April 4, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – It was good to be back at home for the third-ranked FSU baseball team. The Seminoles (28-4) returned to Mike Martin Field and picked up right where they left off by winning their 32nd consecutive home game. FSU downed Jacksonville (23-10) for the 15th consecutive time and kept a home winning streak alive versus JU that dates back to 1991 and is now at 23 games. Michael Hyde (6-0) pitched 6 1/3 in picking up the win and the Seminole bullpen was stellar once again.
“Jacksonville is a much improved team this year,” said FSU Head Coach Martin after the Dolphins held the potent FSU attack to four runs for the second time in two meetings. “They pitched very, very well. They are a very scrappy team. We were very fortunate tonight. We played good baseball. Credit Jacksonville, they pitched us tough.”
Despite scoring the same amount of runs as they did in the first meeting, the Seminoles had twice as many hits Tuesday night. Seven different FSU players combined for 10 hits but none was bigger than Ryne Malone’s two-run homerun in the fifth. The junior went yard for the seventh time this season and the 26th time in his career.
FSU All-American Shane Robinson had a big game as well. The junior swiped his 19th base of the season and moved into a tie for fifth all-time at FSU with his 87th career steal. He also extended his hitting streak to 19 games, which is the longest by a Seminole in 2006.
“I don’t really think about it,” said Robinson of the hitting streak. “I am just going out there trying to do what I do everyday. I am kind of disappointed with the way I am playing recently. There are some little things I need to work on but the rest of the team is picking it up.”
Hyde had one of his strongest outings of the year for FSU on the hill as he set a season-high for innings pitched and tied a season high for strikeouts. The junior threw 107 pitches and struck out four batters. He issued four walks and both runs he allowed came in the sixth inning.
“I thought Michael Hyde had his best outing of the year,” said Martin. “Jacksonville is hitting .325 as a team. They are strong offensively. There were a couple of guys out of their line-up but Michael Hyde pitched very well.”
“I just tried to come out and pitch the best I can with as much confidence as I can,” said Hyde of his performance. “I wanted to just give my team a chance to win. I worked on a few things since my last start. Some little things. Most of all it is a mental thing. Just getting the confidence. I felt really good tonight.”
Three FSU relievers came in and closed the door on the Dolphins. Freshman Travis Burge relieved Hyde with two runners on and just one out. The Port St. Joe, FL native fanned both batters to end the threat. Brent Marsh and Luke Tucker followed by not allowing a base runner in the eighth or ninth and combing to K four JU hitters. Tucker struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his seventh save of the year.
“That young man is very composed,” said Martin of Burge. “He gets out there and enjoys competing. I was very pleased with the way he pitched.
Robinson opened the game by reaching base in his first at bat for the 17th time this season and for the 16th time in those 17 games FSU went on to record the victory. After a walk to Jack Rye, both runners moved into scoring position on a double steal. Buster Posey then put FSU in front on a ground out to third scoring Robinson.
JU starter Tim Brown (2-1) got into two-out trouble in the third as Posey doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. After a walk to Malone, Posey came in on a delayed double steal making it a 2-0 game.
New Dolphin pitcher Garrett Dunlap got into a jam in the fourth. He walked new DH Travis Anderson on four pitches and then gave up a bloop single to shallow center field to Ryan Strauss. After Dunlap got the first out, Danny Diaz looked like he was going to add to the Seminole lead by lacing a ball down the left field line. JU’s Daniel Murphy snared the liner at third and doubled up Anderson to end the threat.
Hyde got into his first jam of the night in the bottom of the fourth. He gave up just his third hit of the night and followed the base knock with his second walk. The junior got out of the inning though with his fourth K, tying a season high.
Rye started the fifth with a double versus JU’s third pitcher of the game. Just when it looked like the Seminoles would strand the sophomore Malone stepped up and blasted a two-out homer over the fence in right. It as the seventh homerun of the year for Malone and made it a 4-0 game.
The Dolphins put together a threat in the sixth as back-to-back base hits put two on with nobody away. JU then ended the shutout bid as back-to-back ground outs scored runs cutting the Florida State lead in half.
In the seventh the Dolphins put two more runners on base as Burge came into the game to try and keep FSU in front. The freshman did just that as he fanned the next two hitters to retire the side.
Florida State tried to put together a two-out rally in the seventh as Posey recorded his second double of the game and Malone walked. An infield single by Thomas loaded the bases but new pitcher Justin Young put out the fire fanning the next batter leaving the bases full of Seminoles.
Florida State is back on the road this weekend as they open a three-game ACC with Boston College. It will be the first ever meetings between the programs. Game Tracker will be available for every game this season along with live radio broadcasts available on WFLA locally and free on the Internet at seminoles.com.