Baseball Chatter

The second-ranked Florida State Seminoles delivered Wake Forest junior pitcher Kyle Sleeth his first loss since March 25, 2001 to end a stretch of consecutive wins at 26 that tied the NCAA record. Click here for quotes from FSU starter Trent Peterson and head coach Mike Martin. "I felt stronger as I went along. About the fifth or sixth inning, I really started to get my changeup working, and got a lot of outs that way," Peterson said.


Q: You had a tough assignment tonight, pitching against Wake's Kyle Sleeth. What was your mindset heading into tonight's start?

A: "I felt stronger as I went along. About the fifth or sixth inning, I really started to get my changeup working, and got a lot of outs that way. I just have one pitch (the three-run homer by Wake's Jamie D'Antona in the third inning) that I wish I could have back."

Q: What did you see from Wake offensively?

A: "They're good. You've got to hit your spots, or they're going to get out there and hit the ball around. You've got to hit your spots."

Q: You seemed to be using your changeup more tonight that usual.

A: "Definitely. I didn't use it a lot early on, but around the fourth inning, I started throwing it. I usually never throw it to lefties, but I was able to throw it a lot to lefties and get outs that way."

Q: You only had one bad inning, the third. What was going through your mind after the infield single, the walk, and then the three-run homer, all in succession?

A: "The guy laid down a great bunt for a base hit, and maybe I lost my composure a little bit. I ended up walking the (next) guy. I might have gone 3-0 on him, and then came back and tried to throw a strike down the middle and just missed it. Then of course D'Antona."

Q: What did you throw D'Antona?

A: "Well, I got behind in the count there. I threw him a 3-1 fastball down the middle, and he got a hold of it."

Q: How special is it for you to stop a streak like Sleeth's?

A: "Well, that's a great run he did. I've got to really hand it to him – that guy can pitch."

Q: This is your second Friday start in a row. How easily are you adjusting to be the top pitcher?

A: "That's a dream come true. When you come here, you dream of Friday nights at Florida State. I finally worked my way up here – it's a good feeling. You want to get out here and face the big guys."

Q: How nice was it to get a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning?

A: "It was a great feeling when, right off the get-go, they jumped all over him. You've got to really hand it to the hitters. They stayed patient, picked out pitches they wanted to hit, and they got the job done. Made my job a lot easier."


Q: How important was it to you and your team to prevent Sleeth from making history against you on your home field?

A: "I think we all know how good Kyle Sleeth is. He's a young man that's as good as there is in the country. I didn't have to say anything to our ballclub. It was a tremendous challenge for us to play well. We did play well, and we were lucky – had some big hits, some great at-bats. It was just one of those games where everything went our way."

Q: How important was it to start hot early with those three runs in the first inning?

A: "When Chris Hart struck out (in the first inning) it really bothered me. We had a chance to get a fourth run, but you've got to credit Kyle for striking him out. The game was one that hinged on big hits. We happened to get more big hits. Wake Forest is a scrappy team. They did a great job in coming back – scored the first two runs scored off Daniel Hodges all year long."

Q: How important will it be to stay on your team and make sure they don't let off after this big win?

A: "The fact that we've won one, we haven't done anything. We have to go out and play better than we did tonight. Wake Forest is an outstanding team. We can't look at it as, ‘OK, Kyle Sleeth's gone – the next guy's not very good.' The next guy's very good."

Q: Overall, how pleased are you with your team's performance?

A: "It was a good ballgame. 21 hits, 12 runs – it was a well-played ballgame, only one error. It was obviously a great win for us, but the key now is not to think, ‘OK, Kyle Sleeth's gone, so the next guy's not very good.' Again, the next guy is very good, and we've got to understand that we've got to come out and have the same great effort tomorrow night that we had tonight."

Q: We heard a lot about Sleeth in the days leading up to the game, but Trent Peterson came off the better in this matchup. How impressive was Trent?

A: "Trent pitched an outstanding baseball game. I was very pleased with the way he located his fastball. He had good movement, threw the changeup in the middle innings very effectively, and his curveball was a very good pitch for him tonight. Trent showed that he can handle the fun games, and I'm very proud of him. I'm anxious to see how Matt (Lynch) pitches tonight."

Q: Trent really seemed very calm during the game – how impressive is his poise in a situation like today's game.

A: "He showed great poise to get out there. We've got a tremendous crowd. I'm so thankful that we have such great, exciting fans. The fans were just tremendous tonight. It was a great atmosphere. It was why people come to Florida State, to play in this atmosphere. It's very satisfying for us, as coaches, to see our guys play an errorless game and get outstanding pitching from not only Trent Peterson, but also Daniel Hodges."

Q: Talk about the hot start in the first inning, especially Tony Richie's double.

A: "Tony had a great at-bat, and he really roped that thing to left field. Not only that, but he's an outstanding catcher. He's a guy that keeps the pitchers under control, just takes charge of the ballgame. I can't say enough about how he's matured as an athlete since he's been at Florida State. He's just a tremendous asset to our team."

Q: So much has been made of your pitching staff, but the offense showed tonight that it can hit very good pitching, right?

A: "We certainly had some good swings tonight. We had some very good at-bats. Everybody got a hit but one guy. There was a lot of excitement from guys that are in the program for the first time in an environment like this. I felt guys like Blake Balkcom and Matt Sauls certainly showed good discipline. I don't look at (Eddy) Martinez-Esteve as a new guy, but at the same time, he's a freshman playing in this environment for the first time. And he did a great job. Showed great discipline at the plate – really was crucial in some of these at-bats."

Q: Did you give any thought to leaving Trent Peterson in after the eighth inning, to give him a shot at the complete game?

A: "No, not when you've got a bullpen that we're very confident in. We've done it most of the year. Petey was right at 100 (pitches). We just thought it was time to go to the bullpen."

Q: What are you looking for from Matt Lynch Saturday night?

A: "Matt is a guy that loves to compete in any environment, and certainly this environment makes him more excited. He also knows he's got to spot the ball very well tomorrow night to be effective. Let's hope he can get out there and get all three of his pitches going and give us a great outing."

Q: How impressed are you with Trent's reaction to taking the Friday night starter's role?

A: "I think that Trent showed me tonight that he was in total control of his emotions. He didn't go out there and overthrow. He threw the ball well, threw his changeups effectively, threw the curveball when he needed to throw it. A lot of times, guys get a little excited and overthrow and are wild. Trent was in total control of his emotions. I can't tell you how proud I am of him."

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