March 17, 2006
Blacksburg, VA – Bryan Henry once again came out and dominated an opponent as he did not allow a run in six innings leading No.1 Florida State (20-1, 4-0) to its 17th straight win. The Seminoles used an eight-run seventh inning as they broke out to an 11-0 lead and cruised to an 11-2 win over the Hokies (7-10, 0-4). It was the 15th straight win for FSU over Virginia Tech as the Seminoles scored double digit runs for the ninth time this season.
Henry (6-0, 2-0) was stellar once again for FSU. The junior allowed just four hits as he recorded his fifth quality start of the season and for the 12th time in 18 career starts he allowed one earned run or less. Henry came into the game with a K:BB ratio of 7:1 and kept right on pace for a single season record as he walked just one batter and struck out seven more raising his season total to 48 K’s. Henry has now won five straight decisions and in his last 33 2/3 innings of work he has only allowed an opponent to score in one of those innings.
“I just went out there and had a little fun,” said Henry of his outing. “It was kind of cold and I tried to use that to my advantage. Work it inside and give them something to think about. That opened up the outer half for us. Throwing strikes gives you a big advantage. They start thinking that is all you are going to throw then you start inching off and they start chasing. I want to make them swing at my pitch.”
Florida State once again used the big inning to break open a close game. With the Seminoles up 3-0 FSU took advantage of Hokie miscues and put up eight runs in the top of the seventh. Florida State recorded eight hits in the inning including back-to-back homers from Ryan Strauss and Ryan McArdle.
“We took advantage of an extra out that inning and really had some good at bats,” said Martin. “We got a couple of big homeruns that helped as well.”
The FSU DH’s had a big day as Tommy Oravetz and McArdle combined to drive in five of the Seminoles’ 11 runs. Shane Robinson, Dennis Guinn, Buster Posey and Strauss all had multi-hit games. Tony Thomas, Jr. also extended his personal-best hit streak to 12 games in the victory.
Jack Rye, Posey, Thomas and Kyle Maxie all drove in runs as FSU scored 10 or more runs in back-to-back games. Maxie had an RBI in his first start of the season behind the plate. He got the call just before game time when Danny Diaz aggravated a wrist injury during warm-ups. Despite the late notice he would be starting, Maxie drew a walk in each of his first three at bats before an RBI single in the eight-run seventh.
“This is what I have been dreaming of,” said Maxie. “Just to get a chance to get back there and have some fun behind the plate. That is what it is all about.
“Those first three at bats I was just looking for my pitch to hit and I never got it. I just wanted to help the team out and get on base. Getting the RBI single felt good though. It was big just to keep that inning rolling. I got a pitch on the outer third I could drive that way and that was what I did.”
The Seminoles struck first in the top of the second versus Hokie starter David Cross (1-3). A single, hit by pitch and walk loaded the bases and then Tommy Oravetz delivered. The freshman sent a shot back up the middle plating two and putting FSU in front 2-0.
The Seminoles opened the fifth with three straight singles to load the bases with nobody out. A double play plated another run but Cross got out of the jam with a ground out leaving Robinson standing on third.
FSU really broke the game open in the seventh with eight runs on eight hits as the Seminoles put 10 runners on base. Robinson started the rally off with a 375-foot shot to the warning track in left. The Hokie outfielder did a great job of running the play down but dropped the ball on the three-base error. Rye then drove home the Seminoles’ fourth run of the game on a ground out to the right side. Dennis Guinn followed with his second triple of the season as he sent a ball to the wall in left. The Virginia Tech outfielder tripped as he reached the warning track and couldn’t recover in time to make the play. Ryne Malone drew a walk and then Posey recorded his third hit of the game tying a career high. The single moved Malone, who was running on the pitch, to third and brought Guinn home as FSU moved out to a 5-0 lead. Thomas singled in another run off new Hokie pitcher Randy Buffington to make the score 6-0. The hit parade continued for FSU as Maxie singled in another run as Tech made its second pitching change of the inning. McArdle greeted new pitcher Matt McGahey rudely as he sent the hurler’s first pitch of the game over the wall in left for his second homer of the season. The three-run shot made it a 10-0 game.
“He threw a first pitch fastball away,” said McArdle of the pitch he sent out of the yard. “I knew he had to throw a strike because it was first and third and he didn’t want to load the bases. So I knew I would get a good pitch to hit. He threw it up there and I swung and that’s what happened.”
Strauss followed McArdle’s shot with a homer on McGahey’s third pitch of the game for the 11th run and then Robinson singled to center on the fourth pitch for McGahey. It was the sixth straight hit for FSU and the eighth straight Seminole to reach base in the inning.
The Hokies fought back in the bottom of the ninth getting a couple of runs to ruin FSU’s shutout bid but that was as close as they could get as Caleb Graham closed out the game.
Florida State is back in action Saturday at 2:00 p.m. as they continue their series with the Hokies. Tyler Chambliss (5-0) is scheduled to take the hill for FSU and he will face off against Nicky Bowers (1-2). Game Tracker will be available for every game this season along with a live radio broadcasts available on WFLA locally and free on the Internet at seminoles.com.