March 14, 2007
NOTING THE SEMINOLES
Florida State starts a season at 20-0 for the first time in school history. The Seminoles previous best start occurred in 1975 when FSU went 15-0 under head coach Woody Woodward. That season also marked the first year as an assistant coach for Mike Martin.
The 20 consecutive victories by the Seminoles is tied for the sixth longest win streak in Florida State history. FSU has compiled 20 straight wins on two previous occasions (1978 and 1980). The longest win streak in school history is 25 straight victories posted back in 2002.
Florida State is 61-17 all-time against Wake Forest and 36-9 in games played in Tallahassee. The two teams split last year’s series as the third game was cancelled due to weather. The Seminoles have defeated the Deacs in 15 of their last 16 home games.
Through the last five weeks, Florida State has posted a team batting average over .400 with a mark of .401 in 20 games. FSU has collected 299 hits in 745 at-bats. Five every day starters with at least 18 starts are currently hitting over .400 through the first 20 games, including junior Tony Thomas, Jr. who leads the team with a .537 batting average.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WAKE FOREST SERIES
Florida State will open conference play for the first time in 2007 as they welcome the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to Dick Howser Stadium for a three-game set. The Seminoles hold the all-time advantage in the series with a record of 61-17. Florida State has won 15 of the last 16 games at home against the Deacs, while maintaining a mark of 36-9 in Tallahassee. In the last meeting in Tallahassee, FSU took two of three from the Demon Deacons, while Wake snapped FSU’s 15-game home winning streak against them with a 13-10 victory in the series finale. Last season, the two teams split the first two games of the series in Winston-Salem, while game three was cancelled due to inclement weather. Game two of last year’s series was an epic 20 inning game won by Florida State 4-3. It was the longest game recorded in ACC history and tied for the third longest contest in NCAA history. The 61 victories are the second most against an ACC opponent (Miami 131) and the .782 winning percentage is fifth highest among ACC opponents (Boston College 1.000, Maryland .941, Virginia Tech .833 and Virginia .784).
THE DEMON DEACONS IN 2007
Wake Forest enters the week with a record of 11-6 and 2-1 in the ACC. The Demon Deacons opened conference play last weekend as they took two of three from the Virginia Cavaliers in Winston-Salem. The Deacs hit around the Cavaliers who entered last weekend’s series tied with North Carolina for the best team ERA at 1.66 in the league. Wake registered 20 runs on 35 hits in the series win, defeating Sean Doolittle, the reigning ACC Player of the Year in game one. The Deacs scored a combined 10 earned runs against Doolittle and Thompson, who together came into the series having allowed just five earned runs combined in eight total starts.
The Deacs played two mid-week games against Ball State before making the trek to Tallahassee.
Through the first 16 games, Wake Forest has posted a team batting average of .290, while yielding a team ERA of 5.13. Leading the way at the plate for the Demon Deacons is Willy Fox who is hitting .361 (22-for-61). Fox is coming off ACC Player of the Week honors as he recorded a hit in all five Wake Forest games last week including two-walk off, game winning hits.
LAST YEAR AGAINST WAKE FOREST
The two teams split the first two games of the series in Winston-Salem as game three was cancelled due to weather. The Deacs opened the series with a 4-2 victory as Wake starter Brad Kledzik kept FSU off balance for six innings. Then a freshman, Kledzik set a new career-high with eight strikeouts and he allowed just one hit. Tyler Chambliss pitched well despite the loss going seven innings allowing four runs, two earned, on four hits while striking out nine. Tony Thomas, Jr. and Buster Posey each recorded a hit in game one, while Thomas was credited with an RBI.
Game two was one for the record books as Florida State defeated Wake Forest 4-3 in 20 innings, the longest recorded game in ACC history. The Seminoles got a dominating performance from their pitching staff as seven pitches combined to hold Wake without an earned run and to shutdown the Deacs offense for 17 consecutive frames. Dennis Guinn’s RBI double in the 20th clinched the victory. Reliever Barret Browning pitched six scoreless innings to pick up the win, while Michael Hyde entered the game in the 20th to record the final two outs for his first collegiate save. No Wake Forest hitter had more than one hit in the game.
IN OPENING ACC PLAY
Florida State has faired well in opening ACC play posting an all-time record of 37-5 since joining the ACC back in 1992. The Seminoles have never lost a series to open league play, a string of 15 consecutive series victories. FSU has swept the opening series 10 times and has currently won 14 straight conference games to open league play with the Seminoles’ last loss coming to Virginia in game one back on March 15, 2002. Florida State has opened league play against Wake just once before, in 1995 with FSU taking two of three from the Deacs. FSU has faced Virginia the most (5) to open the league schedule.
Florida State is one of three remaining undefeated teams in Division I. The Seminoles join a pair of SEC teams in Vanderbilt (18-0) and Kentucky (18-0) on that list.