June 5, 2005
Tallahassee, FL – Kevin Lynch’s final appearance at Dick Howser Stadium was a memorable one. Playing in his last home game, the senior set a career high with 4 2/3 innings pitched as he picked up his 12th win of the season and second of the Tallahassee Regional as FSU clinched its seventh straight-trip to an NCAA Super Regional with a 10-4 win over Auburn. This is the 13th time in school history that Florida State has gone through a regional undefeated.
Florida State improved its record to 53-18 on the year, while Auburn concluded the season 34-26. The Seminoles will play Florida in the NCAA Super Regional next weekend in Gainesville. Time and dates will be announced later this week. Florida State took two of the three games between the teams this year, including the lone contest in Gainesville.
“We were very fortunate to win,” FSU Head Coach Mike Martin said. “Auburn is a tremendous baseball team. This team played great baseball throughout the season, they’ve done it with togetherness and in a way that is the most unselfish of any of the baseball teams I’ve had here. This club has it. Every one of the 25 players have played role in this season.”
“As always, a tremendously run regional by Florida State,” said Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater. “I don’t think anyone does it better. Class program, class school and we felt fortunate to be here and just very proud of our team’s effort throughout the weekend. I think you got to see that the Auburn Tigers – these kids play really hard and I’m just very proud of them
The win upped Lynch’s record to 12-0 on the year as he won his 13th consecutive decision dating back to 2004. Making his 43rd appearance of the year, Lynch surrendered just three hits as he held the Tigers scoreless with two walks and four strikeouts. Taking the loss was Auburn starter Jared Shore as he made just his fifth start of the season. The right-hander gave up five runs, four earned, on four hits in just 1 1/3 innings of work.
“I just wanted to come in and work as hard as I could because I never knew when my last inning was going to be,” Lynch said. “I came in with a lot of energy, it fell off a little in that last inning but I tried to battle through it. Like they’ve done all year, (reliever Matt) DiBlasi bailed me out and (closer Tyler) Chambliss finished it.
“Tonight was a great feeling, especially against a ball club like Auburn. It’s the best feeling of my life. Coming off Mike Martin Field for the last time in my career and handing it off to my best friend is a great way to go out.”
Florida State got off to a quick start against Shore in the top of the first. A lead-off walk and base hit put two runners aboard and then a sacrifice bunt moved both into scoring position. For the first time in the regional, FSU broke out on top as a grounder to short plated All-Regional selection Shane Robinson with the game’s first run.
The Seminoles went right back to work in the top of the second as Danny Wardell led off with his ninth double of the year off the screen in right field. Wardell moved to third on a wild pitch and came home on Josh Spivey’s 12th RBI of the season as he sent a single through the right side of the infield. An Auburn throwing error on a sac bunt put Ryne Jernigan on second and moved Spivey to third. Robinson then cleared the bases with his sixth homer of the season and the first three-run homer of his career, making it a 5-0 game.
“Well I go out there and just trying to not hit the pitches they wanted me to hit and try to stay focused and have a little poise up there and get a good pitch,” said Robinson. “I was just thinking, get a good pitch that I can drive, something I can hit in the outfield and score a run with and I got a good swing on the ball and it went out.”
Auburn cut into the score in the bottom of the third off FSU starter Mark Sauls. A single and double to start the inning put two runners in scoring position and then a ground out to third got the Tigers on the board. Sauls’ first walk put runners on the corners and then a two-out homer from Josh Donaldson cut the Seminole lead to just 5-4.
Auburn reliever Michael Nix got into trouble in the top of the fifth by issuing back-to-back walks to start the inning. Jack Rye then continued his hot hitting in the regional as he drove in FSU’s sixth run on a single to right field. A bunt single by Wardell scored another run making it a 7-4 game. Nix’s third walk of the inning loaded the bases with just one away in the frame. Ryne Jernigan knocked in FSU’s eighth run on a ground out off the Tigers’ third pitcher of the night, John Madden.
After Auburn threatened in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Seminoles tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Gibbs Chapmen started the inning with a single then came around two outs later on an RBI single by Wardell. A doubled down the left field line from Josh Spivey plated Wardell with the final run of the game. Tyler Chambliss – the national leader with 15 saves this season – pitched a perfect ninth to secure the victory.
All nine starters reached base at least once with a Seminole making it to first in all nine innings. Playing in his last home game, Wardell led all batters as he collected a game-high three hits with two runs scored and two RBI. Robinson went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Auburn’s Josh Donaldson went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
NCAA All-Region Tournament Team
|SS||Ryne Jernigan||Florida State|
|OF||Shane Robinson||Florida State|
|P||Bryan Henry||Florida State|
|P||Kevin Lynch||Florida State|
|DH||Joel Collins||S. Alabama|
Most Outstanding Player
Bryan Henry, Florida State