ORLANDO, Fla. -- Second-ranked Florida State (13-2) erased two three-run deficits and then held on for the one-run victory as the Seminoles remained undefeated on the road this year after downing Central Florida (7-10) 11-10 on Tuesday evening in front of a Knights' school record crowd of 3,953 on Jay Bergman Field.
The Seminoles plated three runs in an inning three times on Tuesday night followed by a two-run eighth which gave Florida State the lead for good.
"If you look at the overall ballgame you have to be pleased with the way we never folded the tent; we continued to scrap all night long," Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. "It's a credit to the experience of our ball club."
Justin Gonzalez started the eighth inning with a double down the line in left and scored two batters later on a double by Brett Knief that went off the glove of a drawn in UCF third baseman and down the line in left. After a single to right by Jose Brizuela put runners at the corners, John Nogowski drove in his third run of the evening on a groundout to short to give the Noles a two-run advantage at 11-9.
"The Knights did a very good job, they kept coming after us, they never folded," added Martin.
UCF threatened in the bottom of the eighth putting runners at the corners with one out off Dylan Silva. Martin went to the bullpen and called on Jameis Winston, who delivered with two big strikeouts to keep FSU's two-run lead intact.
The Knights would make things interesting in the ninth after JoMarcos Woods drew a one-out walk off Winston. UCF followed with a single through the right side by Erik Barber and then a bloop RBI single off the bat of James Vasquez to draw with one of the Florida State lead at 11-10. Winston responded by getting Tommy Williams swinging on strikes and then Kam Gellinger to ground into a fielder's choice putout at second to end the game. The save for Winston was his third in as many tries this year.
"It's fun, those are moments in baseball that you are always going to remember," Winston said. "They have a great team, a very good hitting squad. It was just great to see all the motivation that everybody had behind me; they had my back the whole time so I was very comfortable on the mound tonight."
Silva (1-0) earned the win, his first as a Seminole, as he went 1.1 scoreless innings in relief as he allowed a hit and a walk, while striking out a career-high three batters.
Florida State's 3-4-5-6 hitters combined for nine of the 12 hits on the evening with Knief leading the way with three hits on a pair of doubles and a bunt single. He also scored four of FSU's 11 runs on the night.
Gonzalez, DJ Stewart and Brizuela all finished with two hits apiece. Nogowski plated a team-high three RBI as he walked three times, while recording a sac-fly in the first inning and the key RBI groundout in the eighth.
Gage West, who made his first career start behind the plate on Tuesday, registered an RBI on a sac-fly in the seventh.
The win for FSU was its seventh in a row against UCF and fourth in a row against the Knights in Orlando. It also marked the third consecutive one-run victory for the Seminoles against UCF inside Jay Bergman Field.