June 10, 2005
“I went out there tonight and did the same things I have done all year,” said Henry. “The scouting report on me is that I am going to go out there and throw strikes and let my defense work. I did the same thing tonight as I did through out the year. If I get the chance to pitch another game this season, I will do the same thing I did tonight.
“You can’t say enough about the way they played tonight. Their energy level was high and the fans were terrific for them. They put some good swings on some good pitches. It seemed like everything was going their way and that is what happens when you get that combination.”
After allowing just one run through the first three innings, a solo home run, Henry got touched up for three runs in each the fourth and the fifth innings. It was the third time in the last two games that Henry had surrendered three runs in an inning. He had only done that once all season prior to NCAA Tournament play. All seven runs Henry allowed came with two outs in an inning and three came via back-to-back-to-back homers in the fifth.
“Talk about being on an island,” said Henry when talking about the fifth inning. “You feel like you are out there all by yourself and there is nothing you can do. One pitch was in a good spot and then one was just a bad pitch on my part but I just felt like I was out there all by myself.”
Henry didn’t get much help from his offense as Gator starter Tommy Boss (8-4) was totally in command throughout the game. He threw the first complete game of the season versus the Seminoles despite allowing seven hits and fanning just three batters. He held FSU to its lowest run total in its seven Super Regional appearances tying a one-run effort in a 3-1 loss to Notre Dame in 2002.
“Tonight was the Tommy Boss show,” said FSU head coach Mike Martin. “That was just a beautiful job of pitching. He spotted his fast ball to both sides of the plate and just totally dominated us. Sometimes you just have to take your hat off to the guy.”
Neither team could break through against the others ace until the bottom of the third when the Gators struck the first blow. Jeff Corsaletti sent the first pitch he saw from Henry over the fence in right center. It was just the seventh homer allowed by Henry up to that point and the fifth that was a solo shot. The blast was the fourth for Corsaletti in the NCAA Tournament.
The Gators staged another rally versus Henry in the fourth as a walk and double put two runners in scoring position. Henry got the second out on a foul ball out to first and looked to be out of the jam when he sawed off Justin Tordi but the short pop up dropped in between the pitcher’s mound and second base making it a 2-0 Gator lead. The sophomore hit the next batter he faced loading the bases for Tallahassee native Gavin Dickey who hurt his hometown squad with a two-run single to left field. The four runs allowed were the most Henry has allowed in any appearance in 2005.
Danny Wardell erased the zero off the board for the Seminoles in the top of the fifth with a solo shot over the fence in left field to lead off the inning. It was his 10th home run of the year tying him for the team lead. It was his second home run of the season versus the Gators with both coming in Gainesville.
Florida got the run right back in the bottom of the fifth and more as they continued to use the long ball. The Gators hit three straight home runs off Henry, all solo shots, to extend their lead to 7-1. It was the first time the Gators hit back-to-back-to-back homers since 1998.
“Their hitters were very aggressive and had some very good swings,” said Martin. “The last time I can remember a team hitting three straight homers off of us was against Arkansas in a regional tournament in 1985. It was before we had a screen (in right field). The next year we put the screen up.”
The Seminoles and Gators will continue their Super Regional Saturday, June 11 at 7:00 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN2 in Tallahassee. Live Stats will be available at NCAASports.com along with Steve Melewski’s live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.