May 30, 2006
A QUICK LOOK AT FSU IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
This is Florida State’s 29th consecutive trip to NCAA Regionals, which is the second-longest streak in the nation behind only Miami (34). Overall, this is Florida State’s 44th NCAA Regional, which is the second-most ever trailing only Texas. The Seminoles and Longhorns are the only two schools to ever play in 40 NCAA Regional Tournaments. The Seminoles are 145-96 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. Only three teams (Miami, Texas and USC) have more wins in NCAA Tournament play and the College World Series than Florida State and only nine schools in all of college baseball have more than 100 wins in postseason play. This is the first time in a decade that the Seminoles have not hosted an NCAA Regional and they have advanced to Super Regionals every year since the format was put into place in 1999.
JUST THE FACTS
* This is the 29th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Seminoles.
* Head Coach Mike Martin has now led his team to the NCAA’s in each of his 27 years on the bench.
* This is the first time since 1996 FSU will not open NCAA Tournament play at home. That year the Seminoles were sent to Stanford and won the regional.
* Of FSU’s 44 NCAA Tournament appearances only 19 have started on the road and in the last 24 years FSU has only been sent to a road regional just three times.
* Seven of FSU’s 18 runs to the College World Series have started at a regional played away from home.
* Florida State is 44-28 (.611) when playing in a regional on the road compared to 73-29 (.716) when playing at home.
* FSU is 8-2 in the last two Regionals played at an opponent’s stadium.
* In 19 road regionals, FSU has posted a winning percentage of .500 or better 12 times.
* Florida State trails only Texas for the most NCAA Tournament appearances
* Since the NCAA started selecting 16 host sites in 1999, the home team has won the Regional 66 times in 96 opportunities (59%).
* FSU is second all-time for wins in NCAA Regional and Super Regional play with 120.
* No team has played more NCAA Tournament games than FSU with 178 in program history.
* This is the first time since 1975 that there will not be a regional played in the state of Florida.
FSU VS. JACKSONVILLE – THE HISTORY
The Seminoles lead the all-time series with JU 108-33 (.755) and they have never played a game on a neutral site. FSU has won 17 straight games in the series. The last time a Seminole squad lost to JU was February 24, 2002 in Jacksonville. The Dolphins won that game 13-4. It tied the series record for the most runs scored by JU versus FSU and the widest margin of victory for JU. The record was set in 1971 in an identical 13-4 JU win on their campus. FSU is 5-1 versus Jacksonville in the NCAA tournament, with the last meeting being May 30, 2003 where FSU won 6-0 in the opening game of the Tallahassee Regional. FSU has won four straight versus JU in the tournament with victories in 2003, 1999 and twice in 1994. The lone tournament defeat to the Dolphins came in 1976, when the Seminoles lost an elimination game 9-7. The defeat came one day after a 6-1 victory in their first postseason match up. The Seminoles’ largest margin of victory in a postseason was 9-2 in the Tallahassee Regional opener in1999. In the six meetings between the two teams in postseason play, the Seminoles have never scored fewer than five runs in a game. Overall, FSU has scored 10 or more runs in seven of the last 13 meetings and recorded two shutouts in that stretch. Besides the two shutouts, JU has had success producing runs until this year. The Dolphins have scored three or more runs in eight meetings but have never been closer than five runs in any of those 10 games before this season. In four games this year, Jacksonville has scored no more than two runs in any game. The longest win streak for FSU in the series is 18 games set between 1980-2002 while JU’s longest win streak is three games set twice (1972 and 1982).
THE 2006 JU SERIES
Florida State has won all four games this season, by scores of 4-1, 4-2, 10-1 and 9-2. In the last three meetings FSU has started to bring out the offensive firepower as the Seminoles had at least 10 hits in each game. In the four games, Ryan Strauss is pacing the Seminoles, hitting .429. He has two doubles, three RBIs and has scored two Seminole runs. Shane Robinson is hitting .350 versus the Dolphins with a home run and three RBIs. Ryne Malone has driven in the most Seminole runs by knocking six in. Michael Hyde has two victories in 12.2 innings of work. He has allowed three runs, two earned and struck out 10 Dolphin batters. JU is hitting .234 versus Hyde as he has started two of the games and appeared once in relief. Luke Tucker has earned two saves in three innings of work, giving up one hit and striking out seven of ten batters he has faced.
IF THE FOUR GAMES ARE ANY INDICATION
Look for Florida State to:
* Put the leadoff batter on. Florida State is 17×36 (.500) when the leadoff batter is at the plate. Danny Diaz is perfect in this role, reaching in each of his four chances.
* Quiet the bats. The Florida State pitching staff has a combined ERA of 1.00 allowing the Dolphins 26 hits in 128 at bats (.208).
* Turn out the lights. The Seminole bullpen has worked in 13.1 innings of play and only allowed one run on seven hits, which is a 0.69 ERA and a .159 opponent batting average. The one run was on a home run given up by Brian Chambers.
* Wait for their pitch. Florida State has 20 walks in four games. Jack Rye and Ryne Malone each have four free passes, add in Tony Thomas Jr.’s three walks and you have as many as the entire Jacksonville squad (12)
FLORIDA STATE VERSUS THE NEC
Florida State and Sacred Heart have never met however the Seminoles have faced three of the Pioneers conference mates. Overall, Florida State is 5-0 against the NEC. The Seminoles are 2-0 versus both Farleigh Dickinson and Long Island additionally the Seminoles are 1-0 versus Monmouth. The last meeting between FSU and an NEC school was in 1998 when Florida State defeated Long Island 11-0 at a neutral site.
FSU VS. GEORGIA – THE HISTORY
The Seminoles and Bulldogs have met 49 total times in program history but have only played each other in three games since 1987. All three meetings came in the 2001 Athens Super Regional. The Seminoles went 1-2 losing the final game 8-3. The last Seminole win was June 3, 2001, an 11-6 victory. The Seminoles lead the overall series by a 28-21 margin. In games played in Athens, the Seminoles lead the series 13-10. The Bulldogs have won four of the last five games over the Seminoles, dating back to April 2, 1987. The largest Seminole victory in the series was a 16-4 win in Tallahassee on March 19, 1959. The largest Bulldog victory was a 21-5 beating on February 20, 1982 in Tallahassee. The highest scoring game of the series was in 1964, when 29 total runs were scored as FSU won 18-11. Each team has three shutouts. This year’s Athens regional will mark the 43rd regional appearance and the 19th consecutive appearance for Florida State. In that span, the Seminoles have never appeared in a regional in Georgia.
Bryan Henry has spent the majority of the 2006 season as FSU’s “Friday Night” starter. He has made the first start in 17 of FSU’s weekend series over the last two years and opened the 2006 ACC Baseball Tournament on the hill for FSU. Henry leads all Seminole starters with a 2.65 ERA and is 9-3 on the season. Henry has had just one decision in his last five starts and that came this past week when he suffered a loss versus Virginia in the opening game of the ACC Tournament. He will make his 18th start of the year this weekend. Last season the junior made 11 starts and his numbers have been remarkably steady the last two seasons. In 2005 he had a 9-3 record and an opponent batting average of .221 and this year he has a 9-3 record and opponents hit .222 off him. Last year Henry’s ERA was 2.22 this year it is slightly higher at 2.65. In 2005 his K:BB ratio was 3.2:1 this year it is 3.4:1. What those numbers show is what everybody around Tallahassee knows and that is how consistent Henry has been. Since beating Boston College April 7 to move to 8-1, Henry has had his ups and downs. He has pitched brilliantly versus Wake Forest and Clemson and had a couple tough outings versus Georgia Tech and NC State. In his last six starts, Henry is 1-2 with a 4.14 ERA and his K:BB ratio is just over 1:1. While those numbers are above what Henry has done in his career they were compiled while starting against six NCAA Tournament teams and he did hold them to a .227 batting average. The Tallahassee native is a nightmare for right-handed batters who are hitting just .198 off of him this year. No Seminole starter has been better on the road this season than Henry. In six starts he is 2-1 with a 1.76 ERA at an opponent’s park. He has 33 K’s in 41 innings of road work and opponents are hitting only .221 against him. He has walked just nine batters in road games and given up only eight earned runs. The right-hander has been just dominant in almost every statistical category. In games played at the opponent’s field Henry holds righties to a .191 average and limits teams to a .216 batting average with runners on base. Last year Henry’s NCAA Tournament spanned the spectrum. He started two games that couldn’t have been more opposite. In the NCAA Regional Henry pitched a complete game in leading FSU to a 4-3 win over Auburn. He allowed just three runs in the nine innings pitching the first complete game by a Seminole pitcher in a year. He then opened up the Super Regionals at Florida and had one of the most forgettable days of his collegiate career. Henry saw his seven game win streak come to an end in brutal fashion as the Gators scored a career-high seven runs off him including four homers.
Tyler Chambliss continues to show why he is a semifinalist for the Roger Clemens Award. Although he is FSU’s No. 2 starter, Chambliss is considered by most around FSU baseball to be a co-No. 1. He is 11-4 with a 2.87 ERA and a .251 opponent batting average. The junior fanned eight Tar Heels batters in his last start to raise his season total to 107 K’s becoming the first FSU pitcher since 2003 to break the century mark. Chambliss has started 17 games and struck out eight or more batters seven times now. The curveballer has struggled at the start of innings where he puts 39% of leadoff runners on base which is a concern since teams hit .285 against him with runners on. In away games Chambliss’ numbers do go up. The Live Oak, FL native is 4-3 with a 4.08 ERA in road games. Teams are hitting .286 against him with 52 hits in 46 innings of work. Chambliss has only issued 16 walks in road games and struck out 38. Both lefties and righties hit an identical .286 against him on the road but those aren’t the numbers that are most disconcerting. Chambliss is putting 40% of runners on to start an inning on the road and then allowing opponents to hit .329 against him with runners on. With one of the best breaking balls in all of college baseball, it isn’t that unusual to see Chambliss leading the team with 12 batters hit and six wild pitches. One stat that is a little odd though concerns sacrifices. No Seminole pitcher has allowed more than four sac bunts except for Chambliss who has allowed 13 when he is on the hill. The 13 sac bunts Chambliss has allowed represents 35% of the team’s total. Since moving to 9-2 after a seven inning gem against Miami April 15, things haven’t come as easy for Chambliss. In his last six starts he is 2-3 with a 5.19 ERA. Teams have hit .313 against him in that span. The most concerning number for Chambliss as of late has to be that opponents are hitting .381 against him with runners on base. He has allowed four or more runs in four of his last six starts and an average of seven hits per game in that span. Chambliss had a stellar NCAA Tournament in 2005 as a reliever. The junior pitched in three games, picked up one save and allowed just one hit and no runs in 5 2/3. He faced 17 batters and struck out six while allowing just two walks. He posted an opponent batting average of just .059 in the NCAA Tournament.
Junior Michael Hyde is coming off his best start of the season. The Tallahassee native was dominant versus No. 6 Virginia in an elimination game at the ACC Tournament. He pitched seven innings, scattered eight hits and did not allow a run. It was the first complete game shutout of his career as he blanked UVA in a run-rule shortened game. Hyde’s performance was so impressive expect him to get a start at some point in Regionals this weekend and maybe even in game one. In a starting role, Hyde has really posted some very solid numbers. In nine starts in 2006 the junior is 6-1 with a 4.19 ERA. While many of those starts were in mid-week games three came versus ACC opponents, three came versus NCAA Tournament teams (JU and USA) and another came against a very good Florida team. Hyde has done very well in his starting assignments when pitching with runners on base allowing opponents to hit just .215 and overall he is holding opponents to a very respectable .257 batting average. When you look at Hyde’s two-year career his numbers are very solid. He has a lifetime ERA of 4.51 and opponents hit .278 against him. He has fanned 113 in almost 160 career innings. There is one number that does stick out. In 37 appearances Hyde is 15-3 and he has lost just once (Florida) since March 10, 2005 versus Hawaii. The right-hander has made just two starts on the road this season but he is 1-0 with an impressive 2.70 ERA. If you add in his game at a neutral site the numbers in all games played away from Mike Martin Field his numbers pretty impressive. Hyde is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in the five games he has pitched away from Dick Howser Stadium. In those five games he has allowed opponents to hit better than .286 in ever situational category except for the one that is most important. In those games opponents have hit just .212 with runners on base. Hyde opened up the 2005 NCAA Tallahassee Regional as the Seminoles’ starter versus Army in game one. He went six innings and gave up just two runs on six hits in his tournament start. He did not get the win that day but did start FSU off on a sweep of the regional bracket.
The wild card in the starting rotation this weekend might be freshman Jimmy Marshall. The right-hander did not start any of the five games as the ACC Tournament but he has started twice this year and was very impressive in relief last week. Marshall is 0-1 with a 3.99 ERA in 18 appearances this year. As a starter he has not had as much success. In his two starts versus Georgia Tech and Savannah State he didn’t make it out of the fourth inning in either game. He allowed 12 hits and seven earned runs in his two career starts. Since he was moved back to the bullpen he has pitched as well as anyone on the team. In his last five games Marshall has a 2.08 ERA with seven K’s in 8 2/3 innings and he held opponents to a .214 average in those games. In the ACC Tournament he came in and pitched brilliantly twice versus NC State, the top hitting team in the ACC in 2006. He threw 3 2/3 innings and allowed just one run on four hits. Each of his last five appearances have come against NCAA Tournament teams (Wake Forest, Clemson twice and NC State twice) and he has allowed just two runs in those games and three of the five times he pitched he didn’t allow a run to score and twice he didn’t even allow a hit.
Left-hander Barret Browning has started 11 games this season and made 23 appearances. He has the highest ERA on the team at 5.72 but an impressive 7-2 record. Browning pitched in three games at the ACC Tournament and did get the call to start in the final game of the tournament versus NC State. In one inning versus top 6 teams Virginia and UNC Browning was very good. The senior did not allow a run, walk or hit in those two relief performances and fanned two. When FSU moved into its fifth game of the week Browning was asked to start versus the Wolfpack. Versus a powerful NC State team, the leftie went four innings giving up 10 hits and six runs. He fanned one and walked one. He kept FSU in the game despite the six runs allowed and received a no decision. It was his first start since April 16 as he spent the first part of the year as a third starter and then was moved to starting mid-week games. As a starter Browning is 6-1 with a 5.37 ERA. He has allowed 36 runs in 52 innings of work striking out 35 and walking 18. Opponents have hit .346 off of him and he has given up 19 extra base hits including four homeruns. As a starter the Jessup, GA native has gotten into trouble by putting the leadoff hitter on in an inning 44% of the time then allowing teams to hit .305 with runners on base. In his 11 starts he has given up at least one run in 10 of those outings and four or more runs five times. Browning has only pitched 1/3 of an inning in his NCAA Tournament career.
Senior Mark Sauls will be another option to start a game for FSU at the Regional this weekend. The right-hander is 1-2 this year and his ERA is just slightly ahead of Browning’s at 5.71. Opponents are hitting .319 off him but he has had a hand in two of FSU’s six shutouts this season. Sauls had started double digit games in each of his first three seasons in Garnet and Gold but after missing the start of the 2006 season with an injury, he did not make it back into the starting rotation until May 3 against Jacksonville. That was the latest into a season Sauls has ever gone without starting a game. He did get a start at the ACC Tournament versus NC State in an FSU victory. The Panama City, FL native went 3 1/3 versus the Wolfpack and allowed six hits and three runs. He turned the game over to the bullpen and they held on for the victory. Sauls has really put himself into some tough situations this season. He is allowing the first batter of an inning to reach over 47% of the time and teams are hitting .382 against him with the bases empty. On the other hand he has pitched pretty well in adverse situations holding opponents to a .263 average with runners on. Last season Sauls started two postseason games including FSU’s second Super Regional game against the Gators. It was not the type of postseason he had hoped for. In two NCAA Tournament last year games Sauls went 0-1 with a 19.64 ERA. In FSU’s Regional clinching win over Auburn Sauls got the start and went three innings. He allowed six hits and four runs versus the Tigers. In the Super Regional Sauls couldn’t make it out of the first inning versus Florida as he recorded just two outs and gave up four runs and threw just 21 pitches. With four starts in the NCAA Tournament, Sauls is FSU’s most experienced pitcher but his lifetime 10.59 ERA in the NCAA Tournament is a concern.
Florida State and Texas are the two most successful programs in the history of college baseball in almost every category and the two powerhouses are once again squaring off in a fight over another record. Coming into the 2006 NCAA Tournament the two teams are first and second for the most program victories in Regional/Super Regional play. They are the only two schools in NCAA Baseball history with over 120 wins in NCAA Tournament play (not including the World Series). Only three schools have ever won more than 100 Regional/Super Regional games and two are from the state of Florida (FSU & Miami). Texas has been in regional play six more times than the Seminoles giving the Longhorns an average of 2.5 wins per appearance compared to 2.8 for FSU. The Hurricanes lead both schools winning an average of 3.2 games per tournament appearance.
Despite what a player does in 60+ games leading up to the NCAA Tournament, it is just a fact of life that great players are defined by what they do in the postseason. When Regionals start this weekend, there will be another opportunity for this group of Seminoles to start a legacy and for others to continue to build on what they established in 2005. Last year there were some star-making performances turned in by current Seminoles and they will try to add to their postseason success.
* In the 2005 NCAA Tournament FSU hit just .253 as a team and only one returner hit over .300 and that was Jack Rye. As a freshman the outfielder hit .313 in the tourney and was second on the team with two RBIs. His five hits were second-most on the team and he drew three walks.
* Tyler Chambliss had a stellar NCAA Tournament in 2005 as a reliever. The junior pitched in three games, picked up one save and allowed just one hit and no runs in 5 2/3. He faced 17 batters and struck out six while allowing just two walks. He posted an opponent batting average of just .059 in the NCAA Tournament.
* Despite a rough ending to his 2005 postseason, Bryan Henry’s start versus Auburn in the Tallahassee Regional was one for the ages. Henry pitched a complete game in leading FSU to a 4-3 win over Auburn. He allowed just three runs in the nine innings pitching the first complete game by a Seminole pitcher in a year.
* Hyde opened up the 2005 NCAA Tallahassee Regional as the Seminoles’ starter versus Army in game one. He went six innings and gave up just two runs on six hits in his tournament start. He did not get the win that day but did start FSU off on a sweep of the regional bracket.
The Seminoles will enter the 2006 NCAA Baseball Tournament well prepared. FSU played 29 games versus 10 opponents that are in the NCAA Tournament including 12 games versus No. 1 seeds and six games versus national seeds. Overall, FSU went 15-14 versus the 2006 field but just 3-9 versus No. 1 seeds. Luckily for FSU the team they had the most success against in the regular season that is also in the NCAA Tournament is Jacksonville (4-0) and FSU opens up versus the Dolphins. Florida State posted a 5-5 record versus NCAA Tournament teams in games played away from Dick Howser Stadium. In games played at a neutral site versus NCAA Tournament teams the Seminoles went 3-2 with all those games being played in the ACC Tournament. FSU played six games versus a conference champion and went 3-3 in those games (Clemson 0-3 and UNC Asheville 3-0).
OPENING ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Florida State has won 13 straight regional openers, a streak that goes back to 1992. During that streak the Seminoles have been in only one game that was decided by a single run (2005 vs. Army). The Seminoles have an aggregate scoring lead of 128-43 over the 13 game stretch. The largest victory was a 24-6 victory over the Citadel in 1999. Under head coach Mike Martin the Seminoles are 23-3 in the opening game of a regional. Prior to Martin’s arrival, the Seminoles were 11-7.
In NCAA Regional play, the Seminoles are 28-14 versus teams from the state of Florida. When playing games away from Tallahassee the Seminoles are 4-4, with the last game being a 5-4 loss to Florida in the 1981 Miami Regional. If you include Super Regional action, FSU falls to 28-16 with two losses to Florida last year in the Gainesville Super Regional.
The Seminoles have not had much experience playing in a Regional on the road and even less playing at one hosted by an SEC school. The last time FSU played in a Regional hosted by an SEC school was in 1990 when they went to Starkville, MS. FSU lost to the Bulldogs in the final that year. Prior to that, FSU played at Starkville in the 1975 Regional and advanced out of that bracket to the College World Series. Those are the only two Regional appearances for FSU at an SEC campus. In four of the last five years FSU has gone to an SEC school for a Super Regional and the Seminoles have not advanced out of any of those tournaments.
Dennis Guinn has been one of the biggest additions to the FSU line-up in 2006. The sophomore did not have a hit in 11 at bats last year. Guinn won the first base job in preseason and has hit .339 with a team-leading 12 homeruns and 66 RBIs. He is slugging over .600 and his 32 extra base hits lead the team. He already has more RBIs than any Seminole collected in 73 games in 2005. Where the sophomore has been most impressive though is in clutch situations. His clutch batting average (runners on, runners in scoring position, with the bases loaded and with two outs) is an impressive .361. He leads the team with a .405 average with men in scoring position and a .438 average with the bases loaded. Guinn has been special when he gets to the plate with the bases juiced. He has already tied the FSU single season record for grand slams when he hit his third of the season versus North Carolina at the ACC Tournament. That puts him in pretty rare company. The only other Seminoles to hit two grand slams in a year are Jeremy Morris and J.D. Drew and they both did it in 1997. That year both of those players were first team All-Americans. Guinn is the youngest Seminole to ever hit three grand slams in a season though as Drew was a junior and Morris a senior when they set the record.
RETURN OF THE HOMER
One of the most welcome sights for the Seminoles lately has been the return of the homerun. FSU pounded 13 homers in the last eight games after going seven straight without a bomb. After cruising to 38 homers in the first 28 games of the season, FSU had just 12 in the next 25 games. With 13 in the last two weeks FSU has 63 now and easily cruised past the 55 homers the team hit in 73 games last season. Considering the fact FSU is 28-8 in games in which it homers and 14-11 when the team fails to go yard, it is good to see the pop back in the bats. The return of the homerun is just one sign of the awakening of the FSU bats as of late. Coming into the final regular season series of the year versus NC State, FSU had hit just .187 in the previous seven games and posted a 1-6 record. In the last eight games FSU is hitting .332 as a team and slugging .558. The Seminoles have 33 extra base hits in the last eight games and are slugging .558. They have scored 59 runs and the team is hitting .364 with runners in scoring position. It’s no wonder FSU has posted a record of 5-3 in those games of which every one of those games was played versus a Top 25 team.
Florida State came into the ACC Tournament as a sixth-seed and came up just one run shy of a trip to the championship game even though they opened the conference tournament with a loss. FSU defeated two teams that were ranked in the top 10 (Virginia and North Carolina) and another (NC State) that was in the top 25. One of the biggest reasons for FSU’s success in the ACC Tournament was the bottom of the order. Travis Anderson, Tony Thomas, Jr. and Danny Diaz were instrumental in all three of Florida State’s wins. The three combined to hit .539, knock in 11 runs, score 13 runs, collect six extra base hits and slug .846. The bottom hitters in the order finished the tournament as FSU’s top three hitters. Not only did they finish with the best averages, they scored the game-winning run in every game at the ACC Tournament. Versus UNC, the 7, 8 and 9 hitters each got on to start the ninth inning loading the bases and setting the stage for the walk off win. Versus Virginia the 7, 8 and 9 hitters each had a hit, two had doubles, to start the seven-run inning that broke open a scoreless game and sparked FSU to an 11-0, run-rule victory. In the semi-final win over NC State the bottom of the order once again came through. In a 3-3 game, all three recorded base hits as FSU went up 5-3 and won the game 7-3. It is no wonder two of the three Seminoles to make All-ACC Tournament team batted in the 7, 8 and 9 spots.
SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST
There was a huge hole created in the Seminole bullpen when 2005 Stopper of the Year candidate and All-ACC second team selection Tyler Chambliss moved to the starting rotation at the start of this year. Chambliss has gone on to be named All-ACC second team and is a semifinalist for the Roger Clemens Award but the gamble wouldn’t have been nearly as successful if weren’t for Luke Tucker. The junior is in the midst of an absolutely amazing season. Although his eight saves don’t rank him near the top in the nation, Tucker’s numbers stack up with anyone. The closer is 2-1 with a 1.26 ERA and if he had enough innings his ERA would be the second-lowest in the NCAA. Has an opponent batting average of just .130 as well. He has appeared in 25 games this year and he has pitched at least one inning in 10 straight outings. Tucker has thrown 28 2/3 innings this year and is averaging better than 1.7 K’s pre inning of work or 15.4 per nine innings. He has recorded multiple strikeouts in eight of his last 10 appearances, he has a strikeout in 10 straight games and at least one K in 22 of his 25 games. There have been only three games this season where Tucker has allowed a run and he has given up just one earned run in his last 22 innings dating back to March 7. Right-handers hit just .107 off of him and he has a K:BB ratio of better than 4:1. When Tucker comes into a game to start an inning he is almost untouchable as only three of 59 batters have reached to start off an inning versus the Niceville, FL product.
T.A. CAME TO PLAY
Florida State designated hitter Travis Anderson probably hopes he ends up playing for the Jacksonville Suns one day because the junior just tore the cover off the ball at the Baseball Grounds this past weekend. The All-ACC Tournament selection was a terror at the 2006 ACC Baseball Championships. The junior hit .643 last week, slugged 1.214 and struck out just once in 14 at bats. Four of Anderson’s nine hits went for extra bases including two homeruns. He led the team in average, slugging, runs scored, hits, doubles, homers and total bases. The Bristol, FL native came into the ACC Tournament with 12 hits all season and recorded nine in the ACC tournament and he only played four of the five games. In 49 at bats this year he had scored seven runs. At the tournament alone he scored six. He had as many homers as he had all season and bested his season total for total bases (11) by six in just four games played. Anderson played a prominent role for FSU earlier this season before a twisted ankle sent him to the bench in March. He had started eight games up to that point but only started four since returning March 14. That was before the ACC Tournament and it is a good bet those starts will continue to climb this weekend in Athens.
STEAL OF THE CENTURY
Shane Robinson has been a terror on the base paths his entire career but it wasn’t until this past week at the ACC Tournament that he cemented his name atop the career steals list at FSU. With five steals at the ACC Tournament, Robinson is just one swipe shy of becoming the first Seminole in program history to steal 100 career bases. The All-American is 31-for-34 in 2006 stealing bases. Last season the center fielder swiped 13 bases before he was thrown out for the first time of the year. This year he stole 11 straight before being caught for the first time. In 2005, Robinson swiped 27 consecutive bases at one point and his longest streak as a freshman in 2004 was 19. Robinson’s average is 34 steals a year, which he is just three shy of reaching right now. Last year the junior stole 49 bases. Edwin Alicea who swiped 90 bases did it in just two seasons. While Robinson’s 19 steals from his freshman campaign will always be counted, the junior now needs 11 more steals to pass Alicea for the most steals in a two-year span in school history.