March 1, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State (6-0) remained undefeated on the season with a 4-3 victory over Auburn (4-3) in front of a crowd of 6,544, the fourth largest crowd to witness a game at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles got seven shutout innings from senior Ryan Strauss and three solo home runs on Saturday afternoon to win their third straight game over the Tigers this season.
Strauss (1-0) was lights out in his first start of the season scattering just four hits over seven innings of work. He did not face more than four batters in any inning and retired the last five Auburn hitters including the final two on strikeouts. The Tampa, Fla., native finished the game with five strikeouts on 113 pitches.
The Seminoles looked to the long ball on Saturday afternoon connecting on three solo home runs off Tiger starter Taylor Thompson (1-1). Batters three through six in the Florida State lineup each collected two hits. Senior Dennis Guinn once again led the Seminole offense going 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two RBIs. For the series, Guinn is batting .538 (7-for-13) with two home runs, a double, four runs scored and five RBIs.
The lineup also featured the return of senior Jack Rye, who got his first start of the season in right field after suffering a broke right thumb in the preseason on the first day of practice back on February 1. Rye reached base on his first three at-bats collecting a pair of singles and a base-on-ball. He finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate.
“It felt really good to get back out there,” added Rye. “I actually saw the ball really well today which surprised me because I haven’t seen live pitching since February 1. I was patient at the plate and got my pitches to hit.”
“It was yesterday when we were leaving Auburn that we decided to start Jack Rye in today’s ballgame,” said head coach Mike Martin. “He took BP on Friday and came to me in the eighth inning and said, `I can go tomorrow.’ I talked to the trainer and the trainer said he would get him out here early this morning and let him hit some. He came out, took some swings and didn’t have any problems at all. It’s nothing short of unbelievable to get a guy back after just four weeks of breaking his thumb.”
Jason Stidham and Buster Posey were responsible for the other two home runs in game three. Stidham registered the first run of the game taking a 3-2 offering from Thompson over the fence in right for his third home run of the season and ninth of his career. The hit extended Stidham’s hit streak to a team-high eight games.
Guinn gave the Seminoles a 2-0 advantage as he led off the bottom of the second with a solo shot off the scoreboard in left. It was the senior first baseman’s second home run of the series and third round tripper of the season.
Guinn added his second RBI of the game an inning later knocking in Buster Posey on a two-out single to left. With one out in the third, Posey drilled a shot off the fence in right center for his third double of the season.
In the fifth, the Seminoles increased their lead to 4-0 on their third solo home run of the game. This time the shot came off the bat of Buster Posey who smacked the ball over the fence in left center and into the parking lot for his second round tripper of the season. The home run ended the afternoon for Thompson who lasted just four innings allowing four run on seven hits. He walked three and struck out one in suffering his first loss of the season.
The Tigers closed within one in the top of the eighth thanks to a two-out three-run home run off the bat of first baseman Hunter Morris. Freshman Tyler Everett entered the game in relief of Strauss in the eighth and got the first two outs before surrendering a double down the line in left to Luke Greinke, a walk to Mike Bianucci and then the home run to Morris.
Jimmy Marshall was called on for the final out but not before the tying run advanced to third on a pair of Seminole throwing errors. The junior right hander got Kevin Patterson to fly out to Ohmed Danesh in left to maintain the one-run Seminole lead.
Buster Posey closed out the game pitching a perfect ninth inning for his second save of the season. The junior right hander threw just eight pitches to keep the Seminoles perfect in 2008.
“It was fun,” explained Posey on pitching in front of an electric crown on Saturday. “I can honestly say that I didn’t hear the crowd until the second out. I was pretty focused out there today.”
The Seminoles will return to the diamond for the final game of a four-game home and home series against Auburn on Sunday, March 2. Game time for Sunday is slated for 2:00 pm as freshman Mike McGee will take the mound for his second start of the season. Gametracker and ACC Select will be available for the game, while Eric Luallen will broadcast the game live over the radio on 100.7 FM.