Feb. 4, 2006
Tallahassee, FL - The eighth-ranked Seminole baseball team rolled over Charleston Southern Saturday afternoon 12-2 behind a solid start by Tyler Chambliss and a 14-hit barrage highlighted by Tony Thomas, Jr. and Shane Robinson. The top two hitters in the FSU line-up combined to go 5-for-9 with five RBIs and three runs scored. Seven different Seminoles knocked in runs as FSU improved to 2-0 and the Buccaneers dropped to 0-2 on the season.
"I was very pleased today especially with the top half of the line-up," said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. "Shane (Robinson), Tony (Thomas), Ryne Malone, Jack Rye and Buster Posey all played well. We just have to understand that we have to get it 1-9. We can't just rely on three or four guys."
Robinson and Thomas drove the Seminole offense on the day. The reigning Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Thomas, who has been moved into the two-hole this season, produced in a big way by hitting the first homer of the season for FSU and also hitting a triple. His three RBIs were one shy of a career high for the sophomore.
"Today was a big boost for my confidence," said Thomas. "Everything we have been working on came through today. The homerun came. I wasn't expecting it. I wasn't looking for it but I was happy I got it. I am not going to go outside of my game and look for that but if it comes it comes. I am going to stick to small ball and try to poke a double here and there. If the long ball comes, I will take it."
The move to the second spot in the order has really paid off for Thomas and the Seminoles. The second baseman is slugging 1.000 in the first two games of the season. He leads the team with three RBIs, eight total bases and four runs scored. He has already drawn three walks and has struck out just once in his first eight at bats.
"The move up in the order made me feel that 11 (Martin) had that much confidence in me," said Thomas. "It boosted my confidence as well. It showed me that he feels I have the potential to get the job done. It didn't really put pressure on me. Actually it made me feel better. I hit there in high school so it is a comfortable spot. He showed confidence in me and in turn it gave me confidence in myself."
"Tony is a different baseball player than he was last year," said Martin. "I liked him last year. He has a chance to be a very good baseball player and I am speaking more offensively. He already has great range and he runs well. He is a guy if you go in on him, he can do some damage."
Chambliss, making just his second-ever start and his first since May 29, 2004, limited CSU to just two hits in six innings of work. He allowed one unearned run while striking out a career-high seven batters. He threw just 86 pitches in picking up his first-ever win in a starting role.
"I felt good today," said Chambliss. "I didn't throw quite as many strikes as I would have liked. I didn't get as many change-ups as I wanted to and probably threw more curves that I would have liked but I felt pretty pleased with it (the outing)."
"Jamey (Shouppe) did a great job of calling today with Tyler," said Martin. "He made the curve ball the dominant pitch. That's the pitch Tyler posses that reminds me of Jonathan Johnson and Richie Lewis. That's his pitch. We want him to learn to spot the fastball but we can't do that constantly putting him in 2-0 and 3-1 situations. I thought he threw a couple changes that were encouraging. We just need to get all three of his pitches going."
Just like they did on Friday, the Buccaneers jumped on top of FSU in the first inning. After Chambliss got the first two hitters of the game, a walk and a single put two runners on before a wild pitch and a throwing error down to second allowed the Buccaneers to jump out to a 1-0 lead.
The Seminoles stormed in front with a three-run second inning. Josh Spivey got things started by drawing a walk and was followed by Dennis Guinn who singled to left, the first hit of his career. Mark Gildea then recorded the first hit of his career as well and it was a big one. The redshirt freshman cleared the bases with a triple to right. Shane Robinson then drove in FSU's third run on a sac fly. Thomas tripled but the Seminoles were unable to plate the second baseman as CSU got out of the second with no more damage done.
Florida State continued its assault on CSU starter Ryan Sowers (0-1) in the fourth. Robinson led off with a single and then came home on the first Seminole homerun of the season. Thomas sent a Sowers offering off the top of the wall in left field that bounced over the fence extending the FSU lead to 5-1. It marked the second time in Thomas' brief career that he has tripled and homered in the same game. The first time he pulled that feat was May 11 versus Stetson. The homer knocked Sowers out of the game and brought new pitched Chris Widing in. The Seminoles went right back to work though as Jack Rye laced a double off the fence in right field. It was the fourth extra base hit of the day for FSU. Ryne Malone then brought another run home with a single to right.
Guinn and Travis Anderson got on base via a hit by pitch and a walk in the bottom of the fifth. Guinn moved to third on an attempted pick off at first and then Robinson picked up his second sac fly of the day making the score 7-1.
Robinson recorded his third hit of the game in the seventh and came around to score on Jack Rye's RBI single. The run extended the Seminole lead to 8-1. FSU worked the bases loaded with two outs as freshman catcher Kyle Maxie then ripped a single up the middle plating two more runs. The first hit and RBI's of the Mississippi native's career extended the FSU lead to 10-1. Tommy Oravetz followed with his first career hit as well, the freshman doubled down the left field line scoring the Seminoles' 11th run.
The Buccaneers got back on the board for the first time since the top of the first inning when they scored a two-out run in the top of the eighth to make it an 11-2 game but Travis Anderson helped to get the run back in the bottom half of the inning as he drew a walk and eventually came around to score on Thomas' third RBI of the day, a ground out.
The Seminoles and Buccaneers will conclude the series Sunday at 1:00 p.m. 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.