March 16, 2007 - by
GAMEDAY CENTRAL: Florida State Opens ACC Play Against Wake Forest Tonight

March 16, 2007

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Florida State opens conference play for the first time in 2007 as they welcome the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to Dick Howser Stadium Friday evening. 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).

Friday, March 16, 2007, 6:05 PM First Pitch, TV – FSN, Radio – 1270 the TEAM
Florida State Starter: Bryan Henry, rhp, 5-0, 2.04 ERA
Wake Forest Starter: Brad Kledzik, rhp, 2-1, 4.57 ERA

Saturday, March 17, 2007, 6:00 PM First Pitch, Radio – 1270 the Team
Florida State Starter: Michael Hyde, rhp, 6-0, 1.85 ERA
Wake Forest Starter: Eric Niesen, lhp, 2-1, 5.84 ERA

Sunday, March 18, 2007, 1:00 PM First Pitch, Web Cast – ACC Select, Radio – 1270 the Team
Florida State Starter: Ryan Strauss, rhp, 4-0, 1.97 ERA
Wake Forest Starter: Garrett Bullock, lhp, 1-0, 5.23 ERA

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.

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.

FRIDAY: Senior Bryan Henry will make his seventh start of the season, all on Friday, as Florida State opens league play at home against Wake Forest. Henry has posted a record of 5-0 with an ERA of 2.04 in 2007. The senior from Tallahassee, Fla., has allowed a run or less in five of six starts this season including a string of four straight. Last week against Indiana, Henry pitched a season-high eight innings keeping the Hoosiers scoreless while allowing six hits. For the second consecutive week, he struck out seven batters and did not issue a walk. It was the third time this season the senior right hander has pitched at least six innings without issuing a free pass. Henry has made 18 starts against league opponents posting a career record of 9-5 with an ERA of 2.73. He has registered 91 strike outs against ACC teams and just 29 walks. Henry has pitched against Wake Forest just once that coming last season in the 20-inning marathon in Winston-Salem. In that game, Henry pitched 7.2 innings giving up three runs, all unearned, on four hits, while striking out five.

SATURDAY: Senior Michael Hyde will look for his seventh win in as many starts this season as he takes the mound on Saturday against the Demon Deacons. Hyde leads the team in wins (6) and ERA (1.85), while holding opponents to a .172 batting average. He has worked into the fifth inning in each of his six previous starts including three games of pitching into the sixth. He worked a season-high 6.2 innings against Appalachian State. The Tallahassee, Fla., native is 14-1 in his last 17 starts for the Seminoles dating back to last year, while posting a career mark of 22-3 as a member of the Garnet and Gold. In last week’s victory over Indiana, Hyde did not allow a run for the third time in six starts as he struck out seven batters and walked just one. A scary moment occurred in the first inning against the Hoosiers when Hyde was hit on the side of the face with a line drive. Hyde remained in the game and pitched through the fifth inning. He was taken to the hospital for precautionary x-rays and all results came back negative. This will be Hyde’s 12th start against an ACC opponent as he has compiled a record of 6-0 with a 4.94 ERA. The senior right hander has faced Wake Forest twice before, including a start in 2005. Hyde earned a no decision in his only start against the Deacs working 5.2 innings allowing three runs on three hits while striking out five. He picked up his first collegiate save in last year’s 20-inning contest getting the last two outs of the game including a save.

SUNDAY: Junior Ryan Strauss will look to make his sixth start of the season on Sunday against Wake Forest. He has pitched at least five innings in all five previous starts, while throwing a six innings twice in back-to-back starts against Hofstra and Appalachian State. The Tampa, Fla., native set career-highs in innings pitched (8) and strikeouts (8) in his last outing against the Hoosiers. Strauss is 4-0 on the year with an overall ERA of 1.97. He tied a career-high as he issued three walks last week against Siena. It was just the second time this year the right hander has given up two or more walks in a game. Strauss has also pitched two games in which he did not issue a free pass. He earned his first career win as a starter as he pitched five solid innings against Tennessee on opening weekend. This will be Strauss’ first start against an ACC opponent and first appearance against Wake. He made four relief appearances in league play in 2005 throwing six scoreless innings allowing four hits and striking out three.

Florida State is one of just three teams still undefeated in 2007. The Seminoles join a pair of Southeastern Conference teams, Vanderbilt (19-0) and Kentucky (19-0) as the only three teams without a loss in Division I. At 20-0, FSU is off to their best start in the 60-years of Seminole baseball, surpassing their previous best start of 15-0 set back in 1975.

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