FSU Baseball Preview

The regular season kicks off Friday night and for the Florida State baseball team, the start of every new season brings the same lofty expectations set forth from years of success and consistency. But after being shutout from reaching the College World Series since 2000, can this season be the year the boys in garnet and gold finally win it all?

The numbers are staggering: 28 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Regional Tournament, 18 trips to the College World Series, 32 First Team All-Americans, and a coach with 1,391 wins over the span of his illustrious career. But perhaps the single number that has plagued the historically dominant Florida State University baseball team is zero ? as in zero National Championships.

Under the direction of legendary skipper Mike Martin, who enters his 27th year at the helm of the Garnet and Gold, the Tribe has been a staple in college baseball's post season but have yet to get over the hump in the program's 58 years of existence.

Building off the somewhat surprising successes of last year, however, the 2006 Seminoles find themselves with an excellent opportunity to change all of that. Boasting a relatively young, yet experienced, squad, FSU is poised to make some noise in the ever-so-difficult Atlantic Coast Conference and perhaps in Omaha, Neb., come CWS time.

Leading the way for the 'Noles is consensus All-American and reigning Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year Shane Robinson, who returns to his lead-off spot after almost single-handedly rewriting most of the offensive FSU record books in 2005.

In that sophomore campaign, the 5-foot-9 centerfielder not only recorded a 40-game hit-streak, but he also became the first Seminole in program history to notch 100 hits and 40 steals in the same season.

While Robinson paces the outfield, junior third baseman Ryne Malone leads the infield. The Gainesville native has been an All-ACC Second Team selection each year of his Seminole career and returns as the Tribe's leading run scorer.

Malone's game-winning two-out, two-strike, three-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth to defeat North Carolina 6-5 last season will forever go down as one of the biggest plays in the history of the program.

Rounding out the roster is a solid pitching rotation headlined by ace Bryan Henry. The 6-foot-3 hurler played some third base last season but quickly rose to the top of the Garnet and Gold rotation. The Tribe also features standout closer Tyler Chambliss, who nabbed an NCAA fourth-best 15 saves in 2005, strike-out machine Barrett Browning, and veterans Matt DiBlasi and Mark Sauls on the mound.

With veteran leaders and talented youngsters dotting the roster, the 2006 'Noles appear poised for big things this season. With a presence like Martin in the dugout, the Seminoles can never be counted out, and the guys just may be packing their bags for an all-expenses-paid trip to Omaha come June.

Projected starting rotation (last season's stats)

# Name Year W-L ERA IP K BB

22 Bryan Henry Jr. 9-3 2.22 89.0 58 18

10 Tyler Chambliss Jr. 7-3 2.06 52.1 73 23

29 Barret Browning Sr. 4-4 3.54 89.0 74 48

Reserve pitchers/relievers

# Name Year W-L ERA IP K BB

1 Travis Burge Fr. Port St. Joe/Port St. Joe HS

30 Brian Chambers Jr. 2-0 4.67 17.1 11 3

32 Matt DiBlasi Sr. 1-2 2.76 42.1 44 14

16 D.J. Echols Jr. Pensacola/Alabama Southern CC

27 Caleb Graham Fr. Tampa/Gaither HS

25 Michael Hyde Jr. 7-2 4.40 100.1 71 36

33 Trent Jarvis So. 0-0 6.75 5.1 8 4

43 Brian Kelley Fr. Redshirted last season

35 Brent Marsh Sr. Tallahassee/University of South Carolina

26 Jimmy Marshall Fr. Tallahassee/Chiles HS

4 Stephen Ochs So. 0-0 5.02 14.1 11 7

21 Mark Sauls Sr. 6-2 4.18 66.2 31 30

14 Ryan Strauss So. 1-0 4.58 19.2 19 14

31 Luke Tucker Jr. Niceville/Okaloosa-Walton JUCO


# Name Pos. Year AB Avg HR RBI R

5 Danny Diaz C Jr. 20 .200 1 2 4

24 Dennis Guinn 1B So. 11 .000 0 1 1

23 Tony Thomas Jr. 2B So. 217 .240 6 29 54

3 Ryne Malone 3B Jr. 263 .316 7 61 62

8 Buster Posey SS Fr. Leesburg, Ga./Leesburg County HS

18 Mark Gildea LF Fr. Redshirted last season

2 Shane Robinson CF Jr. 286 .427 6 43 96

46 Jack Rye RF So. 195 .328 2 31 27

45 Josh Spivey Jr. DH 96 .260 1 13 9


# Name Pos. Year Avg HR RBI R SB

20 Travis Anderson OF Jr. Bristol/Chipola JUCO

13 Charles Cleveland 3B So. 34 .206 0 7 3

9 Ruairi O'Connor OF So. 66 .227 2 16 11

37 Neil Malpass OF Jr. Destin/Okaloosa-Walton CC

15 Kyle Maxie C Fr. Hattiesburg, Mo./North Forest HS

38 Ryan McArdie 1B Jr. Atlanta, Ga./Tallahassee CC

6 Tommy Oravetz 2B Fr. Tallahassee/Chiles HS

17 Brandon Reichert OF Sr. Tallahassee/Tallahassee CC

7 Sean Stuyverson SS Fr. Tallahassee/North Florida Christian HS

19 Brady Thomas C Fr. Anderson, S.C./T.L. Hanna HS

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