Feb. 18, 2005
Tallahassee, FL – The 11th-ranked Florida State baseball team got a career day from sophomore outfielder Shane Robinson and cruised to a 12-1 win over St. Joseph’s in the series opener Friday. Robinson went 3-for-4 with a career-high five RBIs and three hits in leading the FSU offense to its second-best outing of the season. Hunter Jones (2-0) pitched just four innings in a controlled start picking up the win. The Seminoles are now 9-1 on the season while the Hawks (0-4) dropped their fourth straight game.
“Things have been going well for me,” said Robinson. “I have been selective with my pitches. I am picking out good pitches to hit and I think that is why I have been hitting the ball so well.”
Robinson is now hitting .513 on the season and is leading the club with 12 RBIs from the lead-off spot. His five doubles are first on the team and his .718 slugging percentage is more than 100 points better than anyone else on the squad.
“I have been fortunate to have guys get on base in front of me in the latter innings,” said Robinson. “That helps a lot. It is more about just being selective and waiting for good pitches. Five RBIs felt nice.”
“When runners get on base in front on Shane, the pitcher doesn’t have a big strike zone and he has been doing a great job of lying off curveballs and change-ups,” said FSU head coach Mike Martin. “In doing that he got a fastball in the wrong spot and he is capable of hitting that off the wall like he did. He is a guy that is certainly off to a great start and we are very excited about that. We just have to continue to credit the guys around him that put him in a position to succeed.”
Jones picked up the victory Friday, his second in as many starts. Florida State used six different pitchers and did not allow a run until the top of the ninth when an unearned run broke up the FSU shutout. Jones threw just 51 pitches in four innings while striking out three and not issuing a walk.
“Hunter is progressing,” said senior catcher Aaron Cheesman. “He didn’t have quite as good of stuff as he did versus Auburn last week but I think if we get him back throwing like he did last year, it will help us out tremendously. He is a great pitcher.”
“We got what we wanted to get out of Hunter today,” said Martin. “We want him to get prepared for Wednesday’s start so this was a controlled start for him. To go out when you know you are throwing again in five days, I thought he did exactly what he needed to do. He did not pitch like he did against Auburn but he did what he needed to do out there today.”
After Jones set down the Hawks 1-2-3 in the first, including a diving grab by Ruairi O’Connor for the final out, Gibbs Chapman got the Seminoles off to a good start. The left fielder sent the second pitch he saw over the fence in right center for his first homer of the year. The round-tripper staked FSU to a 1-0 lead.
Bryan Henry led off the bottom of the second with a double to the warning track in left. Ryne Jernigan sacrificed him to third and he came around to score on a passed ball. O’Connor got into scoring position with a walk and a stolen base before another walk, this one to Tony Thomas, Jr., put runners on first and second with two away. Robinson then cleared the bases with a double to left center putting FSU in front 4-0. Another walk, Ryan Hoagey’s (0-2) third of the inning, put runners back on first and second as SJU was still in search of the third out. A double steal moved both runners up a base and then Cheesman followed with an infield single to put FSU up 5-0.
“I think what we forget is the outstanding at bat Tony Thomas had allowing Shane to come up with two runners on in front of him,” said Martin. “Tony may not be hitting too much right now but he is doing what he can to get on base. Tony Thomas deserves a lot of the credit for Shane driving in runs.”
Brant Peacher led off the third with a double and Jernigan was walked following the first out of the bottom half of the third. An error on a sharply hit ball by O’Connor allowed Jernigan to score from second. The Seminoles then went up 7-0 on a bloop single behind second base by Robinson.
A single, a walk and a balk in the fifth put runners on second and third with no outs versus new Hawks pitcher Al Braun. A walk loaded the bases and Robinson cashed in with a hard hit single up the middle scoring two more runs for a 9-0 FSU advantage. It was Robinson’s third hit of the game. Another walk, the Hawks seventh of the game, loaded the bases once again with nobody out. Cheesman looked to have plated FSU’s 10th run on a sac fly but the runner at third was ruled out for not tagging up and a foul out ended the frame.
“I am not satisfied with myself unless I get three hits a game,” said Robinson. “That was my goal at the beginning of the season. If I don’t get three hits I am disappointed. Even if I get two hits, that is a good day for most people but I try not to get satisfied with that. If you get satisfied with that, your average starts to drop. I try to pride myself on looking for a hit each time I step up.”
Florida State got its 10th run in the bottom of the sixth courtesy of an O’Connor double off the wall in right. Charles Cleveland recorded FSU’s fifth double of the game in the seventh scoring two more runs and boosting the FSU lead to 12-0.
St. Joseph’s was able to get a run in its last at bat when a couple of Seminole miscues ruined the shutout bid.
The Seminoles continue their series with the Hawks Saturday, February 12 at 2:00 p.m. The Garnet and Gold is expected to throw Michael Hyde (1-1). Game Tracker will be available for the contest along with a live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.