February 23, 2005 - by
Malone’s Game Winning Hit In The Eighth Sends FSU Past Stetson 7-6

Feb. 23, 2005




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    DeLand, FL – Young teams aren’t supposed to win close games but that hasn’t been the case for the youngest FSU baseball team in head coach Mike Martin’s 26 years. For the fifth time in five tries the 11th-ranked Seminoles pulled out a win in a one-run game defeating Stetson (4-4) 7-6 to sweep the two-game set. Ryne Malone recorded the game-winning hit in the eighth inning and Tyler Chambliss pitched two near-flawless innings to pick up his fourth save of the year. Ryan Strauss (1-0) pitched one inning to pick up the first win of his career as Florida State improved to 13-1 on the season.

    “We were very fortunate to win down here,” said Martin. “Stetson has a first class facility and first class fans. We enjoyed the competition very much and I do not intend to wait 27 years to come back here.

    “This game could have gone either way. There is no question about it. Getting out of the bases loaded jam in the seventh was big. This was a good two games for our club. I thought it gave us a chance to show these young guys what it is like to play good teams on the road.”

    The Seminole bullpen answered the bell once again Wednesday night. After giving up six runs in the first four innings, the FSU pen held Stetson without a run over the next five innings. In the last three innings Strauss and Chambliss faced the minimum limiting the Hatters to just one base runner who drew a walk and he was cut down by Aaron Cheesman trying to steal second to end the game.

    “I think there were a lot of keys to the game,” said Martin. “I thought the pitching of both Tyler Chambliss and Ryan Strauss were big factors. They did a good job. They got it done for us. Stetson had put runs on the board in each of the first four innings but we were fortunate enough to shut them down after that.”

    Eight different Seminoles recorded hits as FSU set a new season high with 14 hits in the game. Shane Robinson extended his hit streak to 19 games with a 2-for-5 day including his team leading 16th RBI. Ryne Jernigan had a career day going 3-or-5 with three RBIs and Brant Peacher set a new career high of his own with three doubles in the game.

    Starter Hunter Jones, who came into Wednesday’s game with just one walk all season, hurt himself in the bottom of the first due to free passes. He walked the lead-off batter but got out of that jam on a double play ball but his second walk of the inning came back to haunt him. A two-out double by Chris Johnson put Stetson in front for the second day in a row.

    FSU answered back immediately in the second thanks to some help from the Hatters. A lead-off error and walk put runners on first and second with no outs. Peacher then cashed in with a double to right center, the Seminoles’ 43rd of the year. Jernigan followed with a shot up the middle scoring both runners and putting the Seminoles in front 3-1.

    Jones’ third walk of the game put the Hatters back in business in the bottom of the second. The one-out free pass was followed by two singles, sandwiched around the second out of the inning, cutting the FSU lead to 3-2.

    Malone recorded FSU’s second double of the game in the top of the third. It was the 10th time this season FSU recorded at least two doubles in a game. A wild pitch moved the clean-up hitter to third and Jack Rye brought him home with a two-out RBI single into right field.

    More Seminole mistakes got Stetson back in the game in the bottom of the third. After a pop fly for the first out, a single and Jones’ fourth walk put runners on first and second. Another pop up seemed to put FSU close to escaping the inning but catcher’s interference was called and the bases were loaded with one away. Stetson, who came into the game 0-for-17 with the bases loaded, almost broke the game wide open with a deep shot to the warning track in right but Rye was there to limit the damage to a sac fly and a 4-3 score. The deep shot ended the day for Jones though as Stephen Ochs came in and got the final out of the third.

    Jernigan led the fourth off with a smash to center field that Shane Jordan got his glove on but was unable to hold onto the ball. The two base error was followed by a Tony Thomas, Jr. sacrifice. Shane Robinson then extended his hitting streak to 14 games this season with an RBI single into right field for a 5-3 lead.

    The Hatters went right back to work in the fourth. A lead off single and a bunt base hit put runners on first and second. A sac moved the runners up and Ochs then loaded the bases when he lost Braedyn Pruitt on a 3-2 pitch. That brought up Stetson’s top hitter Johnson who went 0-for-4 last night. The Seminoles were not as successful Thursday against the redshirt freshman as he tied the game with his third hit of the day, a single into left field. A bad hop single to first put Stetson back in front 6-5 with runners on the corners and still just one out in the inning. Ochs stormed back and ended the three-run, fourth with back-to-back K’s.

    Jernigan evened the game again in the top of the fifth. The scoring started with Peacher’s two-out double into the gap in right. Jernigan then reached base for the third time in the game with an RBI single, his third of the game. In his last five games, all starts, Jernigan was hitting .400, slugging .600 and had knocked in four runs after his hit in the fifth.

    Robinson got his second straight hit to lead off the sixth. After an out, a hit and run put Robinson on third and Cheesman on first but new Stetson pitcher Robbie Elsemiller retired the next two batters to end the FSU threat.

    Browning struggled in the bottom of the sixth after recording the first out on a stellar defensive play by Malone. He walked the next two hitters on nine pitches but struck out Nick Palmisano for the second out of the inning. Another Browning walk loaded the bases bringing Kevin Lynch into the game. The senior needed just four pitches to get out of the jam as he recorded a ground ball out to end the sixth inning.

    Peacher recorded his third double of the game in the seventh, tying a season high for FSU this year. After a fly ball out, Thomas was hit by a pitch putting two on with two down for Robinson. The reigning ACC Player of the Week didn’t get the chance to break the tie though as Peacher was picked off at second. It was the third pick-off at second base by the Hatters in the two games.

    Strauss came in to relieve Lynch in the bottom of the eighth and needed just five pitches to record the first 1-2-3 inning of the day.

    In the eighth, Gibbs Chapman recorded his first hit of the game, a one out single to right and he then stole second. Cheesman then sent a shot deep into the hole at short that the shortstop was unable to field putting runners on the corners. Malone then broke the tie with an infield single to the right side, which ended up winning the game for FSU.

    Chambliss entered the game in the bottom of the eighth. The Seminoles’ leader in wins and saves, Chambliss needed just eight pitches to set the Hatters down in order for the second straight inning. The sophomore recorded two strikeouts upping his season total to 15.

    Florida State looked to extend the lead in the top of the ninth. After Peacher smashed a ball up the middle that Robbie Elsemiller (0-2) snared to make the out, Jernigan singled. Thomas followed with a single on a hit and run but Jernigan was thrown out at third for the second out of the inning. Robinson was intentionally walked as Stetson brought Cy McCuen into the game to try and keep it a one-run lead for FSU. The senior walked Chapman loading the bases but the Seminoles couldn’t cash in stranding their 12th, 13th and 14th base runners of the game.

    Chambliss had the 7-8-9 hitters to face in the bottom of the ninth and got the first out on a fly to shallow left. The sophomore then got the second out on his third strikeout of the game but he walked Brian Bocock on four straight pitches bringing the winning run to the plate in Jordan but before he had a chance to swing Cheesman gunned Bocock out trying to swipe second to end the game.

    The Seminoles return home this weekend for the final home series until they open ACC play March 18. The Appalachian State Mountaineers (1-7) come to town for a three-game series, which starts Friday, February 25 at 3:30 p.m. Game Tracker will be available for the game along with a live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.

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