Florida State (10-0) went on the road for the first time this season and returned home a winner defeating Florida (4-4) 14-6 on Tuesday evening. FSU pounded out 20 hits for the second time this season as seven Seminole batters in the starting line-up registered at least two hits or more. Freshmen Jason Stidham and D'Vontrey Richardson hit their first collegiate home run, while Tony Thomas, Jr., Jack Rye and Richardson each posted three hits to keep the Seminoles undefeated on the year. The Seminoles are 10-0 for the first time since 1999 and for just the seventh time in team history.
FSU also kept a couple streaks alive on Tuesday evening as the Seminoles have now registered double-digit hits and double-digit runs in eight consecutive ball games. It is just the second time in the 60-year history of Seminole baseball that the Garnet and Gold have scored double-digit runs in eight straight ball games. The last time FSU put together a similar streak was in 2003.
"For us beating Florida period is just a big win for everybody," said Thomas. "Coming out and beating them on their home field and beating them pretty convincingly is a great confidence builder for the whole team. Everybody contributed one through nine in the lineup. It was just a big team win for all of us."
The win also gave head coach Mike Martin his 1,445th victory as he moved ahead of former High Point and Virginia Tech head coach Chuck Hartman for sole possession of fifth place on the NCAA all-time career wins list.
Travis Burge earned his first victory of the season pitching three solid innings in relief of starter Bo O'Dell. The lefty pitched three innings allowing one run on one hit, while striking out four Gator hitters. Brian Chambers was equally impressive pitching a season-high 3.2 innings out of the bullpen giving up one run on four hits.
"Burge threw the ball well and we also got a great outing by Brian Chamber," said Martin. "Florida is going to keep coming at you. They have got a very good offensive club. They had six runs on nine hits, I mean they keep coming at you. They had quality at bats all night. There are some tough outs in that lineup."
Florida State got off to an early lead with a three spot in the top of the first. Thomas led off the game with a base hit to extend his hitting streak to 10 straight games. Thomas took the first offering from Gator starting pitcher Kevin Chapman (1-1) and laced the pitch up the middle. With Thomas running on the play, Mark Hallberg fired a bouncer toward the third base line. The ball trickled off the glove of Gator third baseman Clayton Pisani and into to left field for a single advancing Thomas to third. Buster Posey grounded into a double play scoring Thomas and giving the Seminoles an early 1-0 lead. The next batter Rye earned a walk, then stole second and came around to score as Dennis Guinn hit a looper to short center. After Stidham walked, Guinn would score the third run of the inning on back-to-back errors by the Gators.
The Gators would counter with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the first off Seminole pitcher Bo O'Dell. With one out, O'Dell gave up a single and a hit-by-pitch to Cole Figueroa and Matt LaPorta, respectively. After a wild pitch moved runners to second and third, O'Dell got Bryson Barber to ground out driving in Figueroa. Pisani doubled down the line in left to plate the second Gator run of the inning. O'Dell closed out the inning getting Matt den Dekker to fly out to right field.
FSU struck back with another three-run inning in the second as two of the three runs came with two outs. Hallberg recorded his first RBI of the evening driving in Richardson, who led off the second with a double down the right field line for his second two bagger of the season. Rye made the score 5-2 as he singled to right scoring Thomas. Thomas reached for the second time in as many innings as he was hit by a pitch. Guinn would follow with his second RBI of the evening singling home Posey.
Florida would get two more back in the bottom half of the inning off a two-run home run by Chris Petrie. It was the first hit of the season for the Gator left fielder. The next Florida batter Jon Townsend singled to left center ending the evening for O'Dell. South paw Travis Burge replaced O'Dell and got Figueroa to fly out to Richardson in center and Barber to strikeout swinging to end the inning.
Through ten games this season, Florida State has now outscored its opponents 59-9 in the first three innings.
Thomas scored his third run of the ball game as he led off the top of the fourth with a single up the middle increasing the Seminole lead to 7-4. With Hallberg at the plate, Thomas successfully stole second for his seventh swipe in as many tries. He would advance to third as Hallberg grounded out to short. Posey would knock in Thomas on an RBI groundout to short for his first RBI of the game.
The three-run lead was short lived as Figueroa connected on his third home run of the season to cut the score to 7-5. Burge would pitch around the home run striking out the side.
In the top of the fifth, FSU would move the lead back to three as Stidham belted his first home run of the season. It appeared Stidham had hit his ninth double of the season down the line in left, but the ball was called foul. On the very next pitch, Stidham hit the Josh Edmondson offering over the wall in right to extend his hitting streak to 10.
"The home run felt good," said Stidham. "I got a good pitch to hit. In fact, everybody seems to be hitting every game. Everybody's getting hits, there aren't too many people in our lineup who aren't getting them. Every one is really contributing right now."
Florida State increased its lead in the top of the seventh with a pair of runs off Thomas' first triple of the season. With one out, designated hitter Travis Anderson got his third hit of the season with a single to left field. Richardson followed with his second hit of the evening, a single to right. After a Reichert fly out, Thomas tripled to the wall in right for his third hit of the ball game, scoring Gildea and Richardson. The two runs came with two outs, it was the sixth run scored with two outs in the ball game.
The Seminoles added some insurance in the top of the eighth off the bat of Richardson. The freshman center fielder hammered his first home run of the season over the bleacher seats in left giving the Garnet and Gold a 14-6 lead. Posey began the inning reaching first on a fielding error by the Gator first baseman. He would move to second a batter later on Rye's third hit of the evening. Stidham would register his second RBI as he laced a single to left scoring Posey. With two outs, Richardson then stepped to the plate and knocked a three-run shot to left. The home run was the fifth Seminole digger of the season and the second of the evening. Of the five home runs hit by the Seminoles in 2007, four have been three-run shots.
Danny Rosen pitched the ninth and closed the door on the Gators as he threw a scoreless inning striking out one.
The Seminoles return home for a three game set against Appalachian State starting Friday, February 23 at Dick Howser Stadium. First pitch for game one is slated to begin at 5:00 pm.
FSU pounds UF 14-6
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