March 6, 2005
Hilo, HI – Despite starting four players at positions they have never started at in 2005, the eighth-ranked Seminole baseball team kept its winning streak going in the second game of a doubleheader with Hawaii-Hilo Sunday. Tony Thomas, Jr. recorded two triples in a game for the first time since 1997 and Bryan Henry, making his first appearance on the hill for FSU, picked up the win going five innings as the Seminoles (19-1) downed the Vulcans (1-26) 9-2. Shane Robinson also picked up a hit to extend his hitting streak to 25 games. The win was the 11th straight win for FSU and they are now 4-0 on their Hawaii trip.
“This was a day that was very big for us on this trip because we did not have a lot of pitchers and Brian and Trent Jarvis did a great job,” said FSU head coach Mike Martin. “Trent is positioning himself to get a lot of innings for us. I am very pleased with the way he is pitching.”
Thomas led the way for FSU at the plate after sitting out his first game of the season in the opening game of the twin bill. The freshman second baseman became just the 12th Seminole in school history to record two triples in a game as he went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored.
“I had a good game today,” said Thomas. “My approach to the game today was to look for a pitch I could drive and to keep my hands inside the ball. Their pitcher left the ball up in the zone and I went the opposite way with the first triple. The second was a curveball inside that I just happened to turn on and drive down the line. I didn’t know that was a record but that isn’t something you think about anyway. It is kind of cool to get your name in the record books though.”
Henry, an accomplished pitcher at Florida High and North Florida CC, hadn’t seen any action on the mound in 2005 but was masterful in his first action. He allowed just three hits in five innings and carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning. He walked three batters but due to some good defense he faced the minimum through 3 2/3.
“I thought Bryan, who hasn’t thrown one single inning all year long, pitched very well,” said Martin. “It was a big lift for us to get five strong innings from him. We got the lead and turned it over to the bullpen.”
“I was just going out there trying to throw strikes,” said Henry. “I was a little rusty. I had a few control problems but I got the job done. It was exciting today. I love pitching and it was a lot of fun. I was trying not to think about the no-hitter and once the guy got the hit I just went back to having fun.”
Florida State got off to a quick start against UHH pitcher Joe Pinasco (0-4). Robinson led off the game with a four pitch walk and moved up to second on a wild pitch. A fly out put Robinson 90 feet from home and he put FSU up 1-0 on an Aaron Cheesman RBI, his first of two on the day.
Thomas led the second off with the first hit of the three games at Simmons field that actually made it to the warning track, which more resembles a warning hill with its high slope up. The triple was the first of his career and he ended up coming home on a Nick Francis bunt single up the first base line.
After recording just their third triple of the year in the second, Florida State got another in the fourth equaling the team’s season total in one game. The three-base hit from Charles Cleveland scored Ruairi O’Connor who opened the frame with a base hit to right.
Henry had a no hitter going through 3 2/3 innings before getting into some trouble in the fourth. A hit batter, a single and a walk loaded the bases with two away as the sophomore tried to protect a 3-0 lead. His next pitch was popped up just into foul territory on the first base side to retire the side.
Florida State tried to build on the lead in the fifth with a two-out rally that was started by a Danny Wardell double chopped down the third base line. O’Connor then drew a walk bringing up Thomas who had one of FSU’s three extra base hits. A double steal moved both runners up a base and then a walk to Thomas loaded the bases. The Seminoles could not cash in though as a pop up to second ended the threat.
UHH put two more runners in scoring position with just one away in the fifth but Henry got the second out on a ground ball to keep hopes of a shutout alive. Henry then got the final out of the fifth on a fly out to right.
In the sixth inning, Robinson came within one strike of seeing his 24-game hitting streak come to an end but the sophomore lined a shot through the right side for his 25th consecutive game with a hit. The base knock moved Francis to third after he was hit by a pitch and he came home on a Gibbs Chapman bunt single. The lead grew to 5-0 on a Cheesman chopper that bounced over the shortstop giving the senior his 16th RBI of the year. The Seminoles really broke the game open thanks once again to Thomas as the freshman recorded his second triple of the game, this one with the bases loaded as FSU moved out to an 8-0 lead.
Jarvis relieved Henry in the sixth and preceded to strikeout the side in his only inning of work. FSU came right back in the seventh looking for more runs. Francis led off with a single past the first baseman and Danny Diaz followed with a double into the gap in right putting runners on second and third. Jack Rye’s sac fly plated Francis with FSU’s ninth run of the game.
Hilo ended FSU’s hopes of its second shutout of the season in the ninth off reliever Matt DiBlasi who allowed one unearned run.
The Seminoles complete their five-game set with Hawaii Hilo Monday, March 7 at 8:00 p.m. EST in Hilo, HI. Florida State will then head to the airport and leaves for the island of Oahu for four more games. Steve Melewski’s live radio broadcasts available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com. Game Tracker was unavailable today due to technical difficulties. We are working to fix the problem so please check back to follow the Hawaii games via live stats.
Due to the time difference, seminoles.com will be the best place to find game stories from the Hawaii trip as soon as the action ends on top of photo galleries both on and off the field. There is only one place to follow the Seminoles as they trek through Hawaii and that is the official website of the Florida State Department of Athletics.