March 25, 2005
Durham, NC – It wasn’t the prettiest hit but Shane Robinson’s third-inning infield single was historic. The sophomore sent a slow roller down to short and then beat out the throw to first to set a new FSU hitting streak record. Robinson has now hit safely in 35 consecutive games eclipsing the school record set in 1997 by J.D. Drew. It was the only hit for Robinson on the day in FSU’s 5-3 victory over the Blue Devils.
“I came out and felt a little nervous and that is the first time that has happened throughout this whole thing,” said Robinson. “This is a tremendous weight off my back and I was just happy there were some FSU fans up here to share it with me. It felt good to get the one hit but I wish I could have gotten more today. The worst was today when I hit that first ball really well and the defense made a good play on it. It kind of hit me then what I was going after.”
“It is an honor to be recognized in the same category as J.D. Drew, Ryan Barthelemy and Marshall McDougall. It is mind boggling just to think about it. I don’t know how the other guys did it. J.D. with getting walked so many times and Bart should have been at 34 if it weren’t for some questionable calls. It is such an honor to be recognized with a group of such great players.”
Robinson’s historic hit wasn’t the only excitement in Florida State’s fourth straight ACC win. Gibbs Chapman hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to break a 3-3 tie and Tyler Chambliss picked up his seventh save of the season. Matt DiBlasi (1-0) faced just one batter in picking up the first win of his career. The victory was FSU’s 13th straight over Duke and improved the Seminoles to 26-4 on the season and 4-0 in the ACC. Duke falls to 8-18 and 0-7 in conference play.
“It was a great feeling. What a neat way to win a game,” said Chapman. “I was fortunate enough to get the home run but this whole team fought the whole game and that is why we got the win today.”
After FSU stranded two base runners in the top of the first, Duke put a couple runners on base in the bottom of the inning due to a single and a hit by pitch. Cody Wheeler then singled through the right side knocking in the first run of the game.
The Blue Devils looked to extend the lead in the second as they put two runners in scoring position with just one away against FSU starter Barret Browning. A sac fly accounted for the second out of the inning and the second run of the game. A strikeout looking ended the frame but not before the Blue Devils doubled their lead to 2-0.
Jus like he did versus Jacksonville, Robinson extended his streak in the third inning. It was the third time he recorded his first hit in the third inning during the streak. Chapman followed with a bunt single to put runners on the corners before swiping second to put both runners in scoring position. A walk loaded the bases and a fielder’s choice with a putout at home left the bases juiced but with an out in the frame. Ryne Malone then came up with one of his best at bats of the season. After falling behind 0-2, Malone worked the count to 3-2, fouled off pitch after pitch and then came through with a two RBI single into right tying the game. Brant Peacher followed putting FSU in the lead for the first time in the game with a sac fly.
Duke went right back to work as they continued to record hits off Browning, who gave up a career high nine hits on the day. Back-to-back singles to lead off the inning combined with a sac bunt put two runners in scoring position. Another single, Duke’s seventh hit of the game, scored a run to tie the game at 3-3. The Blue Devils could not break the tie though as an inning ending double play retired the side.
Duke recorded two more hits in the fourth as the Blue Devils touched Browning for nine hits, the most the junior has allowed all season. A ground out moved the runners into scoring position with two outs and then Browning’s second walk loaded the bases but as he has done 10 times in the past, the junior didn’t allow a hit striking out Duke DH Wheeler to retire the side.
After four scoreless innings, the Seminoles threatened new Duke pitcher and Tallahassee native Tony Bajoczyk (0-1) when Malone recorded his second hit of the game and moved to third as he swiped second and took an extra base on a passed ball. After a conference among the umpires, Malone was sent back to second as the ball wound up in the Duke dugout. The ruling turned out to be critical as a deep fly ball to the warning track, which would have scored Malone from third and broken the tie, was just another out as FSU was unable to move Malone off of second base.
It was the Blue Devils turn to try and break the tie in the bottom of the eighth and they put runners on first and second with two away against Kevin Lynch. That brought DiBlasi into the game for FSU to try and get out of the jam. The left-hander struck out the only batter he faced to end the eighth
Tony Thomas, Jr. started the top of the ninth with a lead-off double to the corner in right field. Robinson then sacrificed the potential winning run over to third. Chapman followed with the biggest hit of the game as he dropped the ball over the right field fence just over where 330 is painted on the fence. It was Chapman’s team-leading fourth homer of year and he also leads the squad with 29 RBIs.
“I got a fastball in on the home run,” said Chapman. “After getting jammed on a fastball earlier in the game, I kept telling myself all game that I wasn’t going to be late because I thought they were going to throw me in and fortunately I was ready.”
Florida State continues its series with Duke Saturday at noon. The teams will play a doubleheader with the threat of rain Sunday. Game Tracker will still be available for the contests along with Steve Melewski’s live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com. The expected pitching match-ups are Michael Hyde (5-2, 3.64) versus David Torcise (1-4, 6.25) and Mark Sauls (3-0, 0.77) versus Danny Otero (3-4, 3.95).