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Article in Tallahassee Democrat
By Steve Ellis


Bryan Zech has given Mike Martin a reason to be optimistic. But it will
take more than a good preseason for the second baseman's team-leading 27
errors of a year ago to be forgotten.

Zech understood that as he battled for the only open spot on the Florida
State lineup just days from the season opener against Virginia Military
Institute on Friday.

"I need to earn my coaches' confidence," Zech said.

Zech has been doing it one throw at a time. He believes it was his arm,
not his fielding, that led to so many mistakes a year ago. New assistant
coach Link Jarrett, a former FSU shortstop, has spent much of the
preseason trying to get Zech to make every throw to first base count.

"Don't make an easy throw at half speed," Jarrett said. "Try to get him
to bear down every time. Keep your feet moving and stay aggressive and
maybe you can pick a hop a little better. Just try to get him to be more
consistent."

Zech honed his throwing skills by playing at shortstop, as well as
second, where he beat out Kevin Richmond for the starting role.
Elsewhere in the infield, FSU returns shortstop Stephen Drew and first
baseman Jerrod Brown. Newcomer Eddy Estevez-Martinez will start at third
base.

"I like what we can become," Martin said. "It's important that we cut
down on the errors."

Zech made 10 more errors last season than the next Seminole - Ryan
Barthelemy with 17. Zech credits Jarrett for a better preseason.

"He's been there and knows what it is like out there," Zech said. "My
fielding has always been pretty much there, but it was my throwing last
year that was the trouble. I was pushing the ball over there, lobbing
it. We've been working on that a lot. In putting me at second some, it
helped me work on my arm slot and throwing the ball.

"The biggest thing going on is my confidence."

While Martin just settled on his starting second baseman for the opener
in St. Petersburg, he knows his starting rotation. Matt Lynch, 13-3 a
year ago, will start Friday at 7p.m. Marc LaMacchia (11-2) and Trent
Peterson (4-2) will get the next starts for No.2 FSU. The series will be
played at Al Lang Field at Florida Power Park. FSU travels to No.5
Stanford the next weekend.

FSU second baseman had team-high 27 errors last season.
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