April 20, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – Top ranked Florida State (36-5, 14-2) got eight strong innings from starter Bryan Henry and a season-high three RBI’s from Mark Gildea to down second-ranked North Carolina (32-8, 13-6) 4-2 Friday night in a showdown of the ACC’s top two teams. The Seminoles recorded double-digit hits for the 11th straight ball game en route to defeating the Tar Heels for the fifth consecutive time at home and for the 15th try in 16 games played on Mike Martin Field.
Henry (10-0) was masterful on the mound as he matched his season-high in innings pitched for the third time this season with eight solid innings. He allowed just one run on four hits while striking out eight. Henry threw five innings in which he faced just three batters. The Tallahassee, Fla., native has now allowed a run or less and has struck out seven or more batters in a game for the eighth time in 12 starts. He remained perfect on the year as he set a career-high for wins in a season with victory No. 10. The win was also Henry’s second victory in four career starts against North Carolina.
“We knew coming in that North Carolina is a great ball club,” said Henry. “Tonight was definitely a battle. The defense did a great job behind me in making some big plays and picking me up. It was a lot of fun out there tonight with two Friday night guys going at it.”
“It was a well pitched ball game by both outstanding young men,” said head coach Mike Martin. “It was a fun night. Bryan Henry certainly pitched a masterful game. He located his pitches beautifully especially his fastball, hit with his curveball, he just did a great job of pitching.”
Gildea and Jason Stidham provided all the offense the Seminoles would need on Friday night as the two combined for six hits, all four RBI’s and two runs scored. The two Seminole batters had a hand in issuing Tar Heel starter Robert Woodard (7-1) his first loss of the season and just his fourth career loss.
“Mark Gildea’s hit in the eighth was big, but there were a lot of other guys who did a great job of getting it done. We had some good at-bats. It was just a great baseball game. You also don’t want to take anything away from Woodard. He was very impressive as he has been every time we have seen him throw,” stated Martin.
Florida State manufactured a two-out run in the bottom of the second to take an early 1-0 lead over the Tar Heels. Stidham led off the inning with a single through the left side and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by designated hitter Travis Anderson. Gildea then stepped up to the plate and laced a two-out RBI single to center scoring Stidham.
North Carolina threatened in the top of the third as they placed runners on second and third with only one out. Henry worked out of a jam getting lead-off batter Tim Fedroff swinging on strikes and shortstop Josh Horton to fly out to left fielder Ohmed Danesh to end the inning.
The Tar Heels tied the game at one with a two-out hit of their own off the bat of catcher Tim Federowicz. With runners at first and third, Federowicz hammered a ball off the fence in right center scoring Fedroff. Horton, who reached on a single to center, tried to score from first but was thrown out at the plate. Jack Rye collected the ball off the fence in right and threw a strike to cut off man Tony Thomas, Jr. Thomas relayed the throw onto Buster Posey at the plate, who made a swiping tag on Horton closing the door on the Tar Heels in the sixth.
Florida State struck right back in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for the second time Friday evening. Stidham gave the Seminoles a 2-1 lead on his third hit of the game, an RBI single up the middle scoring Mark Hallberg from second. Hallberg led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to second on a single by Jack Rye. Rye drilled a ball that deflected off the glove of the UNC second baseman and into centerfield. Stidham posted his third three-hit game of the season hitting a single to almost the identical spot as Rye’s base hit to score Hallberg.
The Seminoles added some much needed insurance in the bottom of the eighth as Gildea hit a two-RBI double for a 4-1 advantage. Rye started the inning with an infield single to second. Stidham laid down a sacrifice bunt towards UNC reliever pitcher Matt Cox, but Cox couldn’t handle the ball cleaning putting runners on first and second with no outs. Designated hitter Tommy Oravetz then executed a sacrifice bunt advancing Stidham and Rye to second and third, respectively. After a walk to pinch hitter D’Vontrey Richardson, Gildea hit a 0-2 offering from Tar Heel reliever Rob Wooten down the right field line scoring Rye and Stidham to give the Seminoles a three run lead.
“Those insurance runs were real big,” said Gildea. “I was looking for a pitch that I could handle. I was just trying to stay within myself, put a good swing on a pitch that I could drive some where into the gaps.”
Danny Rosen came on in the ninth and recorded his sixth save in seven chances but not before giving up a home run to freshman first baseman Dustin Ackley. Ackley crushed a 0-1 pitch over the fence in right center to cut the deficit to 4-2. But Rosen settled down and got a line out and groundout to second base followed by a fly out to Gildea to end the ball game.
Florida State will return to the diamond on Saturday for game two of the series against the Tar Heels at Mike Martin Field. First pitch is slated for 1:00 pm and right hander Michael Hyde is expected to make his 12th start of the season. Right hander Alex White will take the mound for North Carolina. Before the game, head coach Mike Martin will be honored with the ABCA Hall of Fame trophy. Martin was inducted into the Hall of Fame on January 4, 2007. The game will be aired live on Fox Sports Net South. Fans can also follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.