April 29, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – While a veteran led the 10th-ranked Seminoles on the mound Saturday night it was a couple of young guns leading the way at the plate. Freshman shortstop Buster Posey had a career high four hits and sophomore Ryan Strauss had a career-best four RBIs in leading FSU (35-10) to a 9-2 victory over Savannah State (27-18). Tyler Chambliss improved to 10-2 on the year with the win and moved into a tie for the most wins in the nation as FSU secured the series victory.
“We took advantage of some Savannah State mistakes early,” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. “I was very pleased with the way our guys played.”
Strauss and Posey both had big nights for FSU. Strauss had half of FSU’s eight RBIs himself and Posey moved into the team lead for batting average with his four hits. The freshman is now hitting a team-best .371 on the season and he has multiple hits in four straight games, which is tied for the best streak by a Seminole this year. Posey now has hits in 16 of the last 19 games and nine of his last 11 games with a hit have been multi-hit outings.
“I have been trying to keep everything simple,” said Posey. “(Mike Martin, Jr.) has been trying to get me to swing at better pitches and that has helped a lot. It feels good to help this team. Helping this team get victories is the most important thing to me.”
“Buster Posey has gotten better each time he has gone out there,” said Martin. “That’s what I want to see out of our young players. I will tell you another thing, Ryan Strauss goes unnoticed tonight but the guy knocks in four runs and goes 2-for-3. He played very well in left field. I am just very proud of the way that young man is developing.”
Chambliss pitched six strong innings and allowed just two hits and no runs. He fanned eight batters, his most since a start versus Duke March 25, and walked just two. He threw only 88 pitches as he cruised to the win.
“The first couple of innings I had to comeback into the clubhouse and re-focus to get my head right,” said Chambliss after allowing a Tiger to reach third base in both the first and second frames. “I came back out and in the last three innings I really pitched my kind of ball. It felt good.”
“Tyler was pretty good tonight,” said Martin. “I was pretty pleased with the way he went out there and threw all three pitches. That is what we are trying to do, get him to throw more change-ups. He did a good job continuing to develop that. It was a typical Tyler night. He was very effective with his breaking ball and gave us six strong innings.”
In the bottom of the first Florida State got off to another good start versus SSU and starter Javier Fiallo (6-6) who went the whole way for SSU throwing 144 pitches. Jack Rye and Dennis Guinn both singled with one away and then an error on a ground out brought the first run of the game home. Posey made it a 2-0 game with an RBI single.
The Tigers looked for their first run in the series as a single, passed ball and sac bunt put a runner on third with just one out. Some good defense kept Savannah State off the board though. Ryne Malone scooped up a grounder and looked the runner at third back and fired to first. Guinn got the force at first and then fired home to get the runner trying to score.
Florida State added to the lead in the second with a two-out rally. Shane Robinson singled and then Rye doubled him home. Guinn followed with a double of his own making it a 4-0 game.
After being held without a run in the fourth, an infield hit, a catcher’s interference and a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position. A Strauss single scored both runs and then Danny Diaz singled putting runners on the corners with FSU now up 7-0. Robinson then came up and sacrificed the eighth run home.
Savannah State broke its stretch of 15 scoreless innings when the Tigers pushed a run across the plate in the seventh. Relief pitcher Matt DiBlasi gave up a couple base hits combined with an error put SSU on the board.
Tony Thomas, Jr. led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and then moved to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball. Strauss then drove in his career high fourth run of the night on a single to left field making it a 9-1 game.
Back-to-back errors with nobody out in the eighth gave SSU a chance to cut into the lead once again. New reliever Barret Browning got the next two batters before a double steal moved both runners into scoring position. The senior ended the threat with a K.
Florida State committed two more errors in the ninth as the miscues allowed SSU to get one more run on the board making it a 9-2 final.
“I was disappointed with the way the ninth inning developed,” said Martin. “We had some guys out there that are not starters. Still you don’t expect to see that type of play. That is something you throw away and get ready for tomorrow.”
The Seminoles conclude their series with Savannah State Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Every Seminole baseball game will be carried live on WFLA and on Seminoles.com where broadcasts are free of charge. Game Tracker will also be available for every FSU game in 2006.