Wednesday: Bad inning sinks Florida State against Knights
Florida State’s midweek starters have struggled on the season and Wednesday was no different in a 6-3 loss to UCF. Ryan Denison got the nod for today’s start and promptly allowed a run in the first inning. He escaped the second before not being as lucky in the third. After recording two outs to start the inning, Denison allowed three base runners to reach (one thanks to an error) before Conner Whittaker stopped the skid.
The midweek luck would find a new victim in the fourth as reliable Whittaker and Jamie Arnold combined to allow six straight batters to reach to bring UCF’s total to six. FSU would pick up three runs to make the score respectable, including a home run from James Tibbs. One pitching highlight of note, David Barrett was solid in the final innings tossing three scoreless.
Tuesday: UCF blows out Seminoles
The UCF Golden Knights (11-5, 0-0) beat the tar out of the FSU Seminoles (11-5, 2-1) to the tune of 14-3. The Knights jumped on top scoring five runs in the first inning after Brennen Oxford getting his first start. Oxford gave up a walk and three hits on his inning of work, the loudest one being a three run homer. Doug Kirkland took over in the second and gave up another two runs over the next two innings. Drake Flowers got his second appearance of the year and gave up another seven runs in 1.2 innings.
Freshman Ben Barrett was a revelation though. True Central Florida had already put up 14 runs but Barrett through 3.1 innings of no hit ball striking out five and walking none. Barrett has mostly helped the team with his bat but if he can use this outing as a springboard to a more consistent future it would help the pen out an awful lot.
The FSU offense didn’t provide much support but it doesn’t much matter when your staff gives up 14 runs. The ‘Noles scored three runs on just six hits and no walks. Nothing much went right for FSU. The story of the day was the Knights bats hitting Seminole pitching hard. Seven of UCF’s 13 hits were for extra bases reminding fans that FSU has about three pitchers and that’s it.
The Seminoles are on the road to take on the UCF Knights for a two-game series, picking up where the two left off last season after the second game between them in 2022 was canceled.
Florida State is 39-7 all-time against UCF.
The Knights’ most impressive performance so far this season has arguably been sweeping the Clemson Tigers on the road. UCF has won just one other series this season (season opener vs. Siena), having fallen to both Georgia Southern and Troy at home.
Both games (Tuesday, 6 p.m. and Wednesday, 4 p.m.) will be streaming only and are set to broadcast on ESPN+.