February 15, 2006 - by
WEEKLY RELEASE: No. 7 FSU Baseball Returns Home To Face UNC Asheville This Weekend

Feb. 15, 2006

FREE Live Audio Broadcast | UNCA Weekly Release


Friday’s game between UNCA and FSU will be the 13th meeting in the all-time series that dates back to 1994. FSU holds an 11-1 edge in the series with all 12 games being played in Tallahassee. Florida State won the first nine meeting between the squads until the Bulldogs took the opener of a three game set at Dick Howser Stadium in late February of 2004. FSU came back to pick up the next two wins and take the series. Only three current Seminoles have ever had an at bat versus the Bulldogs and as a group they did not fare well. Ryne Malone, Shane Robinson and Danny Diaz went 2-for-17 (.117 batting average) versus UNCA pitching as freshmen in 2004. Robinson is the only current Seminole to record a hit off a UNCA pitcher as he went 2-for-11 in the series. Both of the hits were doubles and Robinson stole a base and also scored three runs. Tyler Chambliss, Matt DiBlasi and Mark Sauls all pitched in the series in 2004. Chambliss and DiBlasi each threw an inning of no hit, no run ball. Sauls is the only pitcher on staff who started in that series. The senior went five innings and allowing just one run. While FSU hit just .245 in the three game set, the FSU staff limited the Bulldogs hitters to an average over 100 points lower (.141). The Seminole pitching staff was phenomenal posting an ERA of 0.67 on the weekend.


2004 Series By The Numbers

                FSU        UNCA

Games    3              3

Avg.       .245         .141

Runs       13            3

Hits         23            13

Dbls        8              2

Trpls       1              0

HRs        1              0

RBIs       9              3

Slg %      .383         .163

BB           16            8

K             23            19

SB           7              3

ERA        0.67         3.60



FRIDAY: Bryan Henry will make his third straight Friday start for FSU when the Seminoles open up their series with the Bulldogs. Henry is off to a solid start to the season. The ace off the Seminole staff in 2005 is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA. He has fanned 11 batters and walked only three. He leads the team in K’s and his K:BB ratio is better than any starter. Opponents are hitting just .222 off of him. Henry has been particularly tough on lefties holding them to a .154 average. The junior would like to improve on his numbers with runners on base though as teams are hitting .375 with a teammate aboard and with two outs in an inning where opponents are also hitting .375. Only two of the 12 leadoff hitters Henry has faced have reached base though and he is pitching extremely well with nobody on (.138 opponent batting average).  The junior pitched very well at Mike Martin Field last season going 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 25 strikeouts compared to just nine walks. Teams hit just .148 with runners on versus Henry in Tallahassee and no FSU pitcher went deeper into home games on average than Henry did at Dick Howser Stadium in 2005 (6.06 innings). One area where Henry was susceptible at home in 2005 was to the long ball. He averaged giving up almost one homerun a game but it isn’t a huge concern as he allowed only four in 36.1 innings.  On the other hand, Henry gave opposing teams nothing cheap when he pitched at home. He did not have a wild pitch, hit batter and he issued just nine walks. In over 36 innings and more than 100 outs, only nine batters got on base for free. Henry’s 4-1 record against non-conference opponents was tied for the best mark among FSU starters in 2005. His numbers versus non-conference opponents was remarkably steady. Lefties hit .244 against him, righties hit .246, teams hit .245 with runners on and .244 with the bases empty. That’s consistency at its finest. The only deviation was when there were two outs in an inning and that opponent average jumped to .306. Once again no Seminole averaged more innings per outing versus non-conference opponents than Henry who went 5.43 innings per game. He averaged just over two walks per game versus non-ACC teams and close to six K’s. This is the second time this season the Seminoles will face an opponent from the Big South conference. Henry recorded his first ever win against a Big South team opening day when he led FSU past Charleston Southern. Henry did not pitch against a Big South squad in 2005.


SATURDAY: Tyler Chambliss‘ transition from closer to full-time starter has gone off without a hitch so far. The junior is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 12 inning pitched. Both of his starts have been quality starts and teams are hitting just .200 off of him so far this season. Chambliss has been excellent in almost every possible scenario this season. Lefties are hitting just .211 off him, righties .192, teams are hitting just .167 with the bases empty and .238 with runners on base. Chambliss will continue to work on being more effective versus the first hitter of an inning as almost 39% of leadoff hitters are finding a way to get on base. Chambliss’ success in the first two games of 2006 should not be surprising because he was FSU’s top pitcher last season when it came to facing non-conference opponents. His ERA of 1.12 was over a run better than any other Seminole pitcher in non-ACC games. In 22 appearances the junior went 5-1 with nine saves. He allowed just four earned runs in 32 innings and had a K:BB ratio of almost 4:1 (40:11). Chambliss gave up just one extra base hit to non-conference teams last season and in 44 innings pitched the last two seasons he has allowed just a double and a triple to non-ACC foes. Last season those opponents hit just .165 off the right-hander he even had a helping hand in one of just two shutouts versus non-conference teams in 2005. Chambliss was an absolute nightmare to right-handers who hit just .103 off of him. Overall, the Live Oak native held opponents under .200 with runners on, with nobody on base and with two outs in an inning. His only area of concern was putting the leadoff runner aboard, which he did almost 36% of the time. As good as Chambliss was versus non-ACC opponents, he was even better at Mike Martin field last year. As a sophomore, Chambliss led FSU with a remarkable 0.69 home ERA as he went 4-0 with 11 saves. In 22 appearances he either saved or won the game on 15 occasions. He allowed just two earned runs in 26 innings of work while striking out 35 and issuing just six walks. Teams hit only .179 off of Chambliss and none recorded a single extra base hit. Right-handers hit just .120 off the curve ball specialist and with runners on base (.138) and two outs in an inning (.133), he was almost untouchable. He averaged over 12 K’s per game at Mike Martin Field and produced almost five times as many ground ball outs as fly ball outs. In four appearances versus Big South squads over the last two seasons, Chambliss has a sterling 0.96 ERA and a 2-0 record with two saves. He has fanned 17 hitters and walked just four in games versus conference members. Big South schools hit just .156 off Chambliss over the last two years.


SUNDAY: Barret Browning will get his second Sunday start after his last scheduled outing was canceled at Auburn. In his last outing opening weekend, Browning pitched 4.2 innings versus CSU and gave up four runs but just two of those were earned. He allowed six hits and walked as many batters (4) as he fanned. He put 40% of the leadoff runners on base and then with men on CSU hit .333 against him. Those will be two key areas to watch on Sunday versus UNC Asheville. Browning was one of FSU’s top pitchers at Mike Martin Field last season. The senior was 3-1 with a 1.63 ERA at home in 2005, the second-best ERA on the team. In Tallahassee opponents hit just .235 versus the Georgia native as he fanned 33 batters but walked 27. His 49.2 innings of work were the second-most on the team at Dick Howser and he got partial credit for the only shutout the FSU staff posted in Tallahassee in 2005. The left-hander was very sharp at home versus left-handers (.234), right-handers (.235), with runners on (.178) and with two outs (.200) but he really hurt himself at the start of innings. Twenty-seven of the 54 leadoff batters Browning faced at home last year reached base safely. Versus non-ACC competition, no Seminole starter was more effective. Browning led FSU in ERA (2.28) appearances (13) and earned runs (11) versus non-conference competition in 2005. He had similar problems versus non-ACC teams though as he issued 26 walks to 36 strikeouts and he allowed leadoff hitters to reach base almost 49% of the time. Browning has been successful versus Big South squads. Last season he went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts versus Charleston Southern and VMI. He worked 9.1 innings and held opponents to a .196 batting average. Browning did not allow a run and struck out six batters but he did average a walk per inning. Lefties and righties each had little success versus the Jessup, GA native hitting .125 and .182 respectively. Big South teams hit just .118 with runners on base and only .111 with two outs but 60% of the 10 leadoff hitters Browning faced reached safely.



After everything Shane Robinson did as a sophomore in 2005, it is amazing he still had something left to cross off his list as far as personal accomplishments go but with a 4-for-4 performance in an 8-3 win over Auburn he set another personal best. The four hits were the most ever recorded in a game by Robinson. Last season Robinson recorded three hits in a game 18 times and on five occasions he came up to the plate with a chance to get a fourth hit. This year he had recorded three hits once in the first four games but never got a chance to get that fourth hit until Saturday when he came through with a single to center field. What made his 4-for-4 day even more remarkable was that Robinson did not get a hit in his first at bat of the game. The junior was hit by a Brett Butts offering in the top of the first and then went on to record a double followed by three consecutive singles.



With the loss of all time appearance leader Kevin Lynch and the move of All-ACC closer Tyler Chambliss to the starting rotation, FSU’s new pitchers were a big part of the team’s bullpen plans coming into 2006. So far they have proven they are up to the task. Luke Tucker, Brent Marsh, Jimmy Marshall and Travis Burge have combined to pitch 10.1 innings and have allowed a total of just one run. This group has a combined ERA of 0.87 in nine appearances with 14 K’s, just four walks and one save. Opponents are hitting just .121 of the four new FSU pitchers and not a single left-hander has recorded a hit off of any one of these pitchers. With runners on base opponents are hitting just .182 off this group and with two outs in an inning these four pitchers have held batters to just one hit in 12 at bats (.083 batting average).



Considering the fact that Seminole right fielder Jack Rye didn’t get his first hit until his 14th at bat last season and didn’t see his average climb above .200 until the 10th game of his career, 2006 is off to a much better start for the sophomore. Rye is hitting a team-leading .538 through the first five games of 2006; a big accomplishment considering his average never eclipsed .410 at any point of last season. Rye leads FSU in doubles (2), walks (8), on base percentage (.696) and leads all starters in slugging percentage at .923. He is second on the team in hits (7), runs (7), homeruns (1), RBIs (6) and total bases (12). Rye is hitting .714 with runners on base and .600 with runners in scoring position. He is tied for the team lead with 3 two-out RBIs and he has advanced runners successfully in 11 of his 12 opportunities (almost 92% of the time).



Jack Rye is off to a hot start to the 2006 season as noted above and he is already halfway to his career homerun total after just five games. Rye‘s solo shot in the sixth inning of the Friday game with Auburn was the only homer hit by a player on either team this past weekend. Last season Rye didn’t hit his first homerun until his 29th game of the year and his 72nd at bat. This season it took him only eight at bats to hit his first round-tripper. With his shot at Plainsman Park in Auburn, all three of Rye‘s homers have now come on the road but that was the first one he hit versus a non-ACC opponent. His first two career homeruns came at Duke and at NC State. All three of his career homers have been solo shots and all three have come with one out in an inning.



Florida State has been on a tear early in games this season. FSU has scored more runs (10) in the first inning than any other frame this year. In that inning the Seminoles are outscoring opponents 10-4 and when you combine the first two frames, FSU is getting out to a 17-5 edge early in games versus opponents this season. Opponents have not outscored FSU in any of the first six innings this year. The only inning opponents are even in is the third where FSU is tied 1-1. While it is too early to be concerned, opponents are getting their licks in late outscoring the Seminoles 11-6 in the seventh, eighth and ninth. It is easy to see why FSU is having success early in games and struggling to score runs later in contests. In the first and second innings, the Seminoles are hitting .436 but in the eighth and ninth that average drops to .090. FSU is still looking for its first hit in the ninth inning this season.



Bryan Henry set down 12 straight Auburn batters at one point of his no decision start Friday afternoon…new first baseman Dennis Guinn recorded a personal best three RBIs in game two of the Auburn series…Tyler Chambliss has made three career starts and each one of those starts has lasted exactly six innings…Chambliss picked up his second win this weekend, which is tied for second in the ACC…Henry struck out six Tiger batters and did not issue a single walk in his start Friday. It was the fourth time in his career he has not give out a free pass in a game he started…with a split in the weekend series with Auburn, FSU has not lost a regular season series to the Tigers since 1974.



Shane Robinson

There are very few things consensus All-American Shane Robinson hasn’t done in his career but after his game versus Auburn Saturday he can cross another milestone off his list. The junior went 4-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI, a double and two stolen bases in leading FSU to an 8-3 win over Auburn. The four-hit game was the first of Robinson’s career. The center fielder reached base in all five of his plate appearances. For the series Robinson led the team with a .571 average, three runs scored, four hits, a double, five total bases, a .667 on base percentage and two steals. He did not strike out once in the two games and his .714 slugging percentage was second on the team.



Tyler Chambliss

Tyler Chambliss recorded his second straight quality start in leading FSU to a win over Auburn as he improved his record to 2-0 as a starter. The junior pitched six innings giving up seven hits and two runs while striking out two and issuing just two walks. The win evened FSU’s series with the Tigers after the Seminoles dropped the opener Friday night. The former closer now has an ERA of 1.50 in 12 innings of work and teams are hitting just .200 off of him this season.

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