March 18, 2006
Blacksburg, VA – All good things must come to an end and for the top-ranked Seminoles their 17-game win streak and 15-game win streak versus Virginia Tech came to a close Saturday in Blacksburg. After taking a 7-3 lead, the FSU bullpen was unable to hold off the Hokies as Virginia Tech (8-10, 1-4) scored five runs in the seventh inning to down FSU 9-7. The loss was the first for FSU (20-2, 4-1) since February 10 versus Auburn and the first to the Hokies since April 21, 1989.
“Anytime you are not able to keep a four-run lead, especially on the road, it is very disappointing,” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. “You have to take your hat off to Virginia Tech. They did a good job of clutch hitting. It is a credit to them.
“I am very proud of the streak these young men put together and very disappointed that it came to an end.”
Michael Hyde got the start for Tyler Chambliss who was under the weather and unable to go Saturday. The junior went 2 1/3 innings before giving way to Brian Chambers. Chambers was strong in relief going 3 2/3 and allowing just one run but he and relievers Matt DiBlasi and Brent Marsh (1-1) couldn’t get FSU out of the seventh as the Hokies scored the second-most runs allowed by the Seminoles in an inning this year.
“There is never an excuse for Florida State baseball but those were some tough conditions to play in,” said Martin of temperatures in the 40’s and winds blowing out to dead center at 15 mph.
Florida State out hit the Hokies 12-10 and had eight extra base hits compared to six for Virginia Tech. The Seminoles got three homers from Shane Robinson, Dennis Guinn and Buster Posey but it was the two by Tech’s Jose Rojas that made the difference in the game. Rojas had five RBIs in the victory.
For FSU, Guinn went 3-for-5 with three RBIs as he came up just a single short of hitting for the cycle. Jack Rye and Robinson both had multi-hit games while Posey and Guinn combined to drive in five of FSU’s seven runs.
The Seminoles looked to break on top early off Hokie starter Nicky Bowers. Rye drew a walk and Ryne Malone sent a two-out single through the right side. With runners on the corners Bowers walked Posey to load the bases but FSU couldn’t cash in versus the senior.
While FSU put another runner on base in the top of the second, it was Virginia Tech that scored first. With one out in the inning Matt Hacker doubled to the gap in left. Rojas then laced a Michael Hyde offering over the wall in dead center putting Virginia Tech up 2-0 early on.
Rye got the Seminoles off to a good start in the top of the third with a lead-off triple. Guinn brought the run home on FSU’s second extra base hit in as many at bats as the sophomore double off the wall in left field cutting the Hokie lead in half. Posey then put FSU in front as the freshman crushed his first homerun of the season to dead center field 400 feet away.
A lead-off double and walk put Virginia Tech back in business in the bottom of the third. Both runners moved into scoring position as Rye crashed into the right field wall to secure the first out of the inning. Another Hyde walk loaded the bases then a single to shallow right field evened the game at 3-3 with the bases still juiced. That signaled the end of the day for Hyde who had his shortest outing of the year as a starter. Chambers relieved Hyde and got the job done as he needed just two pitches to end the threat. Malone fielded a difficult grounder and started the 5-4-3 double play that ended the third.
Another outfield error cost the Hokies in the series. After Robinson had a one-out single, Rye smashed a ball to deep center field that was dropped on the warning track allowing Robinson to come all the way home from first. Guinn then made the Hokies pay for the mistake as the sophomore hit his sixth homerun of the season scoring Rye to make it a 6-3 FSU lead.
Tony Thomas, Jr. extended his hit streak to 13 games by leading off the fifth with a single through the left side of the infield. The streak is the second-longest by a Seminole in 2006 trailing Guinn’s 14-game run by just one game.
Robinson single-handedly extended the FSU lead in the sixth as the junior hit his second homer of the season. He sent this one out of left center making it a 7-3 FSU advantage. Guinn continued his torrid hitting as he recorded his third extra base hit in as many at bats. His two-out triple added to the double and homerun he hit earlier in the game.
In the bottom of the seventh Tech threatened FSU’s lead as Seminole relievers DiBlasi and Marsh combined to issue two walks and hit a batter to load the bases. Marsh then gave up a two run single as Tech cut the lead to 7-6. The Hokies then went on top as Marsh gave up a three-run bomb to Rojas, the second of the game for the sophomore, as Virginia Tech re-captured the lead at 9-7. Tech’s five runs came on just two hits.
Rye gave the Seminoles some hope with a two-out double in the eighth but Tech reliever Adam Redd (2-1) continued his dominant relief effort. After surrendering a homer to Robinson when he first entered the game, Redd held FSU at bay the rest of the way pitching four innings allowing one run, no walks and striking out five.
Florida State will complete its series with Virginia Tech Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Tyler Chambliss (5-0), who missed his start Saturday due to illness, is expected to take the hill for FSU and he will face off against Greg Fryman (2-1). 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.