May 13, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – An early six-run deficit was too much to overcome Tuesday afternoon as fourth-ranked Florida State (39-13) fell to UCF (33-20) 8-3 on Fan Appreciation Day at Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The Knights scored two first inning runs off Florida State starter Alec Byrd (1-1) and never looked back en route to snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Seminoles. Byrd, making his first career start on Tuesday, was charged with four runs on four hits as he walked two and struck out two in 2.1 innings of work.
“Well it’s easy to evaluate this one, they got it done, we weren’t very impressive,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “They doubled our hit total. We made one error there in the ninth, but give the credit to Central Florida. They did a very good job of getting key hits starting in the first inning.”
Byrd started the game recording back-to-back strikeouts but then issued a walk, RBI double, another walk and another RBI double before getting out of the inning on a play at the plate as Ben DeLuzio threw a dart to get Tommy Williams.
Florida State cut the deficit to 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the first as Josh Delph walked, took second on an errant throw by UCF starter Ryan Meyer on a failed pick-off attempt and scored on a single to left by Casey Smit. That would be as close as the Seminoles would get on Tuesday afternoon as UCF broke the game open with four runs in the third and one more in the fourth to take commanding 7-1 lead.
The Seminoles plated a pair of runs in the sixth on back-to-back two out hits by DeLuzio and John Sansone. With John Nogowski at first following a one-out single, DeLuzio ripped an RBI triple to right and scored on Sansone’s infield single to short.
UCF pushed across an unearned run in the ninth off Jameis Winston for the final margin.
Overall, both teams combined to use 13 pitchers including seven by Florida State. Dylan Silva, Billy Strode, Taylor Blatch and Brandon Johnson combined to work the middle innings allowing just three hits and four walks, while striking out three in 4.2 shutout innings of work. The Seminoles walked a season-high nine batters in Tuesday’s loss.
“That’s a good looking baseball team,” added Martin. “They are solid defensively. But I thought we just had a frustrating day pitching. Walking nine guys is not us and is something that we can’t do and expect to win.”
Offensively, Florida State was held to six hits as six different Seminoles registered a hit.
UCF’s Dylan Moore and Derrick Salberg led the Knights with three hits each. Robby Howell threw 1.2 shutout innings to move to 2-1 on the year.
“Our guys played hard,” said Martin. “There are just no excuses; we were playing at home, they had to travel. We just didn’t play well today.”
Florida State wraps up its regular season schedule with a three-game series against Duke on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium beginning Thursday, May 15 with first pitch at 6 pm. Friday’s game is also at 6 pm with Saturday’s regular season finale set for 1 pm as Florida State will recognize its 2014 senior class during pregame festivities.
All three games will air on ESPN3. Audio for all three games will be available on the Seminoles.com All-Access player. Locally fans can listen to the game on 1270 AM (Thursday & Friday) and 100.7 FM (Saturday). As always, fans can receive in-game updates on Twitter @FSU_Baseball. Also, do not forget to like the Seminole Baseball team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FSUBaseball and to follow the team on Instagram (NoleBaseball). Live stats will be available via gametracker.