April 29, 2005
“I did the same thing tonight I have tried to do the last few weeks, throw strikes and let my defense do the work,” said Henry. “I was able to locate my pitches tonight and getting eight runs in two innings helps. That helps relax you.”
Henry has been on a tear for the Seminoles as of late and his quick promotion from mid-week bullpen work to Friday night starter didn’t seem to faze the sophomore. He once again exhibited great control as he struck out five batters and issued just one walk. In his last five appearances, Henry has an ERA of just 1.15 in 31 1/3 innings of work. He has struck out 24 batters and issued just five walks. Opponents have hit just .185 against him and most importantly he is 4-0.
“I have kind of gotten into a little bit of a rhythm over the past week or so,” said Henry. “I am just out there having fun right now and not feeling any pressure.”
“What Bryan is doing brings out the competitiveness in his teammates to match his success,” said FSU head coach Mike Martin. “This young man is very poised. He enjoys competing. When all the other pitchers went inside yesterday during practice, Bryan was out here running the bases with the other guys because he will want to go out tomorrow and play third base. He is a winner.”
Florida State got RBIs from four players but it was Malone’s three-RBI double that broke the game wide open. The Seminoles, who were out hit 6-5, didn’t have a single player with more than one hit and two of FSU’s seven RBIs came when Avery hit batters with the bases loaded.
The game looked like it was going to be a classic pitcher’s duel early on. After each team put just one base runner on through two innings, FSU mounted the game’s first rally in the third inning. Josh Spivey led off with a double to the gap in left. Tony Thomas, Jr. then put down a sac bunt that was misplayed putting runners on the corners with nobody out. The Cavaliers gave up a run on the next play but wiped the bases clean with a double play. It looked like the Seminoles had added to their lead though when Malone crushed a Matt Avery (4-4) offering to left field. Cavalier outfielder Tom Hagan robbed the sophomore of a homer as he jumped and reached over the fence bringing the ball back for the third out.
“That was the first time that has ever happened to me and it was frustrating,” said Malone. “It wasn’t the first time I was robbed of a hit this year though. It is going to happen to you. It will probably happen a few more times in my career but you just have to credit the left fielder because he made a great play.”
The Seminoles put runners on the corners for a second straight inning in the fourth as Aaron Cheesman walked and Jack Rye singled sharply to first. Danny Wardell then laid down a bunt base hit scoring Cheesman and putting runners on first and second. A ground out moved both runners into scoring position with two away. An intentional walk loaded the bases and then Thomas got plunked driving in FSU’s third run of the game. Avery gave the Seminoles another run when he hit Shane Robinson plunking back-to-back FSU batters. Malone then came up and cleared the bases with a three-RBI double into right field.
“I just got up in a good situation with runners on,” said Malone. “I was in a spot where we needed to drive in a couple of runs. I got a pitch inside and did what I could with it. The Virginia pitching staff is unbelievable so getting the amount of runs we did tonight was huge.”
Things continued to go FSU’s way when the next batter, Gibbs Chapman, half swung at an Avery offering and the check swing turned into an RBI single with the ball falling into shallow left field making it an 8-0 game.
The Cavaliers tried to mount a comeback in the fifth off Henry. A lead off double was followed by a single, just the second and third hits of the game off Henry, as UVa put runners on the corners. Back-to-back strikeouts and an inning ending ground out preserved the shutout as the game moved into the bottom of the fifth.
“I don’t have overpowering stuff so I live off my location,” said Henry. “I just throw the ball around the plate, let them hit it and know my defense will do the job. They have been playing great behind me.”
Virginia finally broke through against Henry in the seventh as Brandon Guyer spoiled the shutout bid with his third home run of the year. The solo shot made it an 8-1 game. Henry pitched one more inning and then was relieved by Ryan Strauss in the ninth. FSU still has not had a nine-inning complete game from any of its pitchers as Henry has come the closest with back-to-back eight innings stints.
“I didn’t lobby to finish the game. Getting the win is all that matters,” said Henry. “Pitching a complete game doesn’t matter. I have confidence in everyone on our pitching staff so as long as we get the win I am happy.”
Florida State will continue its series with Virginia Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Barret Browning (3-2) is slated to throw against Mike Ballard (6-3). Game Tracker will be available for all this year’s games along with Steve Melewski’s live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.