March 26, 2005
Durham, NC – The eighth-ranked FSU baseball team fought back after falling behind 5-0 in the first inning of the series finale with Duke but they could not pull out the win. Duke scored three runs in the final three innings after FSU had tied the game at 5-5 and held on to an 8-7 victory. The win snapped FSU’s 14-game winning streak versus the Blue Devils (9-19, 1-8) and sent Florida State (27-5, 5-1) to their first conference loss of the season while Duke pulled out its first ACC victory. Shane Robinson upped his record-setting hitting streak to 37 games with an RBI single.
Bryan Henry was the hard luck loser for FSU. The sophomore came in to relive starter Mark Sauls who got off to a rough start in the bottom of the first. Two errors, two walks, two balks and some poor decisions put FSU behind 2-0 before the Blue Devils even recorded a hit. The first hit of the game came just moments later and put Duke up 3-0 chasing Sauls from the game after just 1/3 of an inning. Things got worse as Henry made his second relief appearance of the day. The sophomore gave up his first runs of the year in the form of a two-run homer to right.
After that hit Henry (1-1) settled down a pitched brilliantly. He went 5 2/3 innings and gave up just one more run along the way. He struck out six batters and did not issue a walk keeping Duke at bay while the Seminole offense came back to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the sixth. Blue Devil reliever Jonathan Anderson (1-0) picked up the win with one inning of scoreless relief and Tallahassee native Tony Bajoczyk picked up the save, his third of the year.
With FSU trailing 5-0 after one, the Garnet & Gold was quiet up until the fifth when Duke starter David Torcise walked the first two hitters if the inning. Robinson then blooped a single into shallow right plating FSU’s first run of the game. It was the first time in 37 games that Robinson extended his hitting streak with a fifth inning hit. A sac bunt moved both runners into scoring position as FSU looked to get back into the game. Just as he did in the first game, Brant Peacher came up big again as he sent a shot through the left side scoring two more runs and cutting the lead to 5-3. It gave Peacher five RBIs in the doubleheader.
Robinson came up again in the sixth with runners on first and second and two away. Before he could face Torcise, the pitcher was pulled in favor Anderson. The left-hander walked Robinson to load the bases. Gibbs Chapman, who went hitless in his first six at bats of the twin bill, came up with a huge two-out base hit scoring two runs and tying the game 5-5.
Just as FSU tied the game, Duke came right back. Back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the sixth put runners on the corners against Henry but he got the first out of the inning on a foul out to third. The Seminoles were inches away from getting out of the inning unscathed as they nearly turned an inning ending double play but the throw to first was just a little low allowing the runner to beat it out and Duke to go back in front 6-5. It was the first run allowed by FSU and Henry since the first inning.
Duke looked for some insurance in the bottom half of the seventh versus new pitcher Kevin Lynch. The senior got the first two outs but gave up back-to-back singles to put runners on second and third. Lynch, who tied Zach Davis with his 111th relief appearance, got out of the inning on a ground ball to second.
Duke led off the bottom of the eighth with two more hits to put runners on first and second as they looked to pad their one-run lead for the second straight inning. A ground out moved the runners into scoring position as Tyler Chambliss entered the game. The sophomore was cruising along as FSU was close to getting out of danger but he uncorked a wild pitch that ran all the way to the backstop allowing both runs to score making it an 8-5 lead. The runs were the first inherited runs Chambliss allowed all year and it ended Lynch’s 22 2/3 inning streak of not allowing an earned run.
Peacher kept FSU’s hopes alive with a one-out single in the top of the ninth and then the tying run came to the plate after Wardell was walked on five pitches. That brought Tallahassee native Tony Bajoczyk into the game to try and pick up his third save of the year. Jack Rye came in to pinch hit for O’Connor and laced an RBI double down the left field line. It cut the lead to 8-6 and moved the tying run into scoring position. Josh Spivey then grounded out scoring the run from third. The infield grounder cut the lead to 8-7 but that was as close as FSU could get.
Florida State will return home for a huge week of games. The Seminoles welcome No. 11 Florida in for a mid-week game Wednesday and then resume ACC play with Clemson over the weekend. Saturday Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium will be dedicated. A ceremony in the legendary coach’s honor will begin at 6:45 p.m. Game Tracker will be available for all the contest along with Steve Melewski’s live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.