Feb. 5, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – The eighth-ranked Florida State Seminoles completed an opening series sweep against a game Charleston Southern (0-3) squad Sunday with a 15-8 victory. The Seminoles (3-0) pounded out 16 hits, two homeruns and 14 RBIs in the win. Seminole third baseman Ryne Malone extended his hit streak to 19 games as he and left fielder Mark Gildea each recorded three RBIs. Michael Hyde (1-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Barret Browning.
“We did a good job in all of areas of hitting,” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. “We had some quality at bats. We got a lot of guys on base and had some timely hitting. We had a sloppy inning where we gave up some runs but what impressed me the most was we turn around and answered with two in our half. We showed some maturity.”
“This was big for us,” said Malone. “Anytime you can go out there and get some wins and hit the ball the way we hit the ball this weekend is real important. Hopefully it will set the tone for the season and a big series next week versus Auburn.”
It was a big series for the Seminoles bats especially the top five hitters in the FSU line-up. Shane Robinson, Tony Thomas, Jr., Jack Rye, Malone and Buster Posey combined to hit .528 with 23 runs, eight extra base hits and 19 RBIs. Robinson, Rye, Posey and Malone each recorded six hits in the series. Thomas slugged 1.200 and scored eight runs in the series while Malone .545 in extending his hit streak to the eight-longest in school history.
“I can only do as much as I can and I feel good about the start,” said Malone. “I was given the chance to drive in some runs by the guys ahead of me who put me in good situations to hit.
“It is real relaxing to hit behind those three guys. It gives me a chance to relax with guys getting on base ahead of me. I can hit the ball to the outfield and also with Posey hitting behind me it makes my job easier. It is nice.”
For the first time in the series, FSU held the Buccaneers of the scoreboard in the top of the first as Browning set CSU down in order. The Seminoles then broke out in the bottom of the inning as two walks and an error put runners on second and third with nobody out. CSU starter Mike Mead (0-1) walked his third batter of the first to load the bases. Malone then sacrificed Robinson home from third to stake FSU to its earliest lead of the series. Posey followed by singling Thomas in with the second FSU run. Danny Diaz came up and blasted a shot off the screen in right center bringing in two more runs extending the lead to 4-0 with just one out in the inning. After swiping the first base of his career, Diaz came home with the fifth FSU run on a balk.
CSU cut into the lead in the second as two walks and a single loaded the bases with nobody out. After recording the first out at home plate, Browning recorded the second out of the inning on a sac fly to center as Robison made a highlight catch and then almost gunned out the runner tagging up from third. Browning pitched his way out of the jam though as he sent the game to the bottom of the second with FSU still in front 5-1.
Florida State went right back to work in the second as a walk and base hit by Thomas put runners on the corners with no outs. Malone then skied a fly ball to center allowing Thomas to come in with FSU’s sixth run and the fifth run scored by the sophomore this season. Posey came up and promptly drove in another run with a double off the right field screen.
In the top of third, CSU cut into the FSU lead once again as a two-out single drove a run in from third making it a 7-2 game.
A walk and an error put FSU back in business in the bottom of the third as Mead continued to labor. The left-hander gave up a run in his third straight inning as Rye drove Gildea in on a single to right field. That ended Mead’s day.
The Seminole defense let them down in the top of the fifth as sloppy play and a throwing error led to two runs for the Buccaneers as they cut the FSU lead to 8-4. That ended Browning’s day and brought Hyde into the game and he promptly ended the threat with a strikeout.
The Buccaneers third pitcher of the day didn’t fare much better than the previous two as FSU scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth thanks to RBI doubles by Rye and Malone.
The lead grew to 12-4 on one swing of the bat in the sixth. Gildea hit the first homer of his career, a two-run shot, over the left field wall. Thomas then hit his second homerun in as many games as his two-run bomb gave FSU a 10-run cushion.
Charleston Southern continued to fight back in the seventh as they loaded the bases on a hit batter, a walk and a single. With nobody out Brian Chambers was brought in to the game to try and put out the CSU rally. Chambers got the first batter on a sac fly and then a single brought in another run as CSU cut the double digit lead to 14-6. Chambers recorded the second out on a ground ball to third but back-to-back errors and a base hit got CSU within six runs at 14-8. That brought Travis Burge into the game and the freshman closed out the inning on a ground out.
Gildea came back and hurt the Bucs again in the bottom of the seventh as his rocket shot hit high off the right field fence scoring pinch runner Ryan Strauss from first. Strauss replaced Ryan McArdle who singled to right.
Florida State will hit the road for a key early season next week versus the Auburn Tigers. This will be the first meeting between the teams since FSU eliminated the Tigers from the 2005 NCAA Tallahassee Regional. First pitch for Friday’s game is slated for 5:00 p.m. EST. Game Tracker will be available for the contest along with a live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.