Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Winston Preserves Comeback Win For 13-2 Seminoles

The No. 2 Florida State baseball team escaped with a narrow 11-10 victory over Central Florida tonight, improving their record to 13-2.

The ‘Noles got off to a great offensive start, scoring three in the top of the first, courtesy of a 2-RBI single from Jose Brizuela and a sacrifice fly off the bat of John Nogowski. FSU starter Peter Miller was sharp for a while, until UCF got to him in the third, tying it up with the help of a Florida State error.

The Knights tallied three more off of reliever Billy Strode, who relieved Miller and lasted just an inning. But the Seminoles bounced right back in the fifth, as Nogowski’s bases-loaded walk made it 6-4. A John Sansone single brought two more across, tying the contest at 6-6. UCF countered in the bottom of the frame, reclaiming the lead on a solo home-run by Matt Diorio off of FSU pitcher Alec Byrd. Gage Smith surrendered two more runs in the sixth, and the Knights lead increased to 9-6.

But ‘Nole D.J. Stewart smacked a lead-off solo shot in the top of the seventh, bringing the score to 9-7, UCF. Brett Knief doubled, followed by walks to Brizuela and Nogowski, which packed the sacks with nobody out. John Sansone was hit by a pitch, and the Seminoles trailed just 9-8. A Gage West sac-fly knotted the count at 9-9, heading to the stretch.

Dylan Silva, the fifth FSU pitcher of the night, then shut down the Knights for the first time since the second inning. Two eighth-inning doubles, delivered by Justin Gonzalez and Knief, gave Florida State a 10-9 advantage. Nogowski knocked in his third of the evening before the Seminoles were retired, leading 11-9.

Silva allowed a couple base runners in the eighth, however, which prompted Mike Martin to make a one-out call to the bullpen for closer Jameis Winston. The Heisman Trophy winner proceeded to strike out the next two, preserving the two-run FSU advantage for the ninth. Winston returned for the final frame and allowed a run before striking out another. The tying run stood at third — and the winning run at second — when Winston retired the final Knight for the 11-10 ‘Nole victory.

The two teams play again tomorrow at 4 pm.



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