Feb. 19, 2005
Tallahassee, FL - Sophomore pitcher Michael Hyde put together the most impressive outing of the season for FSU Saturday as the Seminoles (10-1) won their second straight game versus St. Joe's (0-5). Hyde (2-1) pitched seven innings and allowed just one run on three hits in FSU's 11-1 victory. The sophomore struck out a career high seven batters and issued just two walks. Shane Robinson extended his hit streak to 16 games dating back to 2004 while driving in his team-leading 13th and 14th RBIs on top of stealing three more bases. Gibbs Chapman had a multi-RBI day as well going 2-for-2 with three runs batted in.
"We played very well today," said FSU head coach Mike Martin. "I was very pleased with that zero in the last column (errors). Any time you can do that you expect to win. We had some good at bats and an inordinate number of walks but that is something you have to take advantage of. I am very pleased with the way we are playing right now.
"We know we are ahead of St. Joe's because they have not been outside this year. That was evident by some of the mistakes that were made today. When you can play like we are playing, even if it is against a team we are ahead of, you have to be pleased. We are playing solid baseball."
Hyde, a sophomore transfer from Tallahassee, was in control the whole game and recorded the longest outing by any Seminole pitcher in 2005. He lowered his ERA to 2.38 and is now holding batters to an average of just .187. It was the fewest runs the right-hander has allowed in any of his four starts.
"I felt good while I was out there and was hitting my spots most of the game," said Hyde. "Other than the home run I gave up, I was hitting my spots all game. That was what allowed me to have some success. I am getting more comfortable. I was definitely nervous in the beginning but every outing I am settling in more. Every time I go out there I am pitching more and more like the pitcher I know I can be."
"I was very pleased with the poise Michael has shown," said Martin. "The more he goes out there, the more comfortable he gets. He had a good outing today."
The Seminoles recorded 10 RBIs on the day marking the fourth time this year the club has recorded double-digit RBIs in a game. Chapman and Robinson accounted for half of that total Saturday and the top three hitters in the FSU line-up, including senior Aaron Cheesman, have accounted for 35 of FSU's 81 RBIs in 2005. But the top three hitters in the line-up couldn't be driving in that many runs without the bottom of the order getting on base.
"Shane is leading the team in RBIs so that is proof the bottom of the order is getting on base," said Chapman. "We are off to a good start and a lot of that credit has to go to the guys at the bottom and we are hitting them in. All around the line-up is doing a good job."
Florida State capitalized on 12 St. Joe's walks and five errors in the win. The Seminoles hit .323 as a team and recorded a season-high six doubles. This marks the fourth time this season FSU has recorded five or more doubles in a game.
"We got a lot of chances for RBIs today with them walking so many players," said Chapman. "They had a few errors as well and that keeps runners on base and helps our hitters out. I hope the hot hitting keeps going all year. The whole line-up is doing the job. I hope we can keep that up."
While St. Joe's struggled in the field, FSU was once again errorless. It was the fourth time this season FSU has played flawlessly in the field and in 10 of 11 games in 2005 the Seminoles have committed one error or less. The team is fielding .975 and has committed nine fewer errors in the first 11 games of 2005 than the 2004 team did over the same span. Considering three of FSU's starting infielders are newcomers, the defense has been a big key to the 10-1 start.
"The defense playing well puts our pitchers in a good frame of mind," said Martin. "They know if they make a good pitch, they can expect their defense to make a ground ball out. It allows our pitchers to get into a rhythm as well."
Robinson got FSU off to a fast start once again in the first. The sophomore swiped second, his 11th steal of the season, and advanced to third on an errant throw by the catcher. Chapman's sac fly then brought the center fielder home. Cheesman followed with a double down the left field line and Ryne Malone followed with a walk. Another free pass loaded the bases with still just one out in the inning. Bryan Henry sacrificed the runner home on a liner to right putting FSU in front 2-0.
St. Joe's pitcher Brian Anecharico (0-2) led the third off by issuing his seventh walk of the game this one to Malone. The sophomore then moved to second on a balk but was wiped off the bases with St. Joe's second pick off of the day. The pick off proved costly as Rye followed with FSU's first triple of the year. Anecharico's eighth walk of the game put runners on the corners and brought a new pitcher into the game for the Hawks. A passed ball moved Henry to second and Spivey then drove both runs home with a double into the gap in right. Tony Thomas, Jr. followed with another double to right center extending FSU's lead to 5-0. Chapman then hit another double into the gap, this one to the left side, plating the sixth FSU run of the day.
The Hawks got on the board and broke up the shutout in the fourth on a solo home run hit over the left field fence.
After three innings without a run, the Seminoles got back on the board thanks to three St. Joe's errors that allowed Ryne Jernigan to get aboard and score and Thomas go to third on what should have been a fielder's choice. Robinson then came up and extended his 2005 hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI double to right.
The Seminoles moved in front 10-1 in the eighth thanks to an RBI ground out with the bases loaded by Brandon Manasa. The final run came on Robinson's 14th RBI of the year, a sac fly to the warning track in left field.
The Seminoles conclude their series with the Hawks Sunday, February 20 at 12:30 p.m. The Garnet and Gold is expected to throw Barret Browning (1-0, 0.00). 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.