TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 18 Florida State (14-3) ran out to an early lead and then hung on late to defeat No. 10 UCF (14-3) 11-8 Tuesday evening on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium.
“It was just one of those games that you are proud of the way we kept battling,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “It was a tough game for everybody. It seemed like so many different scenarios developed but yet we got good pitching throughout the game. It was a game that we persevered; we hung tough.”
The Seminoles plated all 11 runs in the first five innings before watching the Knights slowly chip away scoring at least one run over the final seven innings. UCF brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the ninth but Billy Strode got JoMarcos Woods swinging on strikes to end the game for his seventh save in as many chances this year.
Making his second career starter on Tuesday, Alec Byrd (3-0) picked up the win after allowing three runs on six hits in 4.0 plus innings of work. Byrd, who was on a pitch count, retired seven of the first eight batters that he faced before UCF tagged him for a run in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
“He was very much in control of the situation,” said Martin on Byrd. “He was poised; his numbers were pretty good against a club of that caliber. You have to tip your hat to him, he did a good job.”
Florida State and UCF will return to the diamond for game two of the mid-week series on Wednesday, March 11 with first pitch set for 4:00 p.m.
*FSU Sports Infomation