May 19, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – After struggling at the plate the last few ACC series, the Florida State bats have come to life this weekend. No. 15 FSU hit multiple homeruns for the second straight game and now has five in the two games versus No. 20 NC State as the Seminoles (39-16, 16-12) secured the series win over the Wolfpack (34-19, 15-13) with a 7-1 win Friday night. Tyler Chambliss (11-4) pitched a gem and Jack Rye knocked in three of FSU’s runs as the Seminoles won their first conference series since April 8.
“We really needed this,” said Chambliss. “Everybody did their part. The defense was awesome and everybody played their part to get the job done.
“Things went our way tonight. We got the big hits and just got the job done.”
The victory secured at least a seventh place finish for the Seminoles but FSU is still in contention to move as high as fifth entering the ACC Tournament Wednesday. Florida State is still fighting to position itself to host an NCAA Regional for the 10th straight season. If the team is able to complete the series with a win Saturday, the Seminoles will reach the all important 40-win mark.
“We have put ourselves in position to really accomplish something,” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. “If we could win tomorrow that would be 40 and that is very important to us. The (NCAA selection) committee looks at 40 as a gage. This team has played a very tough schedule and tomorrow is important.”
Chambliss played a huge role in FSU remaining perfect at home in series versus NC State. The Roger Clemens Award semifinalist pitched 6 2/3 innings and limited the conference’s top hitting team to just one run on four hits. It was the fewest runs scored by the Pack in eight games. The curveball specialist is now 10-2 when starting the second game of a series for FSU.
“Tonight I was trying to stay under control and log a lot of innings for our bullpen so we could be in good shape for tomorrow,” said Chambliss. “I didn’t want to overthrow and make mistakes. I just wanted to locate my pitches.”
“That was a tremendous win for us and Tyler Chambliss set the tone for the ballgame,” said Martin. “He pitched a great, great ballgame. Certainly Brian Chambers and Matt DiBlasi came in and did a great job. It was a game we needed and I am just very pleased to see that zero in the (error) column.”
This is the first time since Duke that FSU recorded double digit hits in back-to-back conference games. Rye led the way with three RBIs on a 2-for-3 night. He had a double and a homerun. Since returning from a hamstring injury the sophomore is 10-for-22 with two doubles and two homers. He leads the team with 11 homeruns and has two in this series alone. He is hitting .667 in the two games, slugging 1.556 and he has six of the team’s 17 RBIs.
“They have been giving me good pitches to hit and I have been doing damage with it,” said Rye. “They do have great pitchers but it seems like all our bats are coming through at the right time.
“NC State’s pitchers are really good but they have just been leaving some balls over the plate. I am just trying to help my team as best as possible. All of us have been doing well and we want to just keep it going.”
Although they did not get on board in the first, the Seminoles did jump on top in the second. Buster Posey recorded FSU’s first hit of the game off Eryk McConnell (6-6) as he led off with a single. Ryne Malone drove the run home with his second triple of the season as FSU broke on top 1-0. FSU tried to extend its lead on a grounder back up the middle but a bare handed grab by McConnell and strike to the plate cut Malone down keeping it a 1-0 game.
FSU added to the lead with a two-out rally in the third. Rye started things off with a bloop double down the left field line. Dennis Guinn then scored the run on a soft liner just past a diving second baseman. It was the 58th RBI of the season for the sophomore.
Guinn got himself into scoring position again to lead off the sixth. He sent a high chopper to short and beat out the throw which was skipped past the first baseman allowing him to get to second. A sac bunt, intentional walk to Malone and hit by pitch loaded the bases. Ryan Strauss’ ground out plated the third run.
For the first time since the second inning NC State put a runner in scoring position in the seventh. A leadoff walk and a single put Wolfpack base runners on the corners. The Seminoles weren’t able to hold on to the shutout but a double play got Chambliss two outs as the Pack closed the gap to 3-1. After the junior lost the next batter, Matt DiBlasi entered the game in relief and struck out his 18th batter of the year to end the threat.
In the bottom of the seventh Danny Diaz opened things up with a single up the middle. Shane Robinson followed with a double putting runners on second and third with nobody out. Rye then followed by blasting a shot over the right field screen making it a 6-1 game. It was the first time he went deep twice in a series since March versus Brown.
“That felt really good,” said Rye of the homer. “It gave us some insurance runs.”
Travis Anderson bolstered the Seminole lead in the bottom of the eighth with a pinch hit home run making it a 7-1 game.
Florida State and NC State conclude their three game series Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The series finale will be shown live on SUN Sports and it will be senior day at the park. Game Tracker will be available for every game this season along with a live radio broadcasts available on WFLA locally and free on the Internet at seminoles.com.