Florida State (19-0) continued its winning ways on Saturday evening at Dick Howser Stadium with an 8-2 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers (4-6). The Seminoles scored their first five runs on two outs and starting pitcher Michael Hyde pitched five scoreless innings to bump his record to 6-0 on the year.
Brandon Reichert broke open a close game in the eighth as he hit a three RBI double to right center off Hoosier reliever Eric Arnett. Jason Stidham led off the inning as he was hit by a pitch. He would advance to third as Ruairi O'Connor laced his seventh double of the season down the line in right. D'Vontrey Richardson was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Reichert. After an Indiana pitching change, Reichert stepped in and cleared the bases with his double to right center. It was the second time in three games that Reichert has driven in three runs in a ball game.
Stidham and O'Connor finished the evening as the only Seminoles with multiple hits. Stidham went 2-for-2 at the plate with two singles, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. The freshman third baseman also scored three runs. O'Connor went 2-for-3 with a double, single, a walk and a stolen base. The junior left fielder also scored a run.
Hyde remained perfect on the season as he did not allow a run for the third time in six starts. The senior hurler was untouchable to start the game as he struck out the first two Hoosier batters. A scary moment occurred on the very next play as Hyde was hit on the side of the face by a line drive off the bat of Indiana shortstop Keith Haas. Hyde jumped to his feet after staying on the ground for a few seconds and after a few warm-up pitches remained in the game and got catcher Josh Briglia to fly out to end the inning.
Hyde didn't seem frazzled by the play in the first as he pitched into the fifth inning for the sixth time in as many starts. He struck out seven batters, while walking just one. Hyde found himself in a jam in the second as the Hoosiers loaded the bases with one out. The senior right hander got Andrew Means to hit into a fielder's choice as he hit a chopper right to Hyde, who threw on to Buster Posey for the force out at home. Hyde then got Evan Crawford to strike out swinging to end the threat.
Florida State would take the momentum into the bottom half of the inning scoring three unearned runs off Indiana starter Matt Bashore (1-1). With two outs and O'Connor and Stidham standing at second and third base, respectively, Reichert kept the inning going as he hit a bouncer toward third baseman Tyler Cox who couldn't glove the ball. Stidham scored on the play giving the Seminoles an early 1-0 lead. After a wild pitch scored O'Connor, Hallberg drove in the third run of the inning sneaking a double down the first base line scoring Reichert.
Hyde would give up just two more hits over the next three innings as he mowed down eight of the next 10 batters he faced striking out four.
Tony Thomas, Jr. extended his hitting streak to a career-best 19 games in the fourth as he placed a beautiful bunt single into no man's land between the pitcher and first base. He would later steal second for his team leading 11th stolen bases of the season. The junior second baseman is now 11-for-12 in the stolen base category on the year.
Florida State added to its lead in the sixth thanks to a pair of walks and a wild pitch. Stidham led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a free pass by O'Connor and then advanced to third on a double play groundout. He would score with Reichert at the plate as Billy Kitchen threw a wild pitch to give the Seminoles a 4-0 lead.
Junior Jack Rye moved his hitting streak to 16 consecutive games as he hit an RBI looper to left scoring Posey from second. The hitting streak is a career-best for Rye.
Caleb Graham entered in the sixth and pitched two solid innings of relief giving up just one hit while striking out three. It was the third straight game that Graham has struck out three batters in a game.
The Hoosiers would make things interesting in the eighth as Indiana cut the Florida State lead to 5-2. Casey Whitmer started the inning and gave up a double to Crawford and then back-to-back walks. Whitmer would let one get away as he threw a wild pitch into the dirt plating Crawford for Indiana's first run of the game and first run of the series. Before that run crossed the plate, Florida State had gone 21 straight innings without giving up a run. Whitmer would hand the ball over to Brian Chambers and after a sacrifice fly plated the second run of the inning, Chambers got Ben Greenspan to strike out and Josh Richardson to groundout to Mark Hallberg. Hallberg saved two runs from scoring as he made an amazing grab on a ball up the middle, throwing on the run to Reichert for the final out of the inning.
Florida State would answer the call with three more runs in the eighth as Reichert cleared the bases with his double to right center.
Jimmy Marshall pitched the ninth and recorded a pair of strike outs to keep the Seminoles unbeaten on the season.
Florida State will return to the diamond on Sunday in the series finale against the Hoosiers at Mike Martin Field. First pitch is slated for 1:00 pm and right hander Ryan Strauss is expected to make his fifth start of the season. Fans can also follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.
Florida State downs Indiana 8-2
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