April 9, 2005
Tallahassee, FL – The eight-ranked FSU baseball team staged its second come from behind victory in as many nights with a 4-3 win over Wake Forest Saturday. Unlike Friday, it was the Seminoles (32-7, 9-2) who took an early lead only to watch Wake comeback and jump in front where they stayed for 4½ innings but Ryne Malone’s bases loaded walk in the eighth pushed the game winning run across the plate. Tyler Chambliss then came in and slammed the door on the Deacons (14-19, 7-10) picking up his second straight save and his ACC leading 10th save of the season.
“That was a good at bat for me. Their pitcher was throwing really hard so I have to take my hat off to him,” said Malone of his crucial eighth inning walk. “I ended up getting four balls after fouling a few pitches off. I was just fortunate to be in that situation with the bases loaded.”
The key for FSU once again Saturday was the work of the Seminole bullpen. Starter Michael Hyde went 5 2/3 giving up three runs before Kevin Lynch (6-0, 2-0) relieved him in the sixth. The senior allowed just two hits in 2 1/3 innings of work in picking up his sixth win of the season. It was also the 114th career appearance for Lynch, which is the third most in school history.
“Our middle relievers have pitched very well in that role and I am pleased with all those guys,” said FSU head coach Mike Martin. “That whole group continually comes in and holds the other team down giving us a chance to get back in it.
“I was a little bit hesitant to get Lynch in tonight because we were behind and we still have more games to play. He is approaching the career record for appearances at Florida State and we aren’t going to keep him from that. I figured if we could pitch him a couple innings tonight he might still be available tomorrow.”
Chambliss was once again a huge part of FSU’s success. He came in to the game in the ninth and set the Demon Deacons down in order for the second straight night. In all, he picked up his two saves by facing just six batters and striking out five of them. With his 10th save Chambliss moved just eight saves away from the FSU single season record and he is the first ACC pitcher to reach double digit saves this season.
“My goals are not only to lead the ACC but to lead the nation,” said Chambliss. “I don’t know where other pitchers stand but I want to be the best at my position just like all the other guys out here do.”
“Chambliss enjoys the competition and he is just a baseball player,” said Martin. “He never backs down from any situation. He loves the confrontation between him and the hitter. He is doing a great job and helping us be successful.”
After a sluggish start Friday night, things got off to a much better beginning Saturday. Hyde cruised through the first inning and FSU got on the board in the bottom of the frame off Wake starter Charlie Mellies. Shane Robinson led off with a walk, reaching base in his 54th consecutive game, and then Malone crushed a double off the right field fence putting runners on second and third. An Aaron Cheesman sac fly scored the runner and then an error on a fly ball to right, which should have ended the inning, put FSU up 2-0.
Wake came right back and responded in the second. A hit batter and single put a couple runners on and then a double deep into the right field corner cleared the bases tying the game at 2-2. Hyde put another runner on with his first walk of the game as Wake was back in business with runners on first and second and still just one away. The Deacons’ third hit of the inning broke the tie as they went up 3-2 on an RBI single.
After a shaky first, Mellies settled down and retired seven of the next eight batters before a bases empty double by Bryan Henry with one out in the fourth. Hyde was on a streak of retiring eight straight batters himself heading into the top of the fifth before issuing a one-out walk. Neither team could score the base runner though as the game remained 3-2.
The Seminoles big inning has been the fifth all year with seven of the team’s 20 homers coming in that one frame. Florida State had also outscored their opponents 47-10 in that inning so when Aaron Cheesman led off the bottom of the fifth with a single up the middle, FSU fans thought the comeback was on. Mellies would have no part of it though. He got the next batter on a fly ball and then Cheesman was thrown out trying to steal before the fifth came to a close on a shallow fly ball to left.
A walk and a hit batter gave Wake Forest a couple of base runners in the top of the sixth bringing Lynch into the game with two outs. The senior did what he always does and struck out the first batter he faced to end the threat.
Danny Wardell led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk and then got into scoring position on a wild pitch but Mellies once again looked like he would stymie a Seminole rally getting the next two outs with Wardell standing on third. The Wake starter then lost Tony Thomas, Jr. to put runners on the corners bringing up Robinson. The sophomore smashed a shot to third that jumped up and hit Wake’s Matt Antonelli in the shoulder scoring the tying run.
Florida State looked to take the lead in the eighth as Henry laced a single to center field. Thomas followed with a double down the line in right field putting runners on second and third with just one away and the top of the order coming to the plate. That knocked Matt Hammond (2-6) out of the game and brought Kyle Young in. He proceeded to walk Robinson on four straight pitches to load the bases. Young then plated the winning run on the walk to Malone giving FSU the 4-3 lead that it wouldn’t relinquish.
Florida State will conclude its series with Wake Forest (14-19, 7-10) at 1:00 p.m. Sunday on youth baseball day at Dick Howser Stadium. All youth 13 and younger wearing their baseball jersey get into the game free. The Seminoles then hit the road all of next week playing at Jacksonville Tuesday night before heading to Atlanta for a series with No. 3 Georgia Tech. Game Tracker will be available for all FSU’s 2005 games along with Steve Melewski’s live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.