March 9, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State (18-0) remained undefeated on the year with a 6-0 win over Indiana (4-5) on Friday night in game one of a three game set against the Hoosiers at Dick Howser Stadium. Senior Bryan Henry (5-0) threw a season-high eight innings as he shutout the Hoosiers to earn his fifth win in six starts. Tony Thomas, Jr. and Mark Hallberg led the Seminoles offensively as they combined for four hits, three runs and two RBI’s as the Garnet and Gold reached double-digit hits for the 16th consecutive game.
The Seminoles scored a run in six different innings on Friday night including a run in each of the first and third innings. Florida State has now outscored the opposition 85-16 through the first three innings in 2007.
“It was a good solid game,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Bryan Henry pitched a beautiful baseball game tonight. It was a game you would expect from a Big Ten club. Indiana was a solid team; it was a good win for us tonight.”
Henry was masterful on the mound as he did not allow a Hoosier to reach third all evening and allowed just three runners to get to second base. The Tallahassee, Fla., native struck out seven batters and did not issue a walk for the second straight game. Henry has given up just four walks all year, while striking out 34. It was the longest outing by a Seminole pitcher this season and the longest outing for Henry since he pitched 8.2 innings against Duke back on March 24, 2006.
“I had good command of my pitches tonight,” stated Henry. “My defense played real well behind me which always makes things a lot easier; not trying to be perfect with every pitch, just throwing the ball over the plate and letting them put it in play. It’s definitely our goal as pitchers to improve every week. We want to go out there and get better every time we throw. It’s nice to be doing alright headed into ACC play next week.”
After not registering a pick off all of last season, Henry notched his third of the year in the sixth as he caught Indiana’s Keith Haas at first base. It was the third straight game that Henry has picked off a runner at first base.
“B (Bryan Henry) pitched one of his better ball games,” said Martin. “That was a masterful job of pitching tonight by our senior hurler.”
Florida State got things going in the bottom half of the first as Thomas led off the game with a base hit up the middle, extending his hitting streak to 18 straight games. He moved to second on a passed ball and then advanced to third on a bunt single by Hallberg. Buster Posey gave the Seminoles an early 1-0 lead as he drove in Thomas on a fielder’s choice groundout to third.
With one out in the third, Thomas laced a single up the middle for his second hit in as many at-bats. The junior second baseman successfully stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw by the Hoosier catcher, trying to throw out Thomas at second. It was Thomas’ tenth stolen base of the year to remain perfect on the season. Hallberg would pick up his first RBI of the evening as he sent a chopper to Indiana shortstop Keith Haas whose only play was at first.
Freshman Jason Stidham got in on the offensive production in the bottom of the fourth as he hit a solo shot over the fence in right center. The two-out home run was Stidham’s second of the season giving the Seminoles a 3-0 lead.
Hallberg was at it again in the sixth as he led off the inning with an infield single, his second of the ball game. The junior from Barron, Wisc., would come around to score on Jack Rye’s single to right field to make the score 4-0. The hit extended Rye’s hitting streak to 15 straight games, tying a career-high. Dating back to last season, Rye has registered a hit in 30 of his last 31 games.
Florida State would pad to its lead in the seventh as designated hitter Ruairi O’Connor and center fielder D’Vontrey Richardson led off the inning with back-to-back infield singles. With one out, Thomas was intentionally walked, the first intentional walk issued to a Seminole batter this season, loading the bases for Hallberg. Hallberg sent a sacrifice fly out to right field driving in O’Connor from third for his second RBI of the game.
The Seminoles would add a final run in the bottom of the eighth as Richardson singled to right with two outs driving in Stidham from second. The hit was Richardson’s third of the ball game to lead all hitters. It was his fourth three hit game of the year and fourth consecutive game with multiple hits. Richardson also picked up his first outfield assist on the year as he gunned down catcher Josh Phegley, who attempted to steal third. In an attempt to pick off Phegley at second, Posey’s throw went over the head of Hallberg and into centerfield, but Richardson was right there to fire Phegley out at third.
Travis Burge entered the game in the ninth and closed the door on the Hoosiers allowing just one hit while striking out one to preserve the shutout. It was the second shutout of the season for Florida State as the Seminoles blanked Tennessee 4-0 back on February 3.
Indiana’s Tyler Tufts (1-2) got the loss as he threw seven innings allowing five runs, four earned, on nine hits while striking out two. The sophomore right hander threw 96 pitches in his third start of the season for the Hoosiers. Offensively, Haas and Reid Briglia each recorded two hits, while Tyler Cox registered his second double of the season.
Florida State will return to the diamond tomorrow in game two against the Hoosiers at Mike Martin Field. First pitch is slated for 6:05 as Saturday’s game will be televised live on SunSports. Fans can also follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.