Florida State (16-5, 6-1) came out victorious against the UCF Knights (12-10, 0-0), winning their sixteenth game of the season by a final score of 7-2. After falling behind in two separate innings, the 'Noles scored five runs in the bottom of the third, not surrendering the lead again.
Two games after his twin brother had an outstanding appearance from the 'pen, Jim Voyles continued his dominance throwing five scoreless innings, making his season total 19 innings pitched without allowing an earned run. In addition to not allowing a run, Voyles only allowed two base runners on with neither one getting further than first base. Since he will be out of commission until at least Friday per Coach Mike Martin, the bullpen will get tested tomorrow as the team has decided to go with a committee pitching staff.
The team as a whole was very balanced at the plate, as eight of the 10 players to get a plate appearance recorded at least one hit while nine players reached base. Not only were the hits spread out over the lineup, all six walks earned by Florida State were from six different players Unlike a high octane start of the lineup that usually gets the team going, the consistency paid off in the five run inning they had, as the 'Noles strung together four consecutive baserunners to begin the inning and by the end, everyone in the lineup had the opportunity to hit.
Florida State took advantage of every opportunity given to them, only leaving six men on base. With runners on base, FSU went 6-18 and 5-12 with runners in scoring position. Despite the winning margin of five runs, it was no where near that close after the bullpen showed up and put on a show.
Although they did not get caught stealing, the 'Noles were picked off the bases on three separate occasions. In the second inning Ben Deluzio was caught between second and third with only one out, and would have given FSU another opportunity with a runner in scoring position. The other two times were just as costly as John Sansone and Donovan Petrey were picked off from first base, both with no outs in the inning.
Besides that big third inning, the 'Noles didn't gain much traction otherwise, as in four of the other seven opportunities at the plate, Florida State sent up no more than four hitters in an inning. It's always great to have a big inning in a game, but a lot of the time, that will not be the case, especially against the great pitching in the ACC. It's important to still have an efficient day at the plate throughout the whole game with or without those big innings.
During the post game presser, Coach Mike Martin specifically said they were concerned, not worried, with Tyler Holton. The freshmen pitcher was taken out of the game after allowing a home run and walk in the top of the third. He got off to a great start striking out the side in the first, but then faltered in the second where he allowed two hits, both doubles, while walking out one and hitting a batter. His job could be in jeopardy with the emergence of the Voyles brothers, Jim and Ed, who are throwing effective long outings. Another option could be Alec Byrd as the 'Noles do not have many mid relief options outside of the Voyles brothers.
Florida State will look to sweep the two game series in the finale tomorrow at 4 PM from Dick Howser Stadium.