FSU-Brown Baseball Preview

After a win against rival Florida cemented sixth-ranked Florida State's spot as a national contender, the Seminoles (11-1) turn their attention to Brown, who they host for the first time in 35 years this weekend. Head coach Mike Martin will coach his 1880th game Friday, less than a week after becoming just the eighth coach in Division 1 history to reach 1400 victories.

A victory in the series opener would also be FSU's 20th consecutive at Dick Howser Stadium, enough to match the sixth-longest such streak in school history. The school record is 26 straight wins, set in 1968 and equaled by the 1986 and 1991 teams.

Florida State welcomes its second straight opponent who will open its season in Tallahassee. Last weekend, Minnesota opened the 2006 campaign and Brown will do the same this weekend. The Bears finished second in the Red Rolfe division of the Ivy League conference last season and looks to compete for a conference title this year.

Success in the bottom of the Seminole order in Tuesday's win against the Gators gave FSU needed depth and could prove valuable come conference play. The 7-9 hitters in that game, Tony Thomas, Mark Gildea, and Danny Diaz combined to hit 5-for-11 with four RB1 and four runs. Thomas sixth-inning' two-run homer gave the cushion Florida State needed to earn the victory. Gildea, playing for the first time since a hamstring injury forced him to miss the Minnesota series, was effective and recorded a hit and a run. Catcher Danny Diaz broke out of a season-long slump with a two-run double to give FSU a lead they would not relinquish. That helped the team's average to .309, as well as increasing the team's slugging percentage (.493) and on-base percentage (.427).

FSU will send ace Bryan Henry (3-0, 1.05 ERA) to the mound on Friday. Henry brings a career-high scoreless streak of 15 innings in the opening game against Brown. Either Michael Hyde (2-0, 5.40 ERA) or Barret Browning (2-0, 4.30 ERA) will make Friday's start depending on the availability of Tyler Chambliss, who started and earned a victory against Florida. If Chambliss (4-0, 1.78 ERA) is rested, he will pitch Sunday. Otherwise, he could make a mid-week start against Mercer or stay rested for the conference opener the following weekend against Maryland. Browning or Hyde could start Sunday if Chambliss doesn't pitch.

Friday's game will begin at 6:00, and Saturday and Sunday's contests will start at 1:00.


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