Tallahassee, Fla. - One win down, two more to go...Florida State (49-12) passed its first test with flying colors as they warded off elimination with a 17-1 victory over Stetson (35-21) on Saturday afternoon in the 2007 NCAA Tallahassee Regional. Ryan Strauss threw seven shutout innings in earning his career-high tenth victory of the season. The Seminoles will next play Mississippi State later this evening at 7:00 pm. FSU must defeat the Bulldogs twice, once on Sunday and then again on Monday, to advance to their first Super Regional since 2005.
Strauss (10-3) was impressive in his outing as he kept the Hatters off the scoreboard scattering six hits over seven innings of work. He struck out four and walked only one as it was the longest outing for Strauss since he threw seven innings against Virginia Tech back on April 15.
With the win the junior right hander became the third Seminole pitcher to record 10 or more wins in 2007 joining Bryan Henry (14 wins) and Michael Hyde (10 wins). The last time FSU had three pitchers with 10 or more wins in a season was 2003 when Matt Lynch (13), Trent Peterson (10) and Daniel Davidson (10) all reached the 10-win plateau. Since 1992, FSU has had a trio of pitchers with 10 or more wins five times.
Four Seminoles registered multiple hits including Tony Thomas, Jr., Buster Posey and Brandon Reichert who recorded three hits a piece. Mark Hallberg went 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI.
After going hitless in his first nine at-bats of this year's NCAA Tournament, Thomas broke the mini-slump with a 3-for-5 performance against the Hatters posting three singles and three runs scored.
Reichert tied a career-high with three hits, while recording four RBI's. It was the third time this year that Reichert registered four or more RBI's in a game this year.
Dennis Guinn had four RBI's on the afternoon with three coming on a home run in the seventh. FSU exploded for 11-runs in the seventh as the Seminoles sent 17 batters to the plate with Reichert and Thomas both recording two hits and two runs scored.
For the first time in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional, Florida State grabbed the early lead thanks to one swing of the bat by Jason Stidham. The freshman third baseman took the first pitch that he saw from Stetson starter Jake Hitchcock and deposited it over the fence in right for his sixth home run of the season.
An error almost proved costly for the Seminoles in the bottom of the third as Stetson catcher Josh Clendenin reached on a throwing error by Stidham. Clendenin hit a groundball to Stidham who double clutched on the throw before sailing the ball over the head of Reichert at first. Clendenin would go to second on the play and then advance to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kevin Johnson. The Seminoles would get out of the inning without giving up a run as Hatter leadoff batter Shane Johnson grounded into a double play.
Johnson sent a groundball to Reichert at first, who threw on to Posey at home getting Clendenin in a run down. Stidham took the throw from Posey, tagged out Clendenin and then threw on to Tony Thomas covering second to get the sliding Johnson for the third out of the inning.
Florida State would increase its lead to 2-0 as Posey scored from third on a wild pitch. The sophomore catcher led off the fourth with a double to the gap in right center for his second hit in as many at-bats. Posey then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jack Rye and would score with two outs on a wild pitch by Hitchcock.
The Seminoles pushed three runs across in the top of the fifth to take a 5-0 lead. Ohmed Danesh started the inning with a single up the middle followed by an RBI double to the wall by Mark Gildea scoring Danesh all the way from first. After Reichert reached on a fielder's choice, Thomas and Hallberg registered back-to-back singles including Hallberg's RBI hit up the middle plating Reichert.
With Posey due up next, Stetson called on Justin Dechert out of the bullpen relieving starter Jake Hitchcock. Hitchcock worked 4.1 innings as he allowed five runs, all earned, on seven hits.
FSU wrapped up the scoring in the fifth as Dechert unleashed a wild pitch to score Thomas.
The Hatters threatened once again in the bottom of the sixth as they placed runners on first and third with one out. But Strauss was able to get out of the jam as he induced an inning ending double play by designated hitter Brian Pruitt.
Stetson was forced to go to the bullpen for the second time in the game as the Seminoles added their sixth run of the game while loading the bases on three straight hits off Dechert. Gildea drew a leadoff walk and after stealing second, came around to score on Reichert's single up the middle. Thomas and Hallberg followed once again with back-to-back singles to load the bases ending the afternoon for Dechert.
Blake Marsocci replaced Dechert and faced just one batter as he walked Posey with the bases loaded. Posey was credited with an RBI on the play as Reichert scored to increase the FSU lead to 7-0.
The Hatters went to the bullpen yet again and brought on lefty Ian Thompson to face Rye. Rye would grab his first RBI of the tournament as he sent a sac-fly to right scoring Thomas for an 8-0 advantage. Guinn blew the game open as he ripped a three-run blast off the scoreboard in left. It was his first home run since returning to the line-up after injuring his right knee.
Florida State would go on to add five more runs all on two outs to push the lead 16-0. The Seminoles would send 17 batters to the plate in the seventh with Reichert and Thomas each posting two hits. Guinn registered four RBI's in the inning, while Guinn drove in three. Posey also had multiple RBI's in the inning with two. Pinch hitter Tommy Oravetz collected the other RBI in the inning as he was hit by a pitch to score Thomas.
The Seminoles increased their lead to 17-0 on an RBI single by Reichert. D'Vontrey Richardson led off the eighth with a double to the gap in right center and scored on Reichert's hit to center.
A 52 minute rain delay ended the afternoon for Strauss. After play resumed, Brian Chambers came on to throw the final two innings. He allowed a run on two hits as he gave up a home run to Jordan in the bottom of the eighth.
The Seminoles defeated the Hatters in an elimination game for the second time in three games in NCAA Tournament play.
The win also moved head coach Mike Martin into sole possession of fourth place on the NCAA all-time career wins list. Martin surpassed Texas Tech's Larry Hays on the list with victory number 1,484 on Sunday afternoon.
Florida State will return to action later this evening as the Seminoles square-off against Mississippi State on day three of competition at the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. The Seminoles must defeat the Bulldogs twice to advance to next week's Super Regional. The second game on Sunday featuring FSU and Mississippi State will be shown live on Sun Sports, while fans can also follow the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.
For further information, visit: www.seminoles.com