March 16, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State opened conference play on Friday evening with a thrilling 7-6 extra inning victory over Wake Forest (11-8, 2-2 ACC) at Dick Howser Stadium. Junior Jack Rye registered the game-winning hit with two outs in the bottom of the 11th to keep the Seminoles (21-0, 1-0 ACC) perfect on the season. Florida State once again came through with some clutch hitting as all seven runs were scored with two outs in an inning. Jimmy Marshall pitched a scoreless 11th to earn his first win of the year.
“Our team showed a lot of composure tonight,” said Tony Thomas, Jr. “We could have easily given in when (Allan) Dykstra hit that home run, it was just a back breaker, but it showed how strong our team is emotionally to be able come through with a victory against a very good Wake Forest ball club.”
Rye finished the evening 2-for-5 with three RBI’s and a run scored to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 18 games. D’Vontrey Richardson registered his fifth three-hit ball game of the season, while left fielder Ohmed Danesh was the only other Seminole with multiple hits as he posted a pair of singles in the win.
The bottom of the 11th began with first baseman Brandon Reichert leading off with a single up the middle off Wake Forest reliever Ben Hunter (3-4), who was pitching his fourth inning of the evening. After a walk to shortstop Mark Hallberg advanced Reichert to second, Ryan Strauss entered the game as a pinch runner replacing Reichert at second. Strauss would move to third on Buster Posey’s fielder’s choice groundout putting runners on first and third for Rye. Rye, who entered the game leading the team with 17 two-out RBI’s, registered his third of the game as his single glanced off the glove of the leaping Keith Mauney at second base and trickled into the outfield scoring Strauss from third for the game-winner.
“I went up to the plate in the 11th with the mind set of getting a good pitch and hitting it hard,” said Rye. “I actually thought the second baseman was going to catch it, but I was just running down the line and was very fortunate that it dropped in for a hit.”
Wake Forest began the scoring with a pair of runs in the top of the third off Seminole starter Bryan Henry. Designated hitter Willy Fox gave the Demon Deacons an early 2-0 lead with a two out double to right field plating Brett Linnenkohl and Austin Jones.
Florida State would answer right away in the bottom half of third with four runs highlighted by a bloop single down the left field line by Rye and a double to the fence in left by Dennis Guinn. The Seminoles would take advantage of three walks by Wake starter Brad Kledzik who issued free passes to Reichert, Hallberg and Posey. Rye stepped up to the plate and hit a blooping single down the line in left scoring Reichert and Hallberg to tie the game at two. Guinn then knocked a double to wall in left for his first hit in three games plating Posey and Rye to give the Seminoles a 4-2 lead.
The lead held tight until the fifth when the Demon Deacons would strike for two more runs to tie the game once again. After a throwing error plated Nate Frazier from third, Fox would knock in his third RBI of the game with a single to left scoring Jones. Wake threatened for more as they loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Henry got Evan Ocheltree to line out to Hallberg and then struck out Tyler Smith to end the inning.
Henry would go back out in the sixth as he struck out his final two batters putting an end to his evening. The senior from Tallahassee, Fla., pitched into the sixth for the fifth time in seven starts as he notched seven strike outs for the third straight game.
Florida State would give Henry the opportunity for a win as they scored two in the bottom of the sixth to take a 6-4 lead. Hallberg gave the lead back to the Seminoles with his single to right scoring Richardson. Posey would add to the lead with his first hit of the night, a single to left center scoring Thomas.
The lead would hold true until the ninth as Wake Forest tied the game on Allan Dykstra’s eighth home run of the season. The sophomore first baseman sent a Danny Rosen change up over the fence in right field to knot things up at six, sending the game into extra innings. It was the first blown save of the season for the Seminoles in four opportunities.
Rosen would immediately bounce back as he struck out the side to end the ninth. After giving up the two run shot to Dykstra, Rosen pitched extremely well for the Seminoles allowing just one more hit while striking out four. He finished the game pitching 2.2 innings.
Marshall entered the game in the 11th and did not allow a hit as he faced four batters to pick up his first victory of the season. With runners on first and second and one out, the sophomore pitcher got Dustin Hood to groundout into a double play to end the inning setting up the heroics in the bottom half of the inning.
It was Florida State’s first appearance in an extra inning game this year, while Wake Forest ran its season record to 2-2 in extra frames.
Thomas saw his 20-game hitting streak come to an end on Friday evening as the junior second baseman went hitless in six plate appearances. He did draw a walk in the sixth and has now reached base in all 21 games this season.
“It was a good run,” said Thomas. “I didn’t try to press about it late in the game especially when extra innings came along, but I was just glad we came away with the victory. I’ll just have to go back out tomorrow and start up another one.”
Florida State will return to the diamond tomorrow in game two against the Demon Deacons at Mike Martin Field. First pitch is slated for 6:00 pm. Fans can always follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.
Injury Note: Ohmed Danesh, getting his third start of the season for the Seminoles, left the game in the sixth as he suffered a compound dislocation of his pinky finger on his left hand. He received stitches and is out indefinitely.