Feb. 18, 2006
Tallahassee, FL - The seventh-ranked FSU baseball team used a perfect blend of pitching, defense and power hitting to take game two of their series from UNC Asheville by a score of 9-1. Tyler Chambliss (3-0) was nearly flawless and his defense played error free behind him including two spectacular plays in a key sequence in the bottom of the third. FSU (6-1) once again recorded three doubles in a game versus the Bulldogs (1-2) and Jack Rye and Dennis Guinn both went yard for the second day in a row.
Chambliss threw six innings and gave up just one hit as he won his third straight outing as a starter. The junior threw 85 pitches, 53 of them for strikes, and walked one batter while fanning a career high eight. The right-hander dropped his ERA to 1.00 as he did not allow a run in his third straight quality start.
"I think I did a good job today getting ahead of hitters and throwing strikes," said Chambliss.
"This was one of his better outings form the standpoint of the location of his fastball," said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin on Chambliss' outing. "Also the change-up was an effective pitch for him today."
In the first two games of the Asheville series, Chambliss and Friday night starter Bryan Henry have combined to throw 13 innings, allow no runs, strike out 17 batters and issue just one walk. Overall, FSU pitchers in the series have given up just one run while striking out 24 and issuing only two free passes.
"The fact that both of those guys did it with three pitches is what is so important," said Martin when asked about the performance of his two starters. "I am pleased Bryan and Tyler's change-up is in people's heads. You just don't go up there looking a curveball from Tyler or a fastball from Bryan. They have got those other pitches to concern themselves with."
All-American Shane Robinson had another big day going 2-for-3 with an RBI, two runs scored, two walks and three steals. The 2005 national player of the year is now hitting .577 on the season with 13 runs scored, 18 total bases, seven steals and four RBIs. In the last three games the outfielder is 9-for-11 with seven runs scored, three doubles and five steals.
"Shane creates problems for defenses," said Martin. "The next guy in the line-up sees fastballs because of how many bases he steals. He gives the number two hitter in the line-up a great opportunity to see fastballs. Shane Robinson changes a ballgame."
On top of the stellar pitching, the Seminoles got production throughout the line-up. Four players recorded multi-RBI games Saturday and eight had at least one hit. Redshirt freshman outfielder Mark Gildea led the way with a career-high three hits. Danny Diaz had a double and a run scored. Both Rye and Guinn knocked in two runs as they both hit homeruns for the second day.
"This feels good," said Guinn. "Today's homerun I got a good pitch to hit. He threw it down the middle and I was able to hit it out. I am seeing the ball well and it feels good."
Florida State has now hit nine homers so far this season. Last year FSU didn't record its ninth homerun until the 15th game of the year. Through seven games in 2005, the Seminoles had gone yard just four times. Rye leads the team with three homeruns as he has already surpassed his entire total from his freshman season where he had almost 200 at bats.
"I am not really surprised by the homeruns because everyone in our line-up has the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark," said Martin. "We don't preach hit it out but every one of them has that ability. We want the other team to know they have to pitch our guys carefully so we can utilize our speed. If you have good speed with the guy at first, what are you going to do? You are going to throw fastballs. You better locate it or our guys do have the ability to do damage."
Rye, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, is now hitting .550 on the year and he is slugging 1.100. He is tied for the team lead with 10 RBIs as he has knocked in a run in every game so far this season.
"Jack is going to get a lot of fastballs if Shane is on first base," said Martin. "He took full advantage of that today."
Asheville threatened to take an early lead in the top of the third when Edmund Locklear led off with a single to shallow center but two spectacular defensive plays kept the game scoreless. The first was an over the shoulder grab made by Robinson running at full speed to the deepest part of the park. The second came with the runner now on third on a bloop hit to the shallow infield where Malone made a diving catch to end the frame.
"The first thing I said in the clubhouse was that the zero in the last column (errors) was very important," said Martin. "That is our mindset every time we come out. We want to get good pitching and defense.
"There is no question those were big time plays (in the third inning). Shane's catch, having been an outfielder, was much better than he made it look. He has got such good speed. He went back a long way to get that ball and made it look like a routine catch. That was not a routine play."
The good defense seemed to spark the Seminole bats in the bottom of the third. Diaz led off with a double and came around to score on an errant throw from the outfield for a 1-0 lead. Gildea followed with a single and then Robinson brought him home on a double down the left field line. Rye then came up and cleared the bases with his second homerun in two days. He leads the team with three on the season.
FSU got back on the scoreboard in the sixth thanks once again to the log ball. After Tony Thomas, Jr. singled Guinn launched his second homer in as many days making it a 6-0 game. After leaving the deepest part of the park Friday, Guinn put this shot off the scoreboard for the second homer of his career.
A costly Bulldog error helped FSU boost its lead in the seventh. With two outs and runners on first and second, Guinn popped a ball up just on the outfield grass on the right side. The second baseman was unable to make the play allowing Malone to come home with the seventh run of the game.
Charles Cleveland came up with the big hit for FSU in the bottom of the eighth. With runners on second and third and two away the sophomore sent a double deep to right slicing toward the foul line extending the Seminoles' lead to 9-1.
The finale of the series is set for 1:00 p.m. Sunday. FSU is expected to start senior Barret Browning (0-0) and Asheville will counter with right-hander Ben Buchanan (0-0). 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.