Feb. 18, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State (9-0) got a three-run blast from Jack Rye and six solid innings from starting pitcher Ryan Strauss to win its ninth straight game of the season, sweeping Hofstra (0-6) with an 11-3 win on Sunday afternoon on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles cracked the scoreboard early once again as they took a 5-0 lead after the first two innings and have now outscored their opponents 53-5 through the first three innings.
Every Seminole starter got a hit on Sunday afternoon as FSU scored in double digits for the seventh straight game. The Seminoles also registered double digit hits for the seventh consecutive time and for the eighth time in nine games.
“It was a good weekend for us,” said coach Mike Martin. “I thought we played very good baseball for three games against a club that was obviously a little behind us. But I was very pleased with the way he played.”
FSU took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI bases loaded walk by third baseman Jason Stidham. Buster Posey started the two out rally with his first of three hits on the afternoon lacing a single up the middle. Hofstra starting pitcher Patrick Rogers (0-1) seemed to lose his rhythm as he issued free bases to the next three batters including a bases loaded walk to Stidham to plate the game’s first run. Rogers would get out of trouble as got Ruairi O’Connor to bounce into a fielder’s choice groundout.
The Seminoles would build to their lead in the bottom of the second taking advantage of a throwing error by the Hofstra starting shortstop Dion Pouncil. With two outs and runners on first and second, Posey sent a ground ball to the Pride shortstop, who threw wildly over to first. The ball trickled off the glove of first baseman Felix Adamkiewicz, allowing Brandon Reichert to score from second, to extend the inning. Rye would take advantage of the error as he belted his second home run of the season, a three-run shot over the wall in left. It marked just the third Seminole home run of the season in nine games as all three home runs have been three-run shots.
“For the hit I had, the pitcher made a mistake,” said Rye. “He left one up and I put a good swing on it.”
Strauss (2-0) looked impressive in his second start of the season as he worked six innings allowing one run on five hits, while striking out three. The junior right hander did not give up a walk as he retired the Pride in order allowing just one hit through the first three innings. After the Pride got a run in the top of the fourth, Strauss retired the next seven batters before handing the ball over the rest of the way to the Seminole bullpen.
Hofstra would score its first run of the game in the fourth on an RBI groundout by designated hitter Andrew Campana. Chris Mentrasti started the inning with a double to left center and came around to score on the groundout by Campana.
The Seminoles would add a pair of runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to solidify the win. With one out in the fifth, FSU got three straight singles from Dennis Guinn, Stidham and O’Connor. O’Connor’s single to left scored Guinn on the play and chased Hofstra starting pitcher Rogers from the game, after throwing 105 pitches. Now with two outs, Tony Thomas, Jr. registered a bases loaded walk for his first RBI of the game and a 7-1 FSU lead.
In the sixth, Florida State once again started an inning with three straight hits. Posey singled to the shortstop, Rye laced a single to right followed by a Guinn RBI double to right scoring Posey. The double was Guinn’s fourth of the season and his third hit of the ballgame. Stidham got his second RBI of the afternoon sending a sacrifice fly to left scoring Rye and making the score 9-1.
Florida State finished off its scoring in the bottom of the seventh as D’Vontrey Richardson started the inning with a double to center field and advanced to third on fly out by Reichert. Richardson would score on the very next play as Thomas registered his second RBI of the game on a single to left, extending his hit streak to nine games. After a Hallberg walk, Posey singled up the middle for his third hit of the game, scoring Thomas from second.
Casey Whitmer pitched two scoreless innings in relief allowing just one hit while striking out one. Trent Jarvis made his first appearance of the 2007 season and pitched the ninth. He would strike out the side, but not before giving up a pair of unearned runs.
Every starter in the Florida State line-up got a hit Sunday afternoon including Posey and Guinn who each registered three hits a piece. After nine games, Florida State as team is batting .420, collecting 145 hits and scoring 113 runs.
“Hitters one through nine, all of us are producing runs,” said Rye. “It’s great to see everyone out there doing an awesome job!”
The 9-0 start for the Seminoles is the best start to a season since the 1999 season when the Garnet and Gold ran out to an 11-0 start. That year Florida State advanced to the championship game of the College World Series.
“I feel we have been ahead of the three clubs that we have played thus far, weather wise,” said Martin. “Tennessee is a very good baseball team. I think the last two weekends we were a little better than the two clubs we played and we should have been because of the preparation opportunities. I am just glad that our guys understand the game should be played hard no matter who you are playing. Our guys did a good job all weekend.”
The win also moved head coach Mike Martin in a tie with 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 1,444 in his 28th season at the helm of the Florida State baseball team.
The Seminoles will make their first road trip of the season as they head to Gainesville, Fla., on Tuesday night to face the Florida Gators at 6:30 pm at Alfred A. McKethan Stadium. The Gators (4-3) are coming off a series win against Miami this past weekend as Florida took two-of-three from the Hurricanes. FSU is expected to send sophomore right hander Bo O’Dell (1-0) to the mound for his second start of the season. The game will be televised live on SunSports, while 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.