TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Taylor Walls sent a single through the left side of the infield and scored Matt Henderson from second as Florida State (17-5) won 5-4 over UCF in the 11th inning Wednesday night. The walk-off win capped a sweep for the Seminoles in the two-game, midweek series.
Walls only hit of the night turned out to be timed perfectly for FSU as he was one of four Seminoles with an RBI joining Dylan Busby (2-5, HR), Quincy Nieporte (1-4) and Nick Graganella (1-2, double).
FSU used six pitchers on the night and the group combined for 14 strikeouts while yielding six hits and four earned runs. Freshman reliever Chase Haney (3-0) grabbed the win after recording a strikeout to close out the Knights in the 11th.
Starter Ed Voyles scattered five hits and one earned run while striking out four in four innings of work but did not factor into the decision.
“Our pitching was not only excellent but gutty,” said head coach Mike Martin. “We had a closer (Warmoth) who was called on to pitch three innings and he tweaked his neck. I went out there to check on him and he had no thoughts of giving the ball to anyone else. Haney is another example—after throwing 29 pitches yesterday—and gets a big out for us to get out of the eleventh.”
Ben DeLuzio got the Seminoles going early scoring the first run of the game in the second inning. DeLuzio reached on a walk, stole his third base of the series and then scored on a double down the right field by Graganella.
UCF retaliated in the top of the fourth when Austin Griffin lifted his sixth home run of the year over the left field wall, tying the game at 1-1.
The two teams remained tied until the seventh. The Seminoles retook the lead when Busby led off the inning with a home run to left field. Two batters later DeLuzio reached base on a single up the middle, scoring from second on a throwing error.
UCF took its first lead of the game in the eighth after Gellinger reached first base on a walk. Two batters later, Eli Putnam also drew a walk to set the stage for Griffin who hit his second home run of the afternoon, a three-run shot, into the left field bullpen giving the Knights a 4-3 advantage.
FSU tied the game at 4-4 in the eighth when Cal Raleigh reached base on a walk. A balk moved Raleigh to second where he was replaced by pinch runner Hank Truluck who came around to score on a single up the middle by Nieporte setting the stage for Walls’ 11th inning heroics.
The Seminoles return to ACC action this weekend when they welcome NC State for a three-game series in Tallahassee that begins on Friday evening at 6 p.m.