March 1, 2005
A QUICK LOOK AT
This will be the fourth trip to
The Seminoles will make the trip to Hawaii-Hilo for the third time in the school’s history. FSU leads the overall series 5-1 which dates back to 1994. The last time the two met was in 2002 when FSU swept the three game series 16-2, 5-1 and 14-7. The Seminoles have won the last five games in the series. Neither team has recorded a shutout but the Seminoles have held Hawaii-Hilo to just one run in three of the last five games.
This will be the third meeting between FSU and Hawaii-Pacific. The series is currently tied at 1-1. The schools last met on February 10, 1998 when they played a doubleheader in
The Seminoles last faced
GIBB-ING IT HIS ALL
Maybe it is because he plays next to him in the outfield and they have time to talk out there or maybe it’s the conversations in the on deck circle as the team’s 1 and 2 hitters but whatever it is, Gibbs Chapman is playing a lot like Shane Robinson these days, which is a good thing. The senior left fielder is now in the top two with Robinson in eight offensive categories (batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, runs, hits, RBIs, steals and total bases). He is even upstaging Robinson in the areas where the budding All-American makes his living. Chapman is a perfect 9-for-9 leading off an inning and hitting a team-best .579 with the bases empty. He is now second on the team in steals and he has overtaken Robinson for the team RBI lead. His nine steals are already more than he had all of last season when he swiped eight in nine attempts. Last week he even stole more bases than Robinson (3-2). The pair is also 1-2 in another key category as Chapman leads the team with 10 two-out RBIs and Robinson is second with eight. With these two at the top of the FSU order, it is making life easier for every one behind them.
MESS WITH THE BULL (PEN) GET THE HORNS
There has been a lot more variety in the box score when it comes to stolen bases as of late. While Shane Robinson still has a hefty lead in the category, more Seminoles are stealing as of late. Of the first 31 bases FSU stole in 2005, 45% (14) were swiped by Robinson. Since then FSU has stolen 13 bases and Robinson has just two of those steals, which is only 15%. Gibbs Chapman has really upped his steals as of late. After swiping just three bases in the first three series of the season, Chapman has now swiped six in the last three series, two of which were just two games. But when it comes to thievery, Robinson is still the man. He has averaged a steal per game this year and on that pace he would shatter the record of 51 set by Edwin Alicea in 1988. Robinson has swiped at least one base in 10 games this year and he has stolen multiple bases in a game four times. That means he is stealing two or more bases in 25% of FSU’s games. He is already almost half way to the seventh-best single season as far as steals go in school history. The 2005 team is stealing bases in bunches and if you don’t think so just look at last year’s team. The 2005 Seminoles have stolen four or more bases six times in 16 games. The 2004 squad stole four or more bases in a game five times all season (68 games). The 2004 squad stole five or more bases just twice while this year’s team has already done that three times. That stat isn’t just an anomaly either because the 2003 swiped four or more bases in a game six times in 68 games as well.
One of the big reasons FSU is stealing so many bases in 2005 is speed and that speed is also evident in another area, doubles. The Seminoles already have 50 doubles, which is an average of more than three a game. That puts them on pace to become the first Seminole team ever to break 200 doubles in a season. The record for two-baggers is 182. This year’s team already has eight games in which they have recorded four or more doubles. Last season’s team recorded four or more doubles 13 times all of last season. The 2003 team had four or more doubles in a game 16 times so this year’s squad is almost half way there despite playing 52 fewer games.
There really is no secret as to why FSU is 15-1 to start the season. The team is playing good baseball one series after another. The hitters are doing their job as FSU’s team batting average has dipped below .300 on just three occasions all season and all three of those instances happened within the first five games of the year. On the other hand, the staff ERA has never risen above 2.78 and has been at 2.50 or below following 11 of the Seminoles’ 16 games. Another big factor in the successful start has been the team’s defense and more importantly not making key errors. While the 2004 team fielded .958 in the first 16 games of the year versus .966 for this team, the 2005 squad is not making nearly as many costly errors.
THE MONEY INNINGS
The Seminoles are having success in 2005 because they are getting ahead of opponents early on in ballgames. FSU is outscoring its opposition 3 to1 (76-25) in the first five innings of games. The Seminoles are doing even better when you look at just the first and second innings where they have an edge of 35-10 in runs scored. The two best innings for FSU are the second and fifth. In those two frames FSU is out scoring teams 44-10 and they are hitting .357 and .362 as a team in those innings. That doesn’t mean the Seminoles can’t get it done late either as evidenced by a 5-0 record in one run games and a .324 batting average in the seventh, eighth and ninth. It is hard to label any innings money innings for the FSU pitching staff when you consider their ERA is below 1.70 in five innings and below 1.13 in four of those five frames.
TY-ING THEM UP
Tyler Chambliss continues to dominate for FSU as he put together a perfect week. He factored into three of FSU’s four wins with a victory and two saves. He didn’t allow a hit or run and he has now finished 10 of
THE CHEESE STANDS ALONE
After sitting behind All-American catcher Tony Richie for three years, Aaron Cheesman wasn’t a lock to become FSU’s starting catcher. According to head coach Mike Martin in the 2004 media guide, “Cheesman won the job in the fall but he will be pushed”. Three years later the
ODDS AND ENDS
With all the success the 2005 team is having, there is one area where the team has yet to break through and that is pinch hitting. The Seminoles have not recorded a pinch hit in 2005 going 0-for-9…want to know why Shane Robinson is an All-American candidate, you just need to look at a few numbers outside of his batting average, which is an impressive .492. Robinson is hitting .484 with runners on, .667 with the bases loaded, .524 with runners in scoring position and .500 with two outs. That puts his CBA (clutch batting average) at an amazing .507…Florida State is perfect versus left-handed starters this season going 4-0…Gibbs Chapman has already equaled his home run total from 2005 in just 16 games…Shane Robinson is hitting .500 or above in six different innings this season.
OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
Shane Robinson, OF, SO
Not only did Shane Robinson record a hit in all four of FSU’s games last week extending his hitting streak to 21 games, Robinson had four consecutive multi-hit games. He has now recorded two or more hits in 10 of the Seminoles 16 games in 2005. The center fielder was the catalyst for FSU’s 4-0 week, which included two road wins versus a Top 40 Stetson squad. He not only hit .500 but he slugged .722. Robinson recorded two doubles in a game twice last week and he led FSU in hits, total bases and doubles. In 21 plate appearances, Robinson struck out just once. He hit .625 with runners on base and .500 with runners in scoring position. In the opening game of the two game set with Stetson Robinson doubled twice. After the second double, he ended up coming around to score and break a 3-3 tie in a game FSU eventually won 5-4. Had an RBI single in game two versus Stetson to put FSU up 4-3. Singled and scored the first run of the game in the opener versus Appalachian State. Had one of his biggest games in the second game versus ASU. Once again Robinson was the difference for FSU offensively. The All-American candidate led off the sixth with his ninth double of the year breaking up a no-hitter with FSU trailing 1-0. He came around to tie the game. Robinson then drove home the game-winning run with another double in the eighth.
PITCHING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
Tyler Chambliss, P, SO
The sophomore was just dominant last week recording a win or save in three of