Long ball was the name of the game on Friday night at Shipley Field on the campus of the University of Maryland as Florida State hit six home runs to take a 9-3 victory in game one. Five Seminoles registered a home run including designated hitter Travis Anderson who hit two to pace FSU to its 28th straight win over Maryland including 20 in a row on the Terps' home turf. Bryan Henry remained perfect on the year with his 12th win in 14 starts.
The six home runs hit by Florida State were the most since equaling that amount in a 27-3 victory over Wake Forest in Winston-Salem back on May 21, 2004. Anderson became the second Seminole to hit two home runs in a ball game this year as Tony Thomas, Jr. hit a pair in games one and three against Duke. Of the 41 home runs hit by Florida State in 2007, 25 have come away from the friendly confines of Mike Martin Field.
"It was a good tonight," stated Anderson. "I saw the ball real well; probably better than I have seen it all here. I was just trying to get a barrel on the ball tonight and get some good swings. I was fortunate that all that came together in game one."
Mark Gildea led all players on Friday night with three hits as the sophomore center fielder went 3-fo-r-5 with a home run, two runs scored and an RBI. Mark Hallberg and Jack Rye both registered two hits a piece as they each extended their hitting streaks to 13 straight games. Ruairi O'Connor notched home run number one of the season with a two-run shot in the sixth.
With tonight's win, Henry moved to 12-0 on the season becoming the 14th pitcher in school history to reach the 12-win plateau since Florida State joined the ACC back in 1992. Today's game also marked the third consecutive season that the Seminoles have had a 12-game winner as Kevin Lynch and Tyler Chambliss each won 12 games in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
The senior right hander moved into sole possession of ninth place on the Florida State wins list as he earned career victory No. 30 on Friday night. Henry went six plus innings allowing three runs on five hits while striking out six. He has won seven conference games in a row since earning a no decision in the ACC season opener against Wake Forest.
"It was certainly a good win for us," said head coach Mike Martin. "Bryan Henry pitched very well and we got some clutch hitting. The three-run homer by Travis Anderson was big for us tonight. We just did a very good job offensively."
It took just one pitch for Florida State to grab an early 1-0 lead against Maryland on Friday night. Thomas took the first pitch he saw from Terrapin starter Casey Baron (4-4) and blasted it over the fence in left center for his second lead off home run of the season and ninth overall. Thomas' first lead off home run of the season came in game one against Duke.
Following a 1-2-3 inning by Henry, Brandon Reichert pushed the Florida State lead to 2-0 on the Seminoles' second home run in as many innings. Reichert took a 2-1 offering over the fence in left for his second home run of the season.
In the third inning, Anderson hit FSU's third home run of the game with a three-run shot over the scoreboard in left. Hallberg and Buster Posey started the inning with back-to-back singles to left. With one out in the inning, Anderson got a hold of his second round tripper of the year to push Florida State's lead to 5-0.
Maryland looked to threaten in the bottom of the fourth as they loaded the bases on Henry with a pair of walks and a single up the middle. But the senior right hander got Dan Melvin to hit into an inning ending double play to Hallberg at short to keep the Terrapins scoreless on the evening.
The Seminoles increased their lead to 7-0 in the top of the sixth compliments of O'Connor as he hit FSU's fourth home run of the evening. With one out, Gildea recorded his second hit of the ball game on an infield single to short. O'Connor then stepped in and got a hold of a 2-0 pitch by Baron hitting a two-run line drive over the fence in left center. It was his first round tripper of the season, third of his career and first since 2005.
"I had a good count, got my pitch and was able to come through with that first home run of the season," explained O'Connor. "Tonight we were able to take advantage of the field dimensions. Actually, we did what we have been doing all year and that's get good pitches to hit and hit them hard."
Baron's night would come to a close after giving up home run number four. The senior left hander lasted 5.1 innings giving up seven runs on 11 hits.
The home run barrage continued for the Seminoles in the seventh with a pair of solo shots by Anderson and Gildea. With one out, Anderson hammered his second home run of the evening with a shot over the fence in right center. Gildea then stepped in with two outs and went to straight a way center field for his second four bagger of the year.
Maryland finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a three-run home run by Melvin. The Terrapin shortstop made up for the bases loaded, double play groundout in the fourth with his sixth home run of the season on a shot to center to cut the deficit to 9-3. After a bunt single by Gerry Spessard, Martin went to the Seminole bullpen and brought on senior submariner Brian Chambers. Chambers gave up a single to left to Mike Moss before getting out of the inning with a fly out and two strikeouts to keep the Seminole lead at six.
Jimmy Marshall and Luke Tucker each pitched an inning of scoreless relief to close the door on the Terrapins.
"Every game that we play from here out is huge. We have to play them just like we did tonight. We have to understand the importance of every single game because we are trying to position ourselves for postseason play," explained Martin.
Florida State will return to the diamond on Saturday for game two of the series against the Terrapins at Shipley Field. First pitch is slated for 1:00 pm and right hander Michael Hyde is expected to make his 13th start of the season. Right hander Ryan Moorer will take the mound for Maryland. 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.
Florida State downs Maryland 9-3
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