March 6, 2006
FREE Live Audio Broadcast | Game Tracker | Mercer Game Notes
THE MERCER SERIES
After meeting every year from 1987-2002 and in 27 of the 29 years from 1974-2002, Florida State and Mercer meet for the first in four years Tuesday night. The three season gap in the series is the longest since the teams went almost a quarter of a century without playing from 1950-1974. The series has been quite lopsided in favor of the Seminoles. FSU has won 20 straight games against the Bears dating back to March 31, 1992. This is the longest win streak in a series FSU leads 52-7. Forty-nine of the 59 games in the series have been played in Tallahassee including six in a row. FSU has scored nine or more runs in 14 straight games versus Mercer and in half those games the Seminoles have scored 14 or more. Under head coach Mike Martin, FSU is 42-3 against the Bears and he has won 39 of the last 41 meetings with Mercer. The Bears have been a hard team to figure out this season. They have already beaten two teams that were ranked No. 1 at the time of the game (Clemson and Florida) but have lost games to FAMU, VMI, Georgia Southern and UAB. Statistically the Seminoles have the edge. Despite playing two more games, the Bears have scored 61 fewer runs and have 27 fewer extra base hits on the season. FSU has nearly double the RBIs and an ERA of almost a run less. Mercer is the first of three Atlantic Sun opponents the Seminoles will face in 2006. The others are UNF and Jacksonville.
Strictly By The Numbers
2006 FSU MER
Games 15 17
Avg. .333 272
Runs 149 88
Hits 171 156
Dbls 38 26
Trpls 6 0
HRs 21 12
RBIs 140 72
Slg % .553 .380
BB 100 67
K 87 87
SB 30 22
ERA 2.52 3.48
TUESDAY: This will be the second start of the year for Michael Hyde. He made his first start on a Saturday versus Minnesota and went five innings while giving up just two runs. He struck out twice as many as he walked and gave up just four hits. Hyde has a K:BB ratio of 3:1 this season and he is holding opposing batters to a .207 average. The Tallahassee native has been very tough on right-handers allowing just two hits in 20 at bats (.100). Lefties have gotten to Hyde though hitting at a .444 clip. Hyde has been very good with runners on base where teams are just 3×19 (.158) and with two outs in an inning (2×11). The biggest problem for Hyde this year has been at the beginning of innings where he is allowing 62% of leadoff hitters to reach base. On the plus side, only Brent Marsh is averaging more K’s per nine innings than Hyde among hurlers who have pitched five or more innings.
Florida State Head Coach Mike Martin talked about how difficult the mid-week opponents were going to be for FSU this season. While some thought he was just pumping up his schedule, the legend once again proved he knows exactly what he is talking about. FSU’s two mid-week games with Florida were obviously looked at as the two biggest non-conference tests of the year. The Gators have already been ranked No. 1 but don’t overlook Tuesday night’s opponent Mercer or Winthrop, JU and UNF. Mercer has already defeated two teams that were ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time of the game (Clemson and Florida). Winthrop is in the top 25 and went to No. 21 Miami and No. 30 Alabama and won both series. The Dolphins are off to a 12-3 start including a sweep of USF and UNF, in its first season as a DI baseball team, swept perennial NCAA Tournament team UCF, won a game at LSU and won its first ever A-Sun series at Stetson.
TEAM RESUME Record
Florida College World Series Runner-up and ranked No. 1 this year FSU 1-0
Mercer Already defeated two teams ranked No. 1 (Clemson and Florida)
Winthrop Top 25 team took 2 of 3 on the road at Miami and at Alabama
Jacksonville Is 12-3 with series sweep of USF and win over Ohio State
UNF Series sweep at UCF, win at LSU, series win over Stetson
The Seminoles have played 15 games so far this season and fans are starting to see this team’s identity emerge. Just like past Mike Martin clubs, this group pitches well and plays solid defense but for the first time in a few years it looks like this group has the potential to break the 90 home run mark for the first time since 1999. Last season FSU had hit nine homers through 15 games. This season that number is at 21. This is the first FSU team in six years to have 20+ homers through the first 15 games. This year’s squad has improved in almost every category through 15 games compared to the 2005 group. The numbers are up in every area except doubles. While FSU has 10 fewer doubles this season they have more than made up for it with 12 more homers. The biggest difference between the teams so far can be seen in the area of clutch hitting. The 2006 Seminoles are coming through in bigger situations than last year’s club. The team’s average with runners on and with runners in scoring position is 55 points higher this year. The 2006 squad is hitting .300 with the bases loaded, which is 59 points above where the 2005 squad was after 15 games. Individually, only one player in 2005 had three homers. This year four players have three or more. Jack Rye (6) and Dennis Guinn (5) alone have two more homers than the entire 2005 team through 15 games. Last season no player had 20 RBIs or 20 walks at this point. This year FSU has a player with at least 20 of each.
AB Avg. Hits Runs 2B 3B HR RBI TB Slg. % OB %
2005 505 .323 163 122 48 2 9 112 242 .479 .433
2006 514 .333 171 149 38 6 21 140 284 .553 .448
Sophomore Dennis Guinn has been unstoppable through the early part of the season. The Haines City, FL native has already won an ACC Player of the Week award and he is now hitting .415 as FSU’s everyday first baseman. Guinn has a team-leading 11 extra base hits and his five homers are second only to Jack Rye. He is in the top four in nine different offensive categories and either first or second in six of the nine. Guinn is the only Seminole with 20+ RBIs as he leads the team with 23. A big reason for that is Guinn has not only hit in 11 straight games but he has knocked in a run in 11 consecutive games as well, which is the second-longest FSU streak on record. Missing box scores makes it hard to know for sure what the longest such streak is but if Guinn gets to 13 we know for sure that it will be the longest since 1999 at least.
1. Nick Rogers 4/27/2002-6/02/2002 12
2. Dennis Guinn 2/11/2006-3/04/2006 11
3. Ryan Barthelemy 3/01/2002-3/16/2002 10
Ryan Barthelemy 5/03/2002-5/19/2002 10
5. Matt Diaz 3/26/1999-4/09/1999 9
6. Rick Snyder 2/17/1973-3/14/1973 8
Matt Diaz 5/30/1999-6/18/1999 8
Blake Balkcom 4/27/2003-5/16/2003 8
Bryan Henry and the FSU pitching staff have been pretty amazing so far in 2006. Henry is dominating once again with a 4-0 record and 0.85 ERA. The 2005 All-ACC first team selection was never part of a shutout last season so the fact that he has had a hand in three already in 2006 is pretty amazing. What makes it even more stunning is that the three shutouts Henry and the bullpen have combined on in the first 15 games are more than or equal to the entire season total for seven of the previous 10 teams. The 2006 pitching staff already has an equal amount or more shutouts than 16 FSU teams posted in an entire season. The last team to post double digit shutouts was the 1989 team with 12.
In A Season
THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT
One of the reasons for FSU’s improved offense in 2006 has to be the play of freshman Buster Posey. With guys hitting as well as Dennis Guinn, Jack Rye, Shane Robinson and Ryne Malone to name just a few, Posey has been slightly under the radar so far but the upgrade at his position offensively compared to 2005 is anything but negligible. Compared to 2005 shortstops Nick Francis and Ryne Jernigan, Posey is hitting 23 points higher, 33 points better, has three times as many doubles and seven more walks. Posey has struck out just once more than his predecessors combined and he has one less homerun. The freshman does have a triple, which neither Jernigan nor Francis had all season. He also has almost twice as many RBIs in one fewer at bat.
SS thru 15
AB Avg. Hits Runs 2B 3B HR RBI TB Slg. %
2005 56 .304 17 17 1 0 1 8 21 .375
2006 55 .327 18 16 3 1 0 14 23 .418
Jack Rye’s biggest adjustment this season has been patience at the plate and it is easy to see how that is working for him. Fifteen games into 2006 Rye is hitting 136 points better than he was at this time as a freshman and his slugging percentage is up a whopping 471 points. He already has three times as many homeruns as he had in the entire 2005 season and he is just 12 RBIs short of his entire season total amassed in 59 starts last season. There is no better illustration of the sophomore’s new found plate patience than the balance he has achieved between hitting for power and drawing walks. Rye has a team-leading 20 walks this year compared to seven through 15 games last season. His 20 walks don’t just lead FSU though. Rye has drawn more walks than anyone in the ACC and has hit more homers as well. Rye is the only player in the top five in the ACC stats for homeruns, slugging percentage and walks.
With a win versus Mercer Tuesday, the 2006 Seminoles will tie the fifth-longest home win streak in school history. This current run stands at 22 games. The 2000 team won 23 straight and they are next up on the list for the current group of FSU players. The all-time record is 26 games and that was done by three teams (1968, 1986 and 1991). If FSU is to break that record, they will have to win every game through Winthrop March 14. That will put the 2006 group at 27. As good as this run has been at home, it is still just the third best this decade as the 2003 (24) and 2000 (23) teams both had longer home win streaks. The last time FSU lost at home was May 1, 2005 versus Virginia.
HOME WIN STREAK
26 91, 86, 68
18 01, 99
STEALING HIS WAY TO THE TOP
Shane Robinson has been a terror on the base paths this season. The All-American is a perfect 10-for-10. Last season Robinson had 16 swipes in his first 15 games, more than this season but he had also been thrown out once. Last season the center fielder swiped 13 bases before he was thrown out for the first time of the year. In 2005, Robinson swiped 27 consecutive bases at one point and his longest streak as a freshman in 2004 was 19. The Tampa native has now stolen 76 bases, which puts him ninth on the career list at FSU. With 23 more steals Robinson will become the all-time steals leader at FSU and with 24 the first Seminole to swipe 100 bases. Robinson’s average is 34 steals a year, which would put him at 102 if he was able to just meet his average. Last year the junior stole 49 so he has a chance to not only get the record but obliterate it. Four of the eight players ahead of Robinson accumulated their career records over four years and three did it in three seasons. Edwin Alicea who swiped 90 bases did it in just two seasons. While Robinson’s 19 steals from his freshman campaign will always be counted, if the junior swipes 42 bases this year he will pass Alicea for the most steals in a two-year span in school history.
Jose Marzan 98 84-87
Marc Ronan 95 88-90
Allen Bevis 91 89-92
Edwin Alicea 90 87-88
Brett Groves 87 98-01
Scott Zech 82 94-97
Mickey Lopez 82 93-95
Mark Barineau 80 81-83
Shane Robinson 76 04-06
TWO FOR TUESDAY
All season long FSU baseball fans can take advantage of the new “2 For Tuesday” ticket promotion. Ticket prices for all general admission seats for Tuesday games are now just $2.00. Fans can see their Seminoles take on four of the most surprising teams on the home schedule in Mercer (3/7), Winthrop (3/14), UNF (3/21) and Jacksonville (4/4) at a special price. Contact the FSU Ticket Office at 644-1830 for more details.
HE GOT IT!
Mike Martin crossed another milestone off his to do list with his team’s sweep of Minnesota. With Saturday’s 12-4 win, Martin became only the eighth coach in NCAA history to reach the 1,400 win-plateau and only the sixth active coach to do so. Of the eight coaches with 1,400 wins Martin has the fifth-best winning percentage and the second-highest winning percentage among active Division I coaches. Of the top 10 coaches across all divisions for wins, only four coaches have a winning percentage above .700 and Mike Martin is among that group. Gene Stephenson of Wichita State is the only active coach who has 1,400 wins and a higher winning percentage than Martin. Overall, Martin ranks third in the DI 1,400 win club behind Stephenson and former Texas coaching legend Cliff Gustafson for winning percentage.
COACH LAST SCHOOL YRS RECORD WIN PCT
1) Gordie Gillespie* Ripon 53 1,677-847-1 .664
2) Augie Garrido* Texas 37 1,552-724-8 .681
3) Gene Stephenson* Wichita State 28 1,520-491-3 .755
4) Don Schaly Marietta 40 1,438-329-13 .812
5) Larry Hays* Texas Tech 35 1,434-783-2 .647
6) Chuck Hartman* Virginia Tech 46 1,430-787-8 .644
7) Cliff Gustafson Texas 29 1,427-373-2 .792
8) Mike Martin* Florida State 27 1405-473-4 .748
9) Rod Dedaux USC 44 1,342-597-16 .691
10) Larry Cochell Oklahoma 39 1,331-813-3 .621
Records current as of 3/6/2006 *=active coach
OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCES OF THE WEEK
Dennis Guinn: Reigning ACC Player of the Week Dennis Guinn had another huge week in leading FSU to a win over No. 5 Florida in Gainesville and a weekend sweep of Brown University. In the four games Guinn hit .571, slugged 1.286, collected five extra base hits and 10 RBIs. He has now extended his streak of consecutive games with an RBI to 11 matching his 11 game hit streak. Guinn led FSU starters in 11 offensive categories including on base percentage (.611), steals (2), total bases (18), RBIs (10) and slugging percentage (1.286). He had three multi-RBI games, three multi-hit games and he struck out just one time in 19 plate appearances. Guinn hit .667 with runners in scoring position last week and .636 versus right-handed pitching.
Jack Rye: The California native continues to impress in his second full season as a starter. In a win over No. 5 Florida and a sweep of Brown, Rye hit .333 and slugged 1.038. He had three homers, nine RBIs, seven walks and he scored six runs. Rye did not strike out once and drew a walk in every game. He hit two homeruns and knocked in five runs in game two of the Brown series. He also recorded a sac fly.
PITCHING PERFORMANCES OF THE WEEK
Bryan Henry: Henry was brilliant once again in a Friday night start leading No. 6 FSU past Brown by a count of 12-0. It was the third shutout of the season for Florida State surpassing the two the staff accumulated in all of 2005 and all three have come in games Henry has started. The junior threw six innings of shutout ball raising his streak of scoreless innings to 21. He did not walk a batter for the third time in five starts and fanned seven raising his team leading total to 35. This was the 11th time in 16 career starts that Henry has allowed one earned run or less and he has now issued just two walks in his last 26 innings. It was also the 12th quality start for Henry in his career and his third of the season.
Tyler Chambliss: Tyler Chambliss became the first Seminole pitcher this year to defeat a ranked opponent when he pitched FSU past arch-rival and fifth ranked Florida in Gainesville. The junior threw 106 pitches and scattered seven hits in picking up the first win of his career as a starter versus a top five team. Chambliss turned around five days later and started the finale of the Brown series in which FSU completed its fourth three-game series sweep of the year.