March 12, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – It wasn’t as easy has it has been in past years but the second-ranked FSU baseball team once again swept a series from Maryland downing the Terps 4-3 in Sunday’s finale. It was the 27th straight win by FSU in the series but the first time since 2002 where two of the three games were decided by two runs or less. Michael Hyde (4-0) picked up the win and Luke Tucker (3) the save as FSU (18-1, 3-0) won its 15th straight game.
“I am telling you Maryland is a good-looking baseball team,” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. “They trotted some very good arms out there and it took everything for us to win this series. I was very impressed with their defense. They are a team that is going to cause some problems in this before it is all over with.”
The Seminole pitching staff was excellent in the finale Sunday. Hyde went a season-high six innings as he won his third straight game as a starter. Brian Chambers came in and pitched two big innings before turning the game over to Tucker in the ninth. The junior shut the Terps down for the second time in the series picking up the save.
“Michael did have a good outing,” said Martin. “I thought he spotted his fastball well. I was pleased with the composure he showed. Lets not forget the outstanding job Brian Chambers did and of course Luke Tucker.”
“This is a confidence builder,” said Tucker of his two save weekend. “This was great today. When it is a close game like this you have to stay focused and that works better for me. Getting out there and doing well is great.”
Shane Robinson paced the Seminole offense as he had two hits and two RBIs, one coming on his first homer of the season. Ryan Strauss had two hits and a homerun as well. Dennis Guinn’s hit streak and RBI streak came to an end at 14 and now Tony Thomas, Jr. has the longest active streak on the team as he extended his streak to a career long 10 games.
“I am just focusing on making solid contact,” said Thomas when asked about his success. “I am worried about trying to stay ahead in the count and swing at good pitches. A lot of pitchers have been trying to come after me and get the fastball past me. Last year I would take that pitch. This year I am swinging at it. I am making contact, putting the ball in play and things are going my way right now.”
The 26-game home win streak ties the mark set by the 1968, 1986 and 1991 clubs. The latter two both made the College World Series those years. Florida State will look to set the home win streak record Tuesday night against Winthrop.
For the second game in a row Maryland took the lead on FSU early on. Chad Durakis slugged his first homer of the year, a solo shot over the left field wall, giving the Terps an edge in the top of the second.
Strauss evened the game up with Florida State’s first homer of the series and the first of his career. It didn’t take FSU long to hit their second out of the park as Robinson followed Strauss with a homer of his own, the first of the season for the junior making it a 2-1 game. It was the second time this year Seminoles have hit back-to-back homers.
“I got a hold of it pretty good and I knew it was gone when I hit it,” said Strauss of the homer. “I got a fastball inside; I had been looking for that pitch all weekend. I wasn’t sure I’d see it but I finally got to it. I was happy Shane hit his first of the season too. It was nice to go back-to-back.”
Danny Diaz opened the fourth with is fifth double of the season. After a walk to designated hitter Ryan McArdle, Strauss sacrificed the runners into scoring position. Robinson then singled up the middle driving in FSU’s third run of the game. Rye made it a 4-1 game with a sac fly scoring McArdle.
The Terrapins opened the fifth with a double of their own and then a bunt single put runners on the corners. FSU took a big step to getting out of the jam as the Seminoles turned their second double play of the game but the run did come home making it a 4-2 game.
Florida State’s first error seemed like it would hurt as new pitcher Brian Chambers issued a one-out walk and then threw an attempted pick off away allowing the Terp batter to move all the way to third. Chambers didn’t allow the run to come home though as he fanned the next two batters ending the threat.
Maryland put runners on the corners versus Chambers with two away in the eighth as the Terps once again tried to close the 4-2 lead. A chopper down the third baseline did just that as Maryland got within a run of FSU at 4-3 but that was as close as they could get thanks to Chambers and Tucker who closed down the game down in the ninth.
Florida State is back in action Tuesday night when they host Winthrop at 6:00 p.m. The game versus the Eagles is a “Two for Tuesday” game as general admission tickets are just $2.00. Barret Browning (3-0) will take the hill for FSU versus Heath Rollins (2-2). Game Tracker will be available for every game this season along with a live radio broadcasts available on WFLA locally and free on the Internet at seminoles.com.