Feb. 3, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – Despite game time temperatures in the 40’s and a slight snow flurry in the air, the 13th-ranked Florida State Seminoles (2-0) remained perfect on the season with a 4-0 shutout over No. 11 Tennessee (0-2). Pitcher Michael Hyde compiled a second straight quality start for the Seminoles as the senior right hander threw 6.1 innings striking out a career-high 10 batters. Freshmen Jason Stidham and D’Vontrey Richardson combined for four hits and three RBIs as the Seminoles won their second game to start a season for the 23rd straight year.
Hyde allowed just two hits in 6.1 innings of work, while striking out 10 Volunteer batters in earning his first victory of the 2007 season. The senior from Tallahassee, Fla., matched his previous career-high of seven strikeouts, set in February of 2005 against St. Joseph’s, by the end of the fourth inning. In the first two games of the season, Friday’s starter Bryan Henry and Hyde have combined for 12.1 innings of shutout baseball allowing just six hits while striking out 21 Tennessee hitters.
“At the beginning I felt a little nervous,” said Florida State starting pitcher Hyde. “But it came around and I started getting ahead. I definitely didn’t expect to get 10 strikeouts today, but I’m glad the way it turned out. Seeing Bryan’s performance yesterday definitely gave me a little more confidence for today’s start.”
“Michael (Hyde) was very impressive,” stated Coach Mike Martin. “He threw three pitches in the zone. It was a day that I was pleased with the poise that we showed. It wasn’t the greatest day to play a baseball game, but our guys were very professional the way they went about playing the game. I am very pleased right now.”
In the fourth, Rye got things started again as he reached on a fielding error. After a balk moved Rye to second, he would later advance to third as center fielder Ruairi O’Connor reached safely at first on the Volunteers’ second error of the inning. Richardson making his first collegiate start as the Seminoles’ designated hitter, drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to right to give Florida State a 2-0 advantage.
The Seminoles would increase their lead to 3-0 as left fielder Dennis Guinn started the sixth with a leadoff walk. O’Connor would advance Guinn to second as he laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt. With two outs in the inning, Stidham stood at the plate and sent a Nick Hernandez offering to right field for his first collegiate RBI. On the play, Guinn made an outstanding slide at home just avoiding the tag by Tennessee catcher J.P. Arencibia.
Stidham would strike again in the eighth for his second RBI of the game as he hit a double off the wall in right center driving in Richardson from second. The inning started as Guinn collected his first hit of the season driving a groundball single up the middle. He was later thrown out at third after Richardson hit a sharp single down the line at third underneath the outstretched glove of Brown. With two outs, Stidham gave the Seminoles some breathing room as he sent a shot off the wall for a standup double and a 4-0 FSU lead.
Brian Chambers and Jimmy Marshall relieved Hyde to preserve the shutout. Chambers threw 1.2 innings allowing no hits and one walk, while striking out two. Marshall pitched the ninth and closed the door on the Volunteers.
“It was very important that we played solid baseball, said Coach Martin. “The fact that we won is icing on the cake. But these games (against Tennessee) give us a little measuring stick. And in what I’m seeing right now, I’m very impressed with, but there is an awful of baseball left to be played.”
With the win, Florida State has now won 51 of 54 home opening series in school history. The Seminoles and Volunteers return to the diamond for the series finale on Sunday at 1:00 pm at Dick Howser Stadium. FSU is expected to send junior right hander Ryan Strauss to the mound, while the Vols will throw sophomore left hander Lance McClain. Fans can follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of WFLA-1270 the FAN.