Jan. 29, 2005
Box Score in PDF Format
Tallahassee, FL — Florida State baseball head coach Mike Martin knew pitching was one of his 2005 squad’s strengths but not even he expected his staff to get off to such a good start. After the 18th-ranked Seminoles opened the season with a one-hit win over Charleston Southern Friday night, FSU turned around and two-hit the Buccaneers Saturday in a 9-2 victory. Sophomore Michael Hyde (1-0) pitched five innings and allowed just two unearned runs in picking up his first victory for FSU who improved to 2-0 on the season and assured themselves of winning the opening series of the year for the 24th consecutive season.
“If we could keep up our average of allowing just over a hit a game all year we’ll have a heck of a season,” said Martin. “We are very pleased to see our pitchers just go out and get the job done.”
The Seminoles bats also came through Saturday in game two versus Charleston Southern (0-2). After going 1-for-16 with runners on base Friday night in a 2-1 win, the Seminoles came through with seven hits Saturday with runners on board. Seven different players recorded RBIs including Gibbs Chapman who had a multi-RBI game and senior Aaron Cheesman who recorded two RBIs for the second game in a row.
“We had some very good at bats today and I was very pleased that the guys showed discipline at the plate,” said Martin. “We drew a lot of walks and that is important because you have to be able to get on base. We still saw some young players make mistakes but repetition will fix that. Overall, I thought we had a very good day offensively, defensively and pitching.”
“We went out there today and got more comfortable with our bats and were more patient at the plate,” said Ryne Malone who went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and an RBI. “We got runners on today and did a good job of getting them in.”
In the first start of his FSU career, Hyde got off to a rough start in the first walking the first batter and then giving up a hit to the second batter he faced. A sac bunt moved the runners around but Hyde, trying to cut down the lead runner, threw the ball away allowing CSU to break out to a 1-0 lead. The Buccaneers added to their advantage on a wild pitch before Hyde worked his way out of the jam getting out of the inning while leaving the bases loaded.
“As you could see, I was pretty nervous in the first inning,” said Hyde. “I have been dreaming my whole life of playing here (FSU). I have been coming to this stadium watching great players and I am really thankful to be a part of this now but I was definitely nervous that first inning.
“The coaches told me they had seen guys like Paul Wilson and John Wasdin come out here and struggle in the first innings of their careers. They told me now that the first inning is out of the way, go out and pitch like I am capable. That was what I tried to do.”
After the two-run first where Hyde allowed two unearned runs, the sophomore cruised through the next four innings. He faced just one batter over the minimum giving up just one hit and issuing only one walk the rest of the way.
“I thought Michael pitched very well after that first inning,” said Martin. “Obviously it was the first time he has ever pitched in this environment. I was very pleased with his poise. He showed a lot of composure. There were some young mistakes. I have seen it happen to other pitchers like Paul Wilson. I was just very pleased that he was able to show some poise. He showed us what he is all about tonight.”
With FSU trailing for the first time in 2005, Shane Robinson started the Seminoles’ half of the first with a walk and moved over to third on an errant throw on a pick-off attempt. With no outs and a runner on third, CSU starter Ian Holeman (0-1) got the next hitter before Cheesman came up and drove in his third run of the year when he doubled down the right field line on a bloop single that dropped just inside fair territory. A walk and a Brant Peacher single loaded the bases up with just one out bringing Bryan Henry to the plate. The Tallahassee native worked the count full and then got hit by the Holeman offering to drive in a run and tying the game at 2-2. Freshman Jack Rye then put the Seminoles ahead on a sac fly, the first RBI of his career.
“With the young guys on this team, we could have really folded early after falling behind,” said Malone. “The guys did a good job of responding, going out and getting some runs and showing patience at the plate. When we got runners on base tonight we moved them along.”
The Seminoles went back on the attack in the second as Nick Francis led off with a walk and was followed by Robinson who doubled down the left field line. After CSU made a pitching change bringing in Nick Evans, Chapman was retired bringing up FSU’s hottest hitter in Cheesman who had three RBIs in three at bats in 2005. The senior came through again as his sac fly to right plated Francis and Malone followed with a bunt base hit scoring Robinson and extending FSU to a 5-2 lead. Peacher then recorded his second single of the day scoring Malone who moved up to second on a balk.
After taking two innings off, FSU built on its lead in the fifth with a two-out rally. Francis started it off with a double to the wall in left field. He was followed by Robinson who was walked. Both runners advanced on a passed ball bringing up Chapman. The left fielder doubled driving home both runners and bolstering the Seminoles’ lead to 8-2.
“It felt really good to get that hit,” said Chapman. “I have been swinging mainly at strikes but my timing has been off a little early in the season. It felt good to get a piece of one and drive it.”
Freshman Ruairi O’Connor got into the act in the bottom of the sixth. The Illinois product who graduated high school early to enroll at FSU plated the Seminoles’ ninth run of the game when his single scored Malone who doubled to start the inning.
The Seminoles will go for the sweep of the season opening series against Charleston Southern Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Florida State has swept its season opening series for six straight years. Barret Browning is scheduled to pitch for the Seminoles marking the second game in a row that FSU will throw a pitcher who has never played an inning for the Seminoles before making his first career start. Game Tracker will be available for the contest along with a live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.