May 23, 2005
Jacksonville, FL – Six Florida State baseball players received All-ACC honors at the annual baseball award banquet Monday night. It was the seventh straight year the FSU has received five or more All-ACC selections. Shane Robinson and Bryan Henry led the way garnering first team honors. Tyler Chambliss, Aaron Cheesman, Kevin Lynch and Ryne Malone were all named second team. FSU trailed only regular season champion Georgia Tech for the most student-athletes honored from one school. Five of the six Seminoles received All-ACC honors for the first time in their careers and FSU was the only school to receive All-ACC honors for two of its relief pitchers. Overall, only three relief pitchers in total were selected to the All-ACC team.
“I think this is a great testament to these young men’s hard work and we are very excited for each and every one of them,” said FSU head coach Mike Martin. “I think it says a lot about the outstanding year our team has had seeing six of our players honored.”
Robinson, who was also up for ACC Player of the Year honors, picked up the first All-ACC honor of his young career. He captured the conference’s regular season batting title and he led the league in runs scored, stolen bases and on base percentage. Overall he finished in the top 10 in hits (2nd), doubles (4th), slugging percentage (5th), walks (6th) and total bases (7th). He was one of only three players to finish the regular season in the top three for batting average, slugging percentage and on base percentage and the only one to lead the ACC in two of those three categories.
In raw numbers alone (no averages), Robinson led the ACC in hits (the only player over 100), runs (the only player over 70 and he had 87), steals (the only one over 30 and he had 47) and total bases (the only player over 150).
Robinson hasn’t just been leading the ACC. The outfielder ranks among the best in the nation statistically as well. He was the first player in America to reach 100 hits and still leads the nation. He is also first in the NCAA in total runs. He is third overall in steals, fourth in doubles and on base percentage and fifth in average and total bases.
“This is a great honor and I appreciate the ACC coaches picking me to be on this team,” said Robinson. “It was one of the goals I set for myself and it is nice to have your hard work recognized. This is a team sport so to be recognized individually is an honor. Now I want to continue to produce this week in the ACC Tournament.”
Henry, who started the first 32 games of his career at third base, earned his way on to the first team as one of four starting pitchers joining ACC Pitcher of the Year Cesar Carillo, North Carolina’s Robert Woodard and Virginia’s Jeff Kamrath. Henry solidified the FSU pitching staff since making his first Friday night start against Virginia. Since that outing April 29, FSU has gone 13-3 including a 12-game win streak and an eight-game ACC win streak. Henry has not only taken Tallahassee by storm but he finished the regular season the No.1 pitcher in the ACC for ERA, ERA in conference games and opponent batting average in ACC play. Henry’s 1.44 ERA is close to a full run better than Carillo’s who is in second for ERA and more three quarters of a run better than anyone else’s in conference games alone. He is the only pitcher in the ACC holding conference opponents to a batting average below .210. Henry’s ERA is the sixth-best in the nation now and it has been almost a month since he has allowed more than one earned run in a game.
With his final regular season win over NC State, Henry became the first FSU pitcher to win six straight games this season improving his record to 8-2. Of the 10 times a Seminole starting pitcher has gone seven or more innings this season, five times it has been Henry on the mound. He now has seven quality starts in eight games started, which means almost 88% of the time he starts you can bank on an outing of at least six innings with three or fewer runs allowed. He has allowed an amazing four earned runs in his last five starts (36 1/3 innings of work).
“This is a great, great honor,” said Henry. “All the players on this stage are amazing and to be a part of it is unbelievable. I never thought this would happen especially since in my first game as a Seminole I was starting at third and went 1-for-4 that day. To be named first team All-ACC is such a great honor I am just thankful. It is great to be sharing it with five of my teammates and everyone who isn’t on this stage tonight as well.”
Two-time captain Cheesman received the first All-ACC honor of his career in his fifth and final year in Garnet and Gold. A two-time candidate for the Johnny Bench Award as the nation’s top catcher, the senior enters the ACC Tournament with a 14-game hitting streak. He is one of the most dependable players in the ACC who has started 63 of the Seminoles’ 64 games at the grueling catcher position. The graduate student has started 130 of the last 131 games in the last two seasons and has been the Seminoles’ starting catcher in every game but two over the last two seasons. Cheesman has established the Seminoles’ all-time single season record for sacrifice hits with 20 (10 sacrifice hits and 10 sacrifice bunts) and his in second in the NCAA for sac flies. He ranks 10th in the ACC in walks per game and is hitting better than .300 for the second consecutive season with a .318 average and hitting a combined .333 (154-of-462) over the last two years. The Sarasota, FL native has a career-high 47 RBIs in 2005 and 118 for his four-year career entering the ACC Tournament. Defensively, he is enjoying the best season of his career behind the plate with a .992 fielding percentage and Cheesman has committed just four errors in 480 chances this season.
The catcher has been getting the job done in ACC play as well as he has at least one hit in 22 of the Seminoles’ 30 ACC games including seven multiple hit outings against conference competition. Two of his three season-high three RBI games came in ACC play and his RBI against the Tar Heels was a walk-off RBI to give the Seminoles a 7-6 win and a sweep of the three-game series. He leads FSU with 15 multiple RBI games. He has also handled a young FSU pitching staff and led them to the best team ERA in conference games this season.
Over the last 13 games Cheesman has hit .396 and knocked in 15 runs. In that stretch he is hitting .370 with runners on and his six two-out RBIs are the second-most on the team. He has raised his overall average 21 points in those 13 games as FSU posted an 11-2 record.
“It is something that was a goal of mine and to have it happen my senior year makes it special,” said Cheesman. “It really is a great honor to see other coaches recognize the hard work you put in. There are some great players on the All-ACC team and most of them will be playing pro ball. To have my name on a list with them is great.”
FSU’s only other senior with four years in Garnet and Gold is Lynch and he closed out his career with his first-ever ACC honor as well. The senior middle reliever not only carved his place in the FSU record books this season with his record 132 career appearances he is helping FSU win ball games almost every time he takes the hill. Nobody on the team has anywhere near his record-setting 42 appearances. He leads the ACC and the nation in that category. The record for appearances in a season is 41 and Lynch has beaten that record and he now owns the single season appearance record, the single season relief appearance record, the career appearance record and the career relief appearance record.
Of the 59 runners he has inherited this season only nine have scored. Lynch leads FSU with 10 wins and is second in the ACC. He has 17 holds as well but his biggest contributions are the games Lynch has kept close that FSU has won. Of his 42 appearances, there has been just two occasions where Lynch came into a game with FSU winning and the Seminoles did not go on to get the victory.
Lynch is 10-0 in 42 appearances this season with a 1.86 ERA. His 10 wins lead the team and put him second in the conference with the likes of Carillo, Andrew Miller and Daniel Bard. Lynch is second among FSU pitchers with an opponent batting average of .193 and his 60 K’s are fourth-best on the team among all pitchers. The senior has been one of the biggest reasons for FSU’s success in 2005. Florida State is 32-9 in games where Lynch pitches meaning when Lynch steps on the mound, the Seminoles win over 79% of the time. As amazing as that is, what Lynch is doing in ACC play is even more spectacular. The Ft. Pierce native has appeared in 19 of FSU’s 30 ACC games and posted a 4-0 record, an opponent batting average of .161 and an unbelievable ERA of 1.08 which leads the team. Lynch is five innings shy of qualifying for many ACC statistical categories but if he were eligible his ACC ERA and his opponent batting average would both easily be the best in the conference.
“This is an honor. Any time you are selected to an All-ACC team is a great honor,” said Lynch. “I was kind of surprised to hear my name once Tyler (Chambliss) was selected but it was nice our bullpen was recognized for the role we have played this year. It really means a lot since it is my final season as well. This is probably the best year I have ever put together and this is a great way to end the regular season.”
Chambliss, who was also up for ACC Pitcher of the Year honors, is another first time honoree and the second member of FSU’s bullpen to be honored in 2005. The Seminole closer was a candidate for the Roger Clemens Award as the nation’s top pitcher and is currently nominated for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award. He is second in the NCAA and the ACC leader in saves entering the ACC Tournament with 14 and he is only four saves shy of tying the all-time Florida State record of 18 saves in a single season. Chambliss was named the national player of the week by the NCBWA on March 1 and he is also tied for third on the team with six victories. The sophomore has appeared in 34 games and has allowed earned runs in only eight of those appearances. A live Oak, FL native, Chambliss has had a hand in 20 of the Seminoles’ 48 victories during the regular season. Florida State is 26-6 when Chambliss is the Seminole’s final pitcher of a given game. This year he has set career-highs in victories with six, saves with 14 and appearances with 34. In ACC play Chambliss has six saves and two wins in 17 appearances against. His conference saves have come against Virginia Tech, Clemson, Wake Forest, Maryland and North Carolina.
“This is awesome,” said Chambliss. “I just want to thank all the coaches around the league that voted for me and it feels great to be named one of the best players in the ACC.”
The only FSU player to have received All-ACC honors before Monday night was infielder Malone. The sophomore started more than half the season at first and was one of just three first basemen to make the All-ACC squad. Malone was a Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year Watch List member and named to the National Baseball Foundation Honor Roll on May 16 after his performance against North Carolina as Florida State swept the Tar Heels. The sophomore was named ACC Player of the Week for the first time in his career after helping the Seminoles to a three-game sweep of the nationally ranked Tar Heels. Has set single-season career high statistics for hits (72), runs scored (57), doubles (20), RBI (56), walks (45) and stolen bases (10). Fifth in the ACC in walks in conference games, seventh in the conference in overall walks and has the eight-best on base percentage in ACC games. Six of his seven home runs have all come in Florida State victories and he has as many extra base hits (30) as he did in earning Freshman All-America honors (30) during the 2004 season. Malone has recorded 21 multiple-hit games including two of the last three entering the ACC Tournament. Eleven of his 14 multiple-hit games have come in ACC play. He is second on the team with 14 multiple RBI games and had a career-high tying five RBI games in wins over North Carolina and Jacksonville.
“This is a wonderful honor especially considering how many of our guys were up on that stage tonight,” said Malone. “It is really a tribute to our team and the hard work we have put in all season.”