May 13, 2005
“This feels great right now but tomorrow I will get back to work and keep trying to improve on this outing,” said Henry. “I just try to go out and throw strikes. Cheese (catcher Aaron Cheesman) just puts his glove up and I try to throw to it.
“This is a huge game for us and hopefully it will set the tone for the rest of the weekend. We didn’t play as well as we are capable of but we will come out tomorrow and hopefully play a little better. They are a great team. They hit the ball solid tonight and they will comeback ready to play again tomorrow.”
Henry went seven innings and allowed five hits. Of the 10 times a Seminole starting pitcher has gone seven or more innings this season, five times it has been Henry on the mound. He struck out one batter Friday night and issued three walks. He came into the game with just two walks all season in almost 50 innings of ACC play. The two runs he allowed were unearned as FSU committed four errors in the win. Henry not only picked up his seventh win but he dropped his ERA to 1.44, which is the best in the ACC.
“Tonight I was up in the zone,” said Henry. “I didn’t have really good command but luckily they chased a few pitches and bailed me out. Tonight I was trying to aim a little bit as I started to fall behind. I was a little wild tonight. There was a bunch of energy in the stadium tonight and I got kind of excited and my team bailed me out a little bit.”
As good as Henry was, the Seminole offense may have been even better. The 15 hits were the second-most recorded against the UNC staff this season and the marked the fifth straight game in which FSU has recorded double digit hits. The nine runs ranked as the fifth-most the Heels have allowed this season. Florida State’s three homers by Tony Thomas, Jr., Ryne Malone and Josh Spivey tied the most homers the Heels have given up in any game and the two homers off Miller were the most he has allowed in a game this season.
Four different Seminoles recorded multi-hit games led by Danny Wardell who had the first four hit game of his career. Malone went 3-for-3 and Shane Robinson and Josh Spivey both went 2-for-2. Malone, Aaron Cheesman and Spivey each collected two RBIs a piece.
“I was obviously happy with the offense tonight,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Certainly you are not looking for Tony to hit a home run but Josh Spivey and Ryne are capable of it. We did a lot of things a little uncharacteristic of this club but you have to give North Carolina credit for putting us in that position. They made us do some things we don’t usually do so let’s give them a lot of credit.”
North Carolina took an early lead thanks to a two-out RBI and a Seminole error. After a one-out single, FSU looked to be out of the inning on a tailor-made double play ball but an error resulted in neither an out at second nor first being recorded. Then a two-out bunt single brought the run home.
Mistakes cost FSU again in the bottom of the first. Shane Robinson hit the first Miller (8-2, 5-2) pitch of the game into left field but he was picked off of first. Malone followed with another single but he was thrown out trying to steal second.
FSU started the second with back-to-back hits by Cheesman and Wardell but a ground ball double play hurt the rally but it did move Cheesman to third. After a two-out walk to Brant Peacher, Ryne Jernigan was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Miller got out of the jam though as he caught Thomas looking at a 3-2 strike to end the inning.
For the second consecutive time the Seminoles opened an inning with back-to-back singles as they ran their hit total to six versus Miller. This time it was a costly Carolina error that led to a run. Chapman smashed a ball to second base that was mishandled allowing the tying run to score. A sac bunt RBI by Cheesman then put FSU in front 2-1.
Another Seminole error put UNC in business in the fourth as the Heels looked for the tying run. With a runner on first Jernigan misplayed a bouncer to short allowing the Heels to put runners on the corners. A single up the middle then scored the second unearned run of the night for Carolina.
Florida State tried to answer back with two, one-out singles in the bottom of the fifth. The two hits ran FSU’s total to nine, which is the most ever surrendered by Miller in a game. But a double play ended the threat.
After knocking out nine hits in the first five innings, it took just one swing of the bat for the Seminoles to reclaim the lead in the sixth. Thomas put FSU back in front with his fifth home run of the season and his second in two games.
“I am not trying to think too much. I am just trying to put the ball in play and keep a level swing,” said Thomas. “When a pitcher makes a mistake I just want to be ready to try and make them pay for it.”
Robinson followed the homer by drawing a walk and came home just moments later as Malone went yard over the same fence in right as Thomas making it a 5-2 game. It was the first time this season Miller had given up two homers in a game much less in the same inning. It looked like Miller had given up his third to the next batter when Chapman smashed a shot high off the 30-foot screen in right for a double marking the third extra base hit of the inning. Chapman moved up to third on a wild pitch from new hurler Andrew Carignan and then Cheesman drove him home on a ground out as the lead grew to 6-2.
The Seminoles padded the lead in the bottom of the seventh as they loaded the bases with two away against UNC’s third pitcher of the night Matt Spencer. Chapman drove in his 57th run of the season on a walk making it a 7-2 game.
Kevin Lynch then entered the game for the 127th time in his career tying Daniel Hodges for the most appearances ever by a Seminole pitcher. The senior’s historic moment wasn’t the most memorable though as the first batter he faced homered making it a 7-3 game. It was the first homer allowed by Lynch this season and the first earned run he has given up since March 26 at Duke. That was all the runs UNC would get though.
Florida State used the long ball to extend their lead in the eighth. After a double by Wardell, his fourth hit of the night, Spivey went yard with a towering shot, the first of his FSU career. It gave the Seminoles a commanding 9-3 lead. The Heels tacked on a run in the ninth but that was as close as they would get.
Florida State will continue its series with North Carolina (37-12-1, 15-7-1) Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The game will be the ACC Game of the week and shown on Sun Sports and FSNS. Game Tracker will also be available for all this year’s games along with Steve Melewski’s live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.