Florida State came back to beat No. 6 UCF 15-11 in a crazy game that featured five homeruns. Central Florida Struck first with a three run second inning. Starting pitcher Bryant Holtmann loaded the bases without UCF getting a hit and then gave up the first run on a wild pitch. A double to right plated two more and UCF had jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Florida State responded in the bottom of the second with a three run homerun by first baseman Quincy Neiporte. UCF managed to get out of the inning without any more damage being done. Neiporte followed that up with a grandslam in the third to put the Seminoles up by four.
Neiporte said that the veterans on the team really helped him out of the slump he had been in.
“I was strugglying early on in the season and I was pretty down on myself,” Neiporte said. “I was just waiting for one of these days when everyone is clicking as a team and I couldn’t have had the day I had without everyone in front of me doing their job. Every time I came up except once there were multiple players on base. This is a very tight knit team and a bunch of the veterans came and got me out of it and worked late. I owe a lot of my success today to the hard work behind the scenes.”
UCF responded quickly putting up five runs in the top of the fourth. They had chased Holtmann in the third, but Carlton gave up two two-run homeruns and an RBI single to give UCF a 8-7 lead. The Knights would add two more in the fifth inning on a double and an error. Alex Deise came in for Drew Carlton and got the Seminoles out of the inning without any further damage.
Florida State struck back in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly from Ben DeLuzio to cut the lead to 10-8. The lead went right back up to three when Logan Heiser took a Deise changeup and planted it over the left field wall. Deise was able to take control of the game after that and the Knights wouldn’t score again.
Head coach Mike Martin was extremely pleased with the sophomore pitcher’s performance.
“I just can’t say enough about Alex Deise,” Martin said. “He’s a guy that hasn’t got many innings and he just goes out there and totally shuts them down. 5-6-7-8-9. That’s quite an accomplishment because they were literally wearing the ball out. “
Florida State went into the seventh inning down 11-8. The Seminoles started the inning with three straight singles before a Delph strikeout. Struggling centerfielder Ben DeLuzio was able to get a hold of a pitch and drove in two runs with a single to center. Hank Truluck pinch hit for Gage West and drove in the tying run with a single under the third baseman’s glove. Shortstop Taylor Walls singled up the middle and drove in what would eventually become the game-winning run. Sansone would add a two-RBI double down the left field line and a wild pitch would bring in another. At the end of the inning Florida State had scored seven runs on seven hits and held a 15-11 lead.
Coach Martin was proud of the way his team battled.
“We’ve played a lot of baseball,” Martin said. “Two games last week, three games last weekend, and two games this week. That’s seven games in ten days. The could have said ‘we ought to be tired.’ No. Florida State got after it. Seven run inning. It’s a credit to that team in that clubhouse. They played solid. They never gave up on themselves.
Deise would dominate the final two innings and Florida State completed the sweep of the No. 6 team in the country. With the win the Seminoles improved to 15-3 on the season and continued their now 11 game winning streak.