ORLANDO, Fla. – Will Zirzow set career-highs with seven strikeouts and five innings pitched as Florida State (11-2) beat UCF (11-3) 5-0 Wednesday afternoon at the UCF Baseball Complex in Orlando. Pitching in relief of starter Ed Voyles, Zirzow (1-0) anchored a bullpen that did not allow a run in 12 innings in two wins against the Knights.
“I thought (Zirzow) pitched very, very well,” head coach Mike Martin said. “I thought his composure was excellent. He never got out of himself. He was in total control of his emotions, and certainly gave us a big lift.”
Expecting to use a number of arms playing their first Wednesday game of the year, the Seminoles started Voyles and the senior went two innings, allowing three hits and striking out one. Zirzow entered with runners on first and second and no outs, escaping the jam in the third en route to the best outing of his career, allowing just one hit and striking out seven. Two batters reached base – the first on a single that was erased on catcher Cal Raleigh’s third pickoff of the year, and the second on a throwing error on Raleigh that was erased on a double play to end the sixth inning.
“We were hoping to go three with Zirzow,” Martin said. “But as he got to 50 pitches, we said, ‘Ah, heck with it.’”
Zirzow finished with 67 pitches thrown.
Jim Voyles relieved Zirzow, throwing a scoreless eighth inning. Jim Voyles allowed a pair of runners to reach to open the inning, but the eighth ended on a line drive to third baseman Dylan Busby, who stepped on third to get FSU out of the jam.
Drew Carlton pitched the ninth, allowing a hit and striking out one.
Offensively, the Seminoles scored three runs in the third and added two more in the fifth.
Like Tuesday, Busby again had the game-winning RBI as his double scored J.C. Flowers to open the scoring. Junior Rhett Aplin followed with a two-run single to give the FSU pitching staff all the help it would need.
In the fifth, UCF pitching walked five batters, and FSU scored two runs without recording a hit.
For the Knights, Chris Sheridan (0-2) pitched four innings, allowing three runs and five hits while walking three and striking out five.
The win was FSU’s ninth straight and FSU entered the day with the sixth-longest active winning streak in the country. It is the Noles longest since an 11-game winning streak early in the 2015 season.
It is also FSU’s second shutout of the year, having previously blanked Samford 8-0 in Tallahassee on February 25.
FSU returns to Tallahassee to open Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend when Boston College comes to town. Friday and Saturday’s games will begin at 6:00 p.m., with Sunday’s finale set to begin at 1:00 p.m. All three games will stream live on the ACC Network Extra, while Eric Luallen will provide play-by-play on 106.1 FM in Tallahassee and nationwide on the FSU Gameday App.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).