May 27, 2005
Jacksonville, FL – For the 14th straight year the Seminoles are one of the final four teams remaining at the ACC Baseball Championship. Thanks to the best performance of Michael Hyde’s career and seven runs from the offense, the 13th-rnaked Seminoles advanced to the semi-finals with a 7-3 victory over Wake Forest (28-30). Florida State also wrapped-up its 22nd season with 50 or more wins in 26 years under head coach Mike Martin’s tenure as the Seminoles improved to 50-17.
Hyde (7-2) was spectacular going a career high 7 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. He gave up nine hits and issued only one walk. He also fanned six Wake Forest batters, which was one short of a career high. He threw 128 pitches on the night and came within one out of becoming just the second FSU pitcher this season to throw eight innings in a game.
“Mike Hyde really was a big shot in the arm for us tonight,” said Martin. “For him to go out there and pitch like he did with a lot at stake really shows great character and I am proud of the way he pitched.”
“I found out this morning at breakfast I was going to throw tonight,” said Hyde. “I was excited. I have been pacing back and forth waiting to get out there. I got chill bumps when I got out to the mound tonight. I was so nervous I thought I was going to fall down running out there. I knew I had this in me. It is probably the best outing I have had all year. I felt like I had good stuff tonight.”
The victory sets up a rematch between FSU and No. 7 Georgia Tech at 1:00 p.m. The team’s met Thursday and Tech used a five-run rally in the seventh to down the Seminoles 5-4. It was Tech’s fourth straight win over FSU this season. Florida State would have to beat the Jackets twice tomorrow to advance to Sunday’s single game finale. Last season in a similar scenario Florida State downed Georgia Tech twice on the final day of the tournament to win the ACC Title.
“Certainly the players that were a part of this team last year have in the back of their mind what happened but they also know how difficult it will be,” said Martin. “Tomorrow we know we have our work cut out for us. To get to the finals is going to be an unbelievable challenge. We have arms available and we are not thinking about a second game. We are thinking about trying to win that first one.”
Florida State’s defense got them in trouble in the top of the first versus the Deacons. Hyde got the first two outs on K’s but an error on a grounder to third gave Wake new life and they cashed in. DH Ryder Mathias laced an RBI double to left field making it a 1-0 game. Brendan Enick then sent a single up the middle extending the Deacon’s lead to 2-0.
“Some things went wrong in the first inning but I knew I was out there and it was going to be on my shoulders,” said Hyde. “I knew my team needed a good long outing to conserve our bullpen for tomorrow. I just wanted to go out and do the best I could.”
The Demon Deacons tried to add to their lead in the second with another two-out rally. Back-to-back two-out singles put runners on the corners. A stolen base moved both runners into scoring position before Hyde’s first walk of the game loaded the bases. A pop up to short ended the threat though.
Danny Wardell halved the Wake Forest lead in the bottom of the second as the Seminole’s first hit of the game left the park. It was Wardell’s ninth home run of the season and FSU’s first of the ACC Tournament. Brant Peacher walked and then moved to third after Jack Rye’s 13th double of the season. A wild pitch moved the runners up and tied the game at 2-2. The Seminoles then moved in front on a sac fly as Tony Thomas, Jr. plated his 28th RBI of the season.
Wake Forest opened the bottom of the third committing their first error of the game. A walk to Aaron Cheesman then put two Seminoles on board with nobody out. After recording the first out of the inning, Deacon starter Kip Byrum (3-2) walked the bases loaded. Another walk forced home FSU’s fourth run of the game. That brought Tim Morley into the game as the new Deac pitcher and he got Wake out of the jam as FSU left the bases loaded.
Shane Robinson drew a lead-off walk to open the fourth and then swiped his 45th base of the season. Ryne Malone then drove the run home on his 21st double of the season upping the FSU lead to 5-2. Cheesman then drove in another FSU run as he sent a sharply hit ball to short but Malone beat the throw to the plate as the FSU lead grew to 6-2.
Wake cut into the lead in the top of the fifth when an error once again extended the inning. Then a one out single made it a 6-3 game. The Deacons went on to load the bases against Hyde with two away but the sophomore fanned his sixth batter of the game to end the top of the fifth.
Robinson started the bottom of the sixth by lacing a triple down the right field line. The first team All-American then came home without the aid of a hit as he scored on a wild pitch giving FSU more than enough of a cushion for Kevin Lynch who finished off the final 1 1/3.
Tomorrow’s game with Georgia Tech will be available live on Comcast Sports Southeast, which is located on Comcast Cable channel 26 in Tallahassee. CSS will also broadcast FSU’s 7:00 p.m. game if the Seminoles down Georgia Tech in the 1:00 meeting. Steve Melewski’s live radio broadcast will also be available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.