Henry Shuts Down Canes
All Henry did was throw eight innings of four hit ball and allow one run as FSU (35-13, 10-8) handed fifth-ranked Miami (31-10-1, 15-5-1) its worst defeat in 76 games dating back to April 2, 2004.
The 13-1 victory was the most lopsided win ever for the Seminoles at Miami tying the 1957 team, which defeated UM 15-3.
I can't ask for much more than what happened this week," said Henry who improved to 4-2 and 2-1 in the ACC. "I am just trying not to let it all go to my head. I have been trying just to throw strikes and hoping good things would happen. This week things just went my way."
"Bryan is getting better every time out in
throwing the breaking ball and change up," said FSU head coach Mike Martin. "He located well today and gave us exactly what we needed."
For the eighth time in 10 appearances this season, Henry did not walk a single batter as he limited the Hurricanes to just one run, equaling their lowest offensive output of the season. He struck out four batters and raised his K total to 30 on the year against just six walks. In his two wins against Florida and Miami this week, Henry pitched 15 1/3 innings gave up three runs, struck out nine batters and issued just three walks.
"That was a very important ballgame for us and Bryan pitched extremely well," said Martin. "It was a great win for us. We needed this ballgame today. There was no question about it. We needed this game. It was just one of those days where things went our way but it all starts with the guy on the mound."
"This is a great feeling," said Henry. "We had a get together after the game yesterday and coach said this was the biggest game of our careers. We needed to get the win today and I just wanted to step up for my team."
The 12-run loss was the worst of the season for the Canes and the most lopsided defeat for UM since a 17-4 loss versus Georgia Tech April 2, 2004. It was also the most dominating win for FSU in the series since a 12-0 win at Dick Howser Stadium in 2003. More importantly it was the first Sunday win for FSU in the last five tries.
Five different Seminoles had multi-hit games against four different Miami pitchers. Shane Robinson went 3-for-4, Aaron Cheesman went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Ryne Jernigan went two-for-five with two RBIs and a homer and Tony Thomas, Jr. also collected two hits. No Seminole hitter had a bigger day than Danny Wardell. The senior went two-for-four, scored three runs and drove in four on his first career grand slam. For the series Wardell hit .455 with two homers, a double and a team leading six RBIs. He slugged 1.091 and scored four runs.
"That was so sweet for me and this team," said Wardell. "The wind was blowing in today and I just wanted to make solid contact with runners on. I wanted to get the runners in and I was just fortunate enough to hit it out.
"I came into this series with the mindset that I was ready to play. I knew I needed to contribute. I knew I needed to hit the ball and that is what I tried to do."
For the third straight game, Robinson led the game off by getting on base. Sunday it was a four pitch walk that put the All-American candidate on first. It took UM starter Ricky Orta (6-3, 2-2) five pitches this time but the Cane sophomore walked the second hitter he saw as well putting Ryne Malone on base. Robinson moved to third on a wild pitch but Orta got the first out on a strikeout with the next pitch. Cheesman then singled to the right side putting FSU up 1-0 and keeping runners on the corners. It was just FSU's second hit in 21 opportunities with runners in scoring position versus the Hurricanes. Jack Rye then brought in FSU's second run on a sac fly. Orta ended the inning with his second K of the frame.
FSU put another runner in scoring position in the second. Ryne Jernigan singled and advanced to second on a throwing error to first. Jernigan moved to third on a ground out and then FSU got its second hit of the day with runners in scoring position. Robinson tripled down the right field line increasing the FSU lead to 3-0.
The Canes got on board in the second thanks to a couple two-out hits. Walter Diaz recorded Miami's first hit of the game after Henry got the first two batters on grounders. The sophomore then was called for a balk, which turned out to be a key call as a Roger Tomas single to right scoring Diaz from second.
Ryan Braun led off the fourth with a base hit into center field. It was just the second hit of the series for the 2004 National Freshman of the Year. Jon Jay followed by grounding into a double play, the second of the game for FSU. The ground out left Jay, a 2004 freshman All-American searching for his first hit of the weekend series.
The Seminoles led off the fifth with back to back hits from Thomas and Robinson as they looked to build on the two-run lead. A walk to Malone loaded the bases with no outs as FSU looked to break the game open versus new pitcher Manny Miquelez. He got the first out without even having the ball put in play on a strike out looking. Cheesman then drove in a run on a fly out making it 4-1 but also bringing the Canes an out away from escaping what was a bases loaded jam. Jack Rye then came up and got hit in the helmet to load the bases one more time. It turned out to be costly as Wardell made the Canes pay with his second homer of the weekend and his fifth of the year. It was the first grand slam of the senior's FSU career and tied his career high for RBIs in a game.
"It was a first pitch fastball," said Wardell of the pitch he hit out for the grand slam. "I was waiting on a fastball and he gave me one right down the middle and I just took a hack at it."
Robinson singled again in the sixth, his sixth hit of the series, and then swiped his 35th base of the year. It moved him into seventh in the FSU record books for steals in a season. The sophomore moved to third on the throw down that sailed into center field. The error once again hurt the Canes as a balk brought Robinson home with the Seminoles' ninth run of the game.
Florida State continued to pour it on in the seventh. Cheesman and Wardell both singled, sandwiched around a Rye fielder's choice. Pinch hitter Brant Peacher then brought both runners home with a double into the gap in left center making it an 11-1 game.
In the eighth, FSU looked for a two out rally. A hit and back-to-back walks loaded the bases but the Seminoles couldn't capitalize. Florida State did add to the lead in the ninth though. Wardell drew a lead off walk and Jernigan then hit FSU's second homer of the game and third of the weekend making it a 13-1 game.
Florida State will not play a mid-week game for the first time in five weeks and will return to action at home April 29. The Seminoles will continue ACC play with a key series versus Virginia who is fresh off a sweep of Georgia Tech. The game will be carried live on Sun Sports. Game Tracker will be available for all this year's games along with Steve Melewski's live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.
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