FSU Defeats Auburn 4-3

TALLAHASSEE – Bryan Henry made his first NCAA Tournament start a memorable one, tossing a complete game to lead Florida State to a 4-3 victory over Auburn Saturday night.


The Seminoles (52-18) can advance to Super Regional play for the seventh consecutive season with a win Sunday night against the winner of an elimination game featuring Auburn and Army that will be played earlier in the day.

"We're in a good position right now but we can't get to far ahead of ourselves," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "There are two other excellent teams left to deal with."

Henry – inconsistent in the early stages of the game – overcame a three-run second inning from the Tigers that was punctuated by Russell Dixon's wind-aided, two-run homer to left. The sophomore righthander from Tallahassee rebounded to strike out a career-high ten on the night, including last two hitters of the game.

With a pump of the fist, Henry exited to a standing ovation from the crowd of 6,398, the second-largest ever at Dick Howser Stadium.

"He really settled himself down after we put some runs up on him early," Auburn coach Tom Slater said. "It's easy to see why he is first-team all-ACC pitcher."

Third baseman Ryne Malone, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games, capped the FSU rally by driving in the deciding run with an RBI single in the fourth. Jack Rye and Ryne Jernigan added run-scoring hits for the Seminoles.

Henry's complete game was the first from an FSU starter all season and first since Eddie Cannon went the distance exactly one year ago in a Jun 4, 2004 regional game against Bethune Cookman.

Henry, who sports the best ERA in the Atlantic Coast Conference – has turned in quality starts in eight if his nine outings since moving to the mound from third base.

Josh Sullivan (7-5) took the loss for the Tigers (33-25), walking six and giving up all four runs in 3 1/3 innings of work. FSU will start Mark Sauls (6-1) will start on the mound Sunday night
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OF NOTE: An eight-run third inning propelled Army to its first-ever NCAA regional victory in the first game, an 8-5 triumph over South Alabama. The Black Knights (39-13) will send Cole White (7-0) to the mound against the XXX at 1 p.m. tomorrow.

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