Feb. 10, 2006
Auburn, AL - Last weekend the sixth-ranked Seminoles opened their season by hitting .377 in a series sweep of Charleston Southern. Friday night in their series opener with Auburn, the Seminole bats weren't nearly as loud. FSU (3-1) mustered just two hits versus three different Tiger pitchers as Auburn (2-2) used a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to seal a 5-2 win. It was Auburn's first home victory versus FSU since April 13, 1982.
"Auburn beat us tonight plain and simple," said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. "We didn't make any errors. Auburn just got it done. They got the two-out hits. You have to give them a lot of credit. I was very impressed with their pitching."
The Seminoles got off to an early 1-0 lead without the benefit of a hit only to see Auburn jump back in front 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a Jack Rye solo homer tied the game in the sixth, the Tigers pounded out four of their 10 hits in the deciding seventh inning.
Neither starter figured in the decision. Brian Chambers (0-1) was credited with the loss for FSU and Peter Wiggins (1-0) picked up the win. Seminole starter Bryan Henry pitched six strong innings setting down 12 straight batters at one point. For the third time in his FSU career he did not issue a single walk in a start. The junior fanned six and gave up two runs both of which were earned.
"Brian had a good outing, he really did," said Martin. "His curveball was good tonight and this isn't the best type of night to throw a breaking ball. I thought he pitched very well."
"I made some pitches, I made a few mistakes and they were really scrappy tonight," said Henry. "I didn't get away with anything. They did a good job. They put the ball in play and that's how you win games."
Shane Robinson started the game by drawing a walk on four straight pitches from Tiger starter Chris Dennis. After falling behind 1-2, Tony Thomas, Jr. watched three straight balls to draw the second walk of the game. Jack Rye then moved both runners over a base on a sac bunt putting two Seminoles in scoring position with just one out. Ryne Malone brought Robinson home from third with a fly ball to right putting FSU up 1-0 early. It was the first run scored off Dennis in 2006. Thomas moved up to third on a wild pitch but the Auburn right-hander got out of the jam on his first K of the day.
Henry got the first two hitters he faced on a ground out and strikeout looking but the Tigers fought back with two down in the first. A single to left and a hit down the first baseline put runners on the corners. Henry got out of the jam though on a hard hit ball to short that Buster Posey flipped to Thomas, to end the inning.
After walking the first two batters of the game, Dennis settled down nicely and went on to retire nine straight batters five of which he set down via a strikeout. Henry matched the Tiger hurler as he set down seven straight after allowing back-to-back base hits in the first.
Malone drew a one-out walk putting an end to Dennis' streak after retiring 10 in a row. Jack Rye followed with a single on a hit and run. The base knock was the first of the game for FSU and put runners on the corners as Dennis neared 70 pitches through 3.1 innings of work. The Seminoles couldn't capitalize though as a popped up bunt and ground out ended the threat.
Henry matched Dennis the next inning and then upped his streak to 12 straight batters retired in the bottom of the fifth before giving up a two-out double down the left field line to Justin Bristow. Catcher Jonathan Rasberry then delivered the game-tying hit as he drove a ball up the middle and just past the outstretched glove of Thomas. Tyler Johnstone came up and broke the tie with a shot off the wall in left field driving in another run and making the score 2-1.
It didn't take long for FSU to even the game in the top of the sixth. Jack Rye clubbed a 0-2 offering from Dennis over the fence down the right field line. It was his first homer of the year and the third of his FSU career. His other two homers both came in ACC games and now all three of his career homeruns have been hit on the road.
Wiggins entered the game for Auburn in the top of the seventh and mistakes put the Tigers lead in jeopardy. A catcher's interference and wild pitch put pinch runner Ryan Strauss in scoring position. The sophomore moved to third on a ground out but the Seminoles could not bring the potential winning run home as Wiggins struck out the final batter of the top half of the frame.
Brian Chambers came in to relieve Henry in the bottom of the seventh and after retiring the first batter he got into some trouble. A walk and an infield hit to the right side put two runners on base with the top of the Tiger order coming up. A base hit through the left side by Johnstone loaded the bases and brought an end to Chambers night. The task of getting FSU out of the bases loaded jam fell to Matt DiBlasi. The senior leftie could not preserve the lead. He gave up a single through the left side scoring one run but a second Tiger was gunned out at home on a strike from Mark Gildea to Danny Diaz. Brent Marsh relieved DiBlasi but he couldn't get FSU out of the inning either as a deep shot off the tall left field wall brought two more runners in as Auburn moved out to a 5-2 lead they would never relinquish.
The Seminoles and Tigers are scheduled to resume their series Saturday at 3:00 p.m. EST. A weather front is expected to move into the Auburn area tonight and could affect tomorrow's game. Please check seminoles.com for any information pertaining to delays or changes in the series schedule. Once the game does get underway fans can follow all the action over the Internet. Game Tracker will be available for the contest along with a live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and free online at seminoles.com.
NOTES: Ryne Malone's 19-game hit streak came to an end Friday night...the last time FSU was held to just two hits in a game was versus Army in the 2005 NCAA Tallahassee Regional. The Seminoles won that game 3-2...this is the third straight regular season meeting between the teams where Auburn has recorded double digit hits.