April 20, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – After sitting through a 49 minute weather delay before the game and then another 77 minute delay in the fourth inning, fifth-ranked FSU and Florida made it through a baseball game, eventually. The Seminoles fell behind the Gators early and were never able to get back in the game falling to their in-state rivals 8-3. The teams split the season series as the loss drops Florida State to 33-7 on the season. The eighth largest crowd in Dick Howser Stadium history sat through the first delay but the 6,249 fans dwindled to a handful when the game finally came to an end at 11:54 p.m., almost four hours after it was scheduled to begin.
“I think that was the smallest number of people (for a record crowd),” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. “I tell you what, I would have been right there in my house as well had I been one of those people in the stands. Sitting through lightning delays, rain delays, I would have gone home too.”
Four Gator pitchers limited the Seminoles to just five hits. Michael Hyde had the shortest outing of his career for FSU as he lasted just 1 1/3 and fell to 7-1 on the season. It was the first loss in 23 appearances for the Seminole starter dating back to March 10, 2005. Of the eight runs given up by FSU’s four pitchers, two were unearned as the Seminoles committed three errors one of which came in a five run second inning.
“We made too many mistakes early and put ourselves behind the eight ball,” said Martin. “It is very tough to come back from an early deficit after we made some mistakes like we did. Florida deserves all the credit but you don’t beat many people making three errors and getting five hits.”
Ryne Malone was the only Seminole to record a multi-hit game and he also drove in two of FSU’s three runs. Tony Thomas, Jr. also had an RBI. Shane Robinson saw his 26-game hit streak come to an end. He now owns the longest and the seventh-longest streaks in school history and is the first Seminole to ever record two hit streaks of 26 or more games.
“We were out here from 2:00 to 12:00,” said Martin. “That is a long time. It took something like that to break Shane’s streak.”
One of the biggest bright spots of the night was the work of freshman reliever Caleb Graham. The Tampa native pitched four innings of one hit ball. He struck out three batters and has now set and tied a career high for K’s in back-to-back games. His four innings pitched were also a career high for the right-hander.
“He really did a good job,” said Martin. “He held them scoreless for four innings. (Matt DiBlasi) pitched a good ninth. It was a good coming out party for Caleb. I was very pleased with the way he pitched.”
FSU had the luxury of not having to face UF’s Matt LaPorta the first time the teams met. That wasn’t the case Wednesday night as the slugging first baseman put the Gators up early with a towering shot over the left field fence making it a 1-0 game.
Gator starter J.K. LaCoste opened the bottom of the first throwing five straight balls. LaCoste then balked Robinson to second base. The All-American moved to third on a fly ball and then Malone drove him home on a base hit tying the game at 1-1.
The Gators took control in the top of the second as they exploded for five runs. Hyde walked the first batter he faced and then Florida went yard again. Gavin Dickey sent a Hyde offering over the fence in right field making it a 3-1 game. Gator DH Bryson Barber followed with a double before a ground out moved the runner to third. A bouncer through the left side of the infield scored another run and ended Hyde’s night. Freshman Travis Burge came in to relieve the junior and a two base error on a fly ball to right put UF right back in scoring position and a grounder brought in the fifth run of the night for Florida. Another run came in on the fifth hit of the game.
Another two-base error, this one on a pick-off attempt at first, put a Gator on third base with nobody away. A pop up and an intentional walk put runners on the corners. After another hit batter loaded the bases, then Burge got the second out on a K. Dickey then came through again with a two-RBI single making the score 8-1.
After another weather related delay, this one lasting 77 minutes, Ryan Strauss recorded a double off new Gator hurler Josh Edmondson but FSU was unable to get back on the board until the next inning. Guinn and Malone each recorded fifth inning doubles as FSU cut the lead to 8-2. Tony Thomas, Jr. plated FSU’s third run with a two-out single
The Seminoles continue their 11-game home stand versus Georgia Tech this Friday at 7:00 p.m. The first two games in the series will be shown live in Tallahassee and in South Florida on SUN Sports. The games will be broadcast statewide following Tampa Bay Lightning playoff hockey. The games will be carried on Comcast Tallahassee but the channel has yet to be determined. Every Seminole baseball game will be carried live on WFLA and on Seminoles.com where broadcasts are free of charge. Game Tracker will also be available for every FSU game in 2006.