March 2, 2007
In 1975 first year FSU Head Coach Woody Woodward and a young assistant coach named Mike Martin led the Seminoles to a 15-0 start on the way to the College World Series. Thirty-two years later Martin is now the head coach of the Seminole baseball program and his team has won 15 straight games to start a season. The second-ranked Seminoles tied the school record for the best start in program history set in 1975 Friday night with their 15th straight win, a 14-4 victory over Siena (0-7).
“I think it is kind of silent in the clubhouse but everybody knows about it. I know about it,” said junior right fielder Jack Rye of the record. “I think it is a great accomplishment and the way we have been playing we could keep going and hopefully establish a new record that lasts over 20 years. It is really exciting.”
The 14-4 victory marked the 12th time in the last 13 games the Seminoles scored double digit runs as the offense continues to sizzle for FSU. Florida State has now recorded double digit hits in every game but one this season and the team has now outscored an opponent by 10 or more runs five times in 2007.
“The reason why we are (scoring runs) is because we are having great at bats,” said Rye. “We hardly have any strikeouts and we are just putting the ball in play. When you put the ball in play good things happen. We are just hitting really well.”
Lost among all the runs was the performance of Bryan Henry. The senior had his best start since dominating then-No. 11 Tennessee on opening day. The two-time All-ACC first team selection went six innings allowing just one unearned run. He struck out seven batters and did not issue a walk as he improved his record to 4-0.
“The defense did great, I was able to throw four pitches over the plate and my curveball was doing what it was supposed to for the first time all year,” said Henry. “That enabled me to work with all my other pitches and give them something different and keep them off balance. The offense scoring all these runs makes it a little bit easier to go out there and just throw strikes.”
“Bryan pitched well,” said Martin. “I think he was really into it. There was nothing taken for granted. Certainly we are ahead of this club (Siena) as far as preparation because of our weather. I thought Bryan did a very good job of getting after it.”
After Siena broke on top with an unearned run in the top of the first, Florida State took advantage of a Siena error to prolong the inning. Jason Stidham dropped a double into left field just in front of a diving Saint bringing in two runs. Ohmed Danesh followed with a double of his own plating two more runs putting FSU up 4-1. D’Vontrey Richardson tripled bringing in the fifth run of the first inning and a Brandon Reichert single made it 6-1 as Florida State batted around.
The Saints held FSU at bay until the sixth when Tony Thomas, Jr. led off the inning with a triple down the left field line. Buster Posey then drove in Thomas as he fisted a ball into shallow right field making it a 7-1 game. Jack Rye recorded the sixth extra base hit of the night for FSU putting runners on second and third. After a walk to Dennis Guinn loaded the bases, Stidham plated the eighth run on a grounder to short. Richardson then drove in his second run of the game with a single as the Seminole lead grew to 9-1.
FSU went back to work in the seventh as Tommy Oravetz and Brady Thomas each singled and then Travis Anderson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Josh Spivey singled in the 10th run keeping the bases loaded with one away. Stephen Cardullo sacrificed another run home before Siena got out of the frame.
In the bottom of the eighth Sienna reliever Maikel Hurtado walked the first three batters of the inning. Tommy Oravetz then sliced a single into center plating Mark Gildea. After Devin Gonzalez was thrown out at home trying to score on a passed ball, Brady Thomas ripped a two-run double increasing the Seminole lead to 12 runs at 14-2.
Caleb Graham worked the final three innings picking up the first save of his FSU career. The sophomore allowed just one earned run in closing out the game for Florida State.
“I was very pleased with the way we played the game,” said Martin. “Our guys are certainly playing the game the way it is supposed to be played. Two nights ago we played against two National League all-stars, one of whom had 58 homeruns, and tonight we played against a club that had only played five games and we played the game just as hard tonight as we did against the Phillies. That makes me proud.”
Florida State will continue its series with Siena Saturday, March 3 at Dick Howser Stadium. First pitch for game two is slated for 1:00 pm. Fans can follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.