April 12, 2007 - by
GAMEDAY CENTRAL: Florida State Returns Home For Weekend Series Against Virginia Tech

April 12, 2007

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Virginia Tech travels to Tallahassee for a three-game series for the second time in three years. Florida State leads the all-time series 25-5, including a record of 20-4 in games played inside Dick Howser Stadium. The overall winning percentage of .883 is third among ACC opponents (Boston College 1.000, Maryland .941, Virginia Tech .833, Wake Forest .790 and Virginia .784). The Seminoles had a streak of 15 consecutive victories over the Hokies before Virginia Tech downed FSU 9-7 last year in Blacksburg. Florida State has won 11 straight games at home over the Hokies with the last Virginia Tech win in Tallahassee coming on April 21, 1989, a 7-5 VT victory. FSU has been victorious in 16 of the last 17 meetings overall. The Seminoles have held the Hokie offense in check over the last eight games played in Tallahassee as the Garnet and Gold have yielded just two runs per game.

Virginia Tech enters the weekend with an overall record of 17-17, 6-7 on the road and 4-11 in the ACC. The Hokies defeated Richmond at home in their lone mid-week game as their contest against Radford on Wednesday was postponed due to weather. Virginia Tech has gone 3-3 on the road in the ACC as the Hokies opened league play in 2007 taking two of three from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. VT has dropped four straight league series including back-to-back sweeps at the hands of Virginia and Clemson. Through 34 games, Virginia Tech is batting .291, while posting a team ERA of 5.87. Sean O’Brien, Nate Parks and Warren Schaeffer have started all 34 games for the Hokies this season, while O’Brien leads the team with a .349 average. Parks is the team leader in runs scored (32), while he sits a top the ACC in stolen bases with 29 in 33 attempts.

Florida State will look to extend its 11-game home winning streak against Virginia Tech in Tallahassee this weekend. Jack Rye has hit well against the Hokies the past two seasons posting a .400 average (8-for-20) with two doubles, a triple and five RBI’s. The Seminoles hit six home runs in last year’s series win in Blacksburg including two by Dennis Guinn, one by Buster Posey and one by Ryan Strauss. Guinn led all hitters last year as he went 7-for-16 with a double, two triples, two home runs, five runs scored and seven RBI’s. He slugged 1.125 and registered an on-base percentage of .438. Ruairi O’Connor hit the Hokies well two years ago batting .429 in seven at-bats. He recorded a pair of doubles and drove in five runs as the Seminoles swept at home.

On the mound, Bryan Henry has not given up a run to the Hokies in seven innings of work covering two appearances. Last year, the Tallahasse, Fla., native got the win pitching six scoreless innings allowing four hits, while striking out seven. Ryan Strauss pitched three scoreless innings in relief back in 2005 giving up just one hit. Michael Hyde is the only returning Seminole pitcher with two starts. Hyde earned the win in 2005 allowing two runs on eight hits, while striking out six. He struggled last season giving up three runs on five hits in 2.1 innings of work.

Over the last two seasons, with the Hokies joining the ACC starting in the 2005 season, Florida State is 5-1 against Virginia Tech. The Seminoles have hit .323 and have posted a team ERA of 3.06. On the flip side, the Hokies have hit .239 and have posted a team ERA of 7.59.

FRIDAY: Senior Bryan Henry will make his 11th start of the season, all on Friday, as Florida State returns home to face Virginia Tech for its third home conference series of the season. Henry is 8-0 on the year with an ERA of 2.60. He earned his third consecutive ACC victory last weekend beating NC State 10-4 as he pitched seven solid innings on a season-high 124 pitches. He struck out seven batters, while allowing three runs on six hits. Henry set down 11 of the last 13 batters that he faced registering five of his seven strikeouts over the last three innings. The senior right hander has now posted at least seven or more strikeouts in six of his last 10 starts this season and in five of his last six outings. Against Boston College, Henry pitched eight innings allowing one run on four hits while striking out 10. Henry is 1-0 lifetime against the Hokies in two appearances including one start. He has yet to yield a run to Virginia Tech in seven innings of work. The Tallahassee, Fla. native has allowed a run or less in six of his 10 starts this season. Henry has pitched a season-high eight innings twice this season keeping Indiana scoreless on six hits, while giving up one run on four hits vs. BC. He has worked three games this year where he has pitched at least six innings without issuing a free pass. Henry has made 22 career starts against league opponents posting a career record of 12-5 with an ERA of 2.87. He has registered 120 strike outs against ACC teams and just 39 walks.

SATURDAY: Senior Michael Hyde will look for his ninth win in 11 starts as he takes the mound on Saturday against the Hokies. Hyde is tied for the team lead with Bryan Henry in wins (8) and is third among starters with an ERA of 2.82. Hyde has dropped his last two decisions after starting the season with eight straight victories. He has pitched just 4.1 innings in the last two games. The two losses are just the third suffered by Hyde in his last 21 starts dating back to last year. He has worked into the fifth inning in eight of his 10 starts including four games of pitching into the sixth. He worked a season-high 7.0 innings against Boston College. The Tallahassee, Fla., native is 16-3 in his last 21 starts for the Seminoles dating back to last year, while posting a career mark of 24-5 as a member of the Garnet and Gold. In a victory over Boston College, Hyde allowed two first inning runs, but settled down to shut out the Eagles for the next six. He struck out four and did not issue a walk for the second time all season. This will be Hyde’s 16th start against an ACC opponent as he has compiled a record of 8-2 with a 4.90 ERA. This will be Hyde’s third start against Virginia Tech as the right hander is 1-0 in his career.

SUNDAY: Junior Ryan Strauss will look to make his 10th start of the season on Sunday against NC State. He has pitched at least five innings in eight of his nine starts in 2007, while throwing into the seventh in three of his last five outings. The Tampa, Fla., native set career-highs in innings pitched (8) and strikeouts (8) against Indiana. He threw seven innings in back-to-back league games earning victories over Wake Forest and Boston College. Strauss gave up just one run in his first two league games, before allowing four runs against Duke in an 8-5 victory. He held BC without a hit for the first six innings. Strauss is 7-0 on the year and leads the team with a 2.59 ERA. He has pitched two games in which he did not issue a walk. He earned his first career win as a starter as he pitched five solid innings against Tennessee on opening weekend. This will be Strauss’ fifth start against an ACC opponent and second appearance against the Hokies. He pitched against Virginia Tech in 2005 throwing three shutout innings allowing one hit while walking three.

Florida State is 10-2 in the ACC and has won all four, three-game series to start the 2007 season. The Seminoles boast a perfect 6-0 record at home after opening league play with a pair of series sweeps over Wake Forest and Boston College. For the second year in a row and for the seventh time overall, FSU has started a season at 6-0 on its home turf. In 2001 and 2002, the Seminoles went undefeated at home in conferece play posting a perfect 12-0 record. Florida State won its first seven conference games before falling at Duke in game two of the series. It was the Seminoles’ best start in ACC play since 1999 when the Garnet and Gold started 13-0. Since joining the ACC in 1992, FSU started league play winning its first six games just three times.

Florida State is leading the ACC in limiting the opposition to the fewest number of stolen bases attempted in 2007. Opponents have attempted a league low 20 stolen bases against the Seminoles and catcher Buster Posey is a big reason for that. Through 35 games, Posey is throwing out 36.8% of attempted base stealers. He has had only 19 stolen base attempts against him all season. Posey has also picked off a pair of base runners on the season. To put the number in perspective, UNC is second in the ACC with 38 stolen bases attempted on them.

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