February 22, 2005 - by
Seminoles Win Thriller On The Road 5-4 Over Stetson

Feb. 22, 2005

Box Score

  • Complete Box Score in PDF Format
    Deland, FL – With Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones throwing out the first pitch and 2,776 fans on hand, the third largest crowd in Melching Field history, the 11th-ranked Florida State baseball team won a 5-4 thriller with Tony Thomas, Jr. scoring the game-winning run in the top of the ninth inning versus Stetson (4-3). In a game that had its share of big performances and back-and-forth action, it was errors that ultimately decided the game. Florida State (12-1) committed four but it was the Hatters lone error in the ninth, an errant throw to third, that gave FSU the game. The Seminoles got a strong start from Brian Schultz and Tyler Chambliss (3-0) picked up the win after 1 2/3 innings of work.

    Shane Robinson and Aaron Cheesman each recorded multi-hit games but it was a two-RBI hit from Bryan Henry and sacrifice flies from Ryne Malone and Jack Rye that scored FSU’s first four runs. The victory was the 1,350th win of head coach Mike Martin’s career.

    Schultz equaled a career-high with six strikeouts in six innings pitched. He allowed four hits and three runs but only two were earned. Three Seminole relievers combined to allow just one run and two hits. Chambliss came into the game in the eighth with two runners on in a 4-4 game and ended the threat before closing out the win in the ninth. Stetson reliever Corey Kluber (1-2) took the loss.

    Robinson, as he has done all season, got FSU off to a fast start as he laced the fourth pitch of the game over the head of the center fielder for a stand-up double. It extended his hitting streak to 18 games and upped his team-leading double total to seven. Robinson was wiped off the bases though as he was picked off for just the second time this season and Stetson starter Cameron Abel recovered to retire the next two batters and end the top of the first.

    Rye led off the third with FSU’s second lead off double of the game. Ryne Jernigan moved him over to third on a sac bunt. Abel got a strikeout for the second out of the inning and then worked his way out of trouble on a fly ball to left to retire the side.

    Florida State’s defense, which had been stellar all season, broke down in the bottom of the third inning. An error put the lead-off runner on base and he was then sacrificed to second. Schultz got the next out on a pop up to short and looked to be out of the inning on a shallow fly ball to left but Gibbs Chapman seemed to lose the ball and slip on the grass. By the time he recovered the ball hit his glove and fell to the ground for the second error of the inning allowing Stetson to go in front 1-0.

    In the top of the fourth, Abel, who was cruising, suddenly got into trouble. The right-hander walked Chapman on four straight pitches and Cheesman followed with a shot over the center fielder’s head for FSU’s third double of the game. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Abel went 3-2 on Malone before getting the clean-up hitter chasing strike three. Abel got Danny Wardell swinging as well bringing up Henry who was charged with the first error in the third that opened the door for the Stetson run. The sophomore made up for the miscue with a single to shallow left that plated two runs and put FSU in front 2-1. Rye came up and recorded his second double of the game and FSU’s fourth double of the night putting runners on second and third and ending Abel’s evening. The Hatter’s picked Rye off second to stop FSU from building on the 2-1 lead.

    The Seminoles started to get into the Hatter bullpen in the sixth as Stetson brought in its fourth pitcher of the game as FSU put runners on the corners with nobody out. Malone swiped second and then Wardell walked to load the bases with Stetson still looking for the first out of the inning. Henry came up and it looked like he broke the game open with a chopper down the third base line but the ball was ruled foul over the protests of the FSU dugout. Hatter reliever Jon Sistrunk got Henry for the first out and then a long sac fly by Rye plated FSU’s third run of the game but the Seminoles couldn’t extend the lead any further.

    Stetson got right back into the game with just one swing of the bat in the bottom of the sixth. After Schultz walked the lead-off batter, John Destefano laced a ball over the wall just to the left of dead center. The two-run homer tied the game at 3-3 but Schultz came back and retired the next three batters including his sixth strikeout of the night, which tied a career high.

    Robinson did his best to break the tie when he doubled for the second time on the night and the eighth time this season. It was the fifth double for FSU marking the fifth time in 12 games that the Seminoles have recorded five or more doubles in a game. Chapman then got hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second before a Cheesman walk loaded the bases for the second straight inning. Malone then broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Robinson from third but the Garnet and Gold stranded two more runners as the game moved into the bottom of the seventh with FSU leading 4-3.

    Kevin Lynch relieved Schultz to open the home half of the seventh and promptly struck out the first batter he faced but Shane Jordan followed with a double down the right field line to put the Hatters back in business. Another error cost the Seminoles the lead as a sac bunt turned into a single and the throw from Lynch sailed past Malone and allowed the runner from second to come around and tie the game. After an intentional walk to Braedyn Pruitt, Lynch got out of the jam by getting Chris Johnson, who entered the game hitting .640, to ground into an inning ending double play.

    Matt DiBlasi came into the game in the eighth and put the lead off hitter aboard when he hit Destefano. The ensuing batter sacrificed the runner to second and an errant throw looked like it would put runners on first and second but Jon Still was called for interference moving the runner back to first. Stetson got the runner into scoring position though when DiBlasi hit his second batter of the inning bringing Chambliss into the game. The Seminole closer’s first pitch was a ball but he followed with three straight called strikes for the second out of the inning. His next pitch was fouled back to Cheesman who ended the threat by snaring the pop up in front of the FSU dugout.

    Tony Thomas, Jr. started the ninth off with his first hit of the game, a sharply hit single to left. That brought the Hatters’ 2004 ace into the game in Ryan Heacox. The senior went 10-2 last season and was an all-region selection. The right-hander came in to try and slow down Robinson who was 3-for-4 with two doubles. The sophomore laid down a perfect sac bunt down the first base line moving Thomas into scoring position. After intentionally walking Chapman to get to senior Cheesman, the team captain got under the second pitch he saw and skied a fly ball to shallow center for the second out. Stetson brought in its sixth pitcher of the night to face Malone. After playing flawless defense all night, the Hatters first error of the night was costly. A wild pitch sent Thomas headed for third. Stetson catcher Still tried to make an off-balanced throw to cut him down but the ball ended up sailing into the fence in front of the FSU bullpen as Thomas trotted home with what turned out to be the game-winning run.

    Chambliss returned in the bottom of the ninth to face the top of the Hatter order. The Seminole right-hander walked the lead-off hitter on four straight pitches. Brandon Paritz moved the runner over on a sac bunt bringing up number three hitter Pruitt he got caught looking at strike three. Johnson came up with one last chance after a 0-for-3 night but his hard hit liner to left was snared by Rye to end the game.

    The Seminoles will wrap-up the two-game set with the Hatters Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Left-hander Hunter Jones (2-0) is scheduled to start for the Seminoles. Game Tracker will be available for the game along with a live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.

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