The streaking Florida State baseball team entered record territory Saturday afternoon. With the team's 8-3 win over Siena (0-8), the Seminoles won their 16th straight game to start a season besting the record set by Woody Woodward's 1975 squad. The longest overall win streak in school history was set by the 2002 team that won 25 in a row.
"It is a great accomplishment," said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. "Records are made to be broken. This one stood for (almost) 33 years. It is a great accomplishment for our club. Now we just got to continue to get it done."
"We weren't thinking about (the streak) too much," said second baseman Tony Thomas, Jr. "We are just trying to win games. Not worry about the streak too much. Earlier, after we won this one, (coach Martin) mentioned the there's a 25-game win streak. Its a little motivation we have set for us but we are just going out and taking it one game at a time right now."
The Seminoles not only continued their win streak but they also kept another impressive streak alive. FSU has never entered a new inning trailing in a game. It is a streak that has now reached 144 innings. In each of the last two games Sienna has been one out away from snapping that streak but clutch two out hitting has kept the impressive run alive.
"Is that right," questioned Martin when told of the streak after the game. "My goodness. I did not know that.
"I am just glad we are continuing to battle and not give at bats away. I am very pleased with the majority of our hitters all day long with their approach. Certainly that is a credit to Mike (Martin, Jr.) and his preaching of that."
The Saints gave FSU all they could handle for a majority of the game. After tying the game at 2-2 in the third, Siena took the lead in the top of the fourth and played even with the Seminoles until the bottom of the sixth when Florida State staged a two-out rally. Saint starter Matt Moberg (0-2) pitched six solid innings keeping the Seminole batters at bay for most of his time on the hill.
"It was a game that really could have gone either way," said Martin. "In the sixth inning we had a tie ballgame. They hadn't had a win this year. Of course they are fighting to get that first one and we got a streak going. It says a lot about our club that we were able to get it done."
"I give Siena tons of credit they are a very good team," said Thomas. "They competed with us very well. They gave us a run for our money for a while. It showed us how composed we are."
The Saints took advantage of three Seminole errors in the game, two of which were committed by Brandon Reichert, but it was the Reichert's clutch hitting that saved the day for FSU. The first baseman kept Florida State in the game in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs he singled tying the game at 3-3. He then doubled in two more runs with two outs in the seventh as he boosted the FSU lead to 7-3.
"Every at bat you have to have a good amount of focus but in those situations I think the adrenaline pumps a little more," said Reichert of his at bats in the fourth and the seventh. "I always know the situation. I know there are two outs. You know you need the run."
"The way the game is you are going to make mistakes," said Martin. "Brandon didn't let those mistakes bother him. He didn't carry those problems to the plate. He did come through and drove in three runs. You really got to take your hat off to him. Everybody makes an error. Those that are able to overcome those mistakes when the time comes to help their team is a pure display of character. I was very impressed."
Ryan Strauss, whose start was moved up a day after Michael Hyde threw an inning versus the Phillies Wednesday, pitched five innings for FSU. The junior allowed three runs, none of which were earned, but left the game knotted at three in the sixth. Brian Chambers relieved Strauss and was masterful for three innings. He did not allow a run and scattered four hits as he picked up his first victory since May 5, 2005 versus Stetson.
"It felt good," said Chambers. "I just wanted to get out there and throw strikes after my last outing against Appalachian State. That was my main focus. I tried to keep the ball down and get some ground balls. It felt good. It has been a while since I had a win."
Florida State got on the board early. Thomas started the bottom of the first by ripping a double down the left field line followed by Mark Hallberg who drew a walk. A double steal moved both runners up and then a Buster Posey single and a balk put FSU in front 2-0.
Siena capitalized on two FSU errors in the third to tie the game and then took the lead in the top of the fourth. The Seminoles' streak of 139 innings without trailing after a complete frame was one out away from being broken for the second straight game. Richardson and Reichert combined to keep the streak alive though as a single, balk and another single tied the game at 3-3.
The two-out heroics for FSU continued in the bottom of the sixth as FSU reclaimed the lead. Thomas sent a two-out single into right field plating Jason Stidham. Hallberg followed with another two-out base knock putting the Seminoles up for good at 5-3.
Jack Rye and Stidham each singled in the bottom of the seventh and then Siena reliever Trevor Reid loaded the bases with a walk to Tommy Oravetz before getting out number two on a strikeout. Reid couldn't get out of the frame unscathed though as Reichert laced a two-run double down the left field line. The Seminoles tacked on another run when Hallberg drew a bases loaded walk to make it an 8-3 game.
Florida State will conclude its series with Siena Sunday, March 4 at Dick Howser Stadium. First pitch for game three is slated for 1:00 pm. Fans can follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.
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