March 4, 2007
If you ask Florida State Head Coach Mike Martin what he loves about the game of baseball, one of the things he will tell you is every day you come to the ballpark there is a chance to see history made. That is exactly what happened on Sunday. Florida State came up one hit shy of setting an NCAA record when the Seminoles recorded 10 consecutive hits in a 15 run, 13 hit seventh inning. The 13 hits tied an NCAA record for the most hits in DI baseball history in a seventh inning and FSU tied a school record with 21 at bats in the frame. The record inning broke open what was a close game with Siena (0-9) as FSU went on to sweep the series with a 22-3 victory.
“I don’t think I have ever been a part of an inning where guys were just…I think that is where the term was coined `hitting is contagious’,” said catcher Buster Posey.
For the first time all season FSU trailed after a complete inning and the Seminoles were behind Siena 3-2 going into the bottom of the fifth. In the sixth inning the game was tied 3-3 but FSU scored 19 runs in the sixth and seventh to break open what was a very close game.
“That is the unpredictability of baseball right there,” said Martin. “No errors and we ended up scoring 15 runs in one inning. It is a credit to our ball club. We did a good job of getting good pitches to hit. We didn’t give away any at bats no matter what was going on. I am just very proud of the way we played.
“There was some outstanding plays made today by Siena. In the sixth inning it’s a tied ballgame with two outs and nobody on. We end up getting four.”
For the second day in a row a Saint starter did a good job of keeping the red hot Florida State bats somewhat in check. Craig Marcellus limited the Seminoles to three runs in five innings making the 22 runs scored a little bit of a surprise. The last time FSU scored more than 22 runs was May 21, 2004 at Wake Forest when the Seminoles scored 27 times. You have to go back to February 21, 1997 to find the last time Florida State had this many runs in a regular season home game. That year the Seminoles beat Marshall 22-1. The win pushed FSU’s record to 17-0.
“I don’t think this has really sunk in yet,” said Buster Posey of the 17 straight wins to start the season. “It has never happened in the history of our program so it is special.”
Seven Seminoles had multi-hit games and in one instance a multi-hit inning. Mark Gildea recorded two hits in the record seventh inning and drew a walk in his third at bat leaving the outfielder one hit shy of tying an NCAA record. Mark Hallberg led FSU with five RBIs in the game and Tony Thomas, Jr. had the biggest day overall going 4-for-5 with three doubles, one double shy of tying an FSU record.
“I don’t know what is going on but I am just playing the game, trying to have fun with it,” said Thomas of his start to the season where he finished the day with a team-best .527 average. “I am trying not to do too much with the ball, let the game come to me instead of jumping out at it.
“I didn’t know I was near a record (for doubles in a game). I knew three doubles was quite a bit. I couldn’t go out there and try to do something I normally wouldn’t do. I tried to stay with my swing and hit a line drive somewhere.”
For just the seventh time this season, the Seminoles gave up a run in the first inning as Sienna broke on top 1-0. Florida State had a chance to even the game in the bottom of the first but a play at the plate ended the inning as FSU opened a new frame trailing for the first time all season covering 144 innings.
After trailing for two innings, FSU evened the game in the third thanks to Thomas’ second double of the day. The junior plated Ruairi O’Connor, who walked to start the inning. Hallberg then put FSU in front as his sacrifice fly brought in D’Vontrey Richardson who singled earlier in the inning.
Siena fought right back and took the lead back in the top of the fourth with two more runs. Florida State tied the game again in the fifth thanks to Hallberg’s second RBI of the day. The junior singled in Brandon Reichert who had doubled.
In the bottom of the sixth Sienna reliever Andy Wells got himself into trouble with two outs. He walked Jason Stidham and then hit the next two batters to load the bases. A wild pitch brought Stidham home and then a walk loaded the bases for the second time in the inning. Thomas then recorded his career-high third double of the game plating two runs as the lead grew to 6-3. Ryan King, who relieved Wells, walked the bases loaded again and Posey’s bunt single plated another run.
FSU broke the game wide open in a wild seventh inning. Ohmed Danesh’s single up the middle plated Mark Gildea who led off the inning with a single. Thomas’ fourth hit of the game, this one an infield single, made it 9-3. Hallberg doubled in two more runs as Florida State started to pull away from the Saints. Posey joined in on the action as he followed Hallberg’s two-run double with a two-run double of his own. Gildea’s infield single brought in the 14th run and set a new school record for 10 consecutive hits all of which came with no outs. The string was broken when Tommy Oravetz was hit by a Dan Miklas offering to load the bases up. Danesh then drove in his second run of the inning on a walk, which was followed by RBI singles off the bats of Travis Anderson and Devin Gonzalez. Another Siena walk brought in the 12th run of the inning followed by a Brady Thomas RBI single as the Seminoles scored 20 runs in a game for the first time since March 4, 2006 versus Brown. The Saints recorded the second out of the inning on a fielder’s choice as the lead grew to 21-3. Another walk loaded the bases again and Oravetz then reached base for the third time in the inning as a walk plated the 15th run of the frame.
Florida State will return to action next weekend when Indiana comes to town for a three-game series. The first game is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. Fans can follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.