Feb. 2, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State broke open a scoreless tie with a four-run fifth inning Friday, and that proved to be enough to lift the 13th-ranked Seminoles past the 11th-ranked Tennessee baseball team in the season-opener for both clubs at Dick Howser Stadium. Volunteers sophomore Cody Brown drove in UT's only runs as the Big Orange fell by a score of 9-2.
"In the middle of the game we almost put something together," UT head coach Rod Delmonico said. "We've got to bounce back tomorrow and have a better two-strike approach. But there were some things we did well today."
FSU's go-ahead fifth was jumpstarted by an RBI basehit by leadoff man Mark Hallberg. The Seminoles' next two batters both reached on singles and then scored on a three-run homer by outfielder Jack Rye.
Seminoles starter Bryan Henry (1-0) was brilliant through three innings, striking out eight and allowing no hits. The two-time All-ACC selection finished with 11 strikeouts and scattered four hits in six innings of action while picking up the win.
Tennessee designated hitter Shawn Griffin finally figured Henry out in the top of the fourth, dropping a double into left field to give the Vols just their second baserunner of the game.
Brown followed Griffin's basehit with a hard-hit single up the middle, and right fielder Ryan Jones then dug in with two outs and attempted to break the scoreless tie. The sophomore laced what appeared to be an RBI basehit through the right side of the FSU infield, but Seminoles second baseman Tony Thomas Jr. made a tremendous catch to end the threat.
After the Seminoles went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth, Vols newcomer Yan Gomes led off the fifth inning with a double off the top of the wall in right-centerfield. Then following a pair of outs, sophomore Tony Delmonico singled to left field. Gomes attempted to score on the play but was thrown out at the plate by FSU outfielder Dennis Guinn.
The Seminoles stretched their lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the sixth, courtesy of back-to-back RBIs by infielders Brandon Reichert and Mark Hallberg. Reichert plated pinch runner Mark Gildea with an RBI groundout before Hallberg's RBI triple off the right-field wall scored Thomas Jr.
Florida State tacked on three runs in the seventh, stretching its lead to 9-0 and closing out its offensive production for the day.
The Vols used a pair of walks and then a single by Griffin to load the bases on FSU reliever Matt Fairel in the eighth. Brown then sent a two-run single to the gap in right-center, giving Tennessee its first and only runs of the day.
Tennessee starting pitcher Craig Cobb (0-1) was touched for nine runs on 14 hits through 6 2/3 innings. The senior gave way to fellow right-hander Danny Wiltz, who threw 1 1/3 perfect innings with one strikeout.
The series resumes Saturday at 1 p.m., with junior left-hander James Adkins taking the mound for Tennessee and senior right-hander Michael Hyde starting for the Seminoles. Actual attendance for Friday's opener was 3,690, with 4,988 tickets sold.