our team is hot right now. We are building a lot of confidence with the way we are playing right now.”
The Seminoles have also played solid defense as well posting a 2.76 ERA and a .974 fielding percentage, while limiting the opposition to a .217 batting average.
The win also moved head coach Mike Martin just two wins shy of passing Chuck Hartman for fifth place on the NCAA all-time wins list. Hartman, the former head coach at High Point and Virginia Tech, retired after last year with 1,444 victories. Coach Martin recorded win number 1,443 with today’s victory over Hofstra.
The Seminoles and Pride return to the diamond for the series finale on Sunday at 12:30 pm at Mike Martin Field. Please note that the game time has changed to a 12:30 pm start time. FSU is expected to send junior right hander Ryan Strauss to the mound, while the Pride will throw righty Patrick Rogers. Fans can follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.