UCF drops 15-11 slugfest to FSU


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Logan Heiser went 4-5 with two home runs and was a single shy of the cycle for UCF.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Logan Heiser went 4-5 and was a single shy of hitting for the cycle but it wasn’t enough for the sixth-ranked UCF Knights as they fell to the FSU Seminoles 15-11 on Wednesday at Dick Howser Stadium.

Heiser drove in five runs for the Knights including a two-run home run in the fourth inning that cut FSU’s lead to 7-5. UCF would add on three more runs that inning to take an 8-7 lead in the fourth inning.

“I felt great today, it all started in [batting practice]. I was swinging it really well, I was seeing it really well [and] I was able to make solid contact in almost every single swing,” said Heiser about his 4-5 game. “The ball looked really big today. I was able to square up some balls and they were able to fly out of the park a few of them.”

The Knights added two more runs in the top of the fifth to extend their lead to 10-7. Heiser would hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to give UCF an 11-8 lead, but that was the last time UCF would score as they would be shutout during the final two innings of play.

Florida State responded with a seven-run seventh inning which saw the Seminoles bat through their lineup and tally seven hits during the bottom half of the frame.

“Florida State got some big at bats when they needed it,” said UCF head coach Terry Rooney about FSU’s seven-run inning. “We were pitching a little behind the count and up in the zone and we just need to get back on track pitching wise, but again credit Florida State they did a nice job that’s why they’re a great team. They found a way to win and they played a little better than us again tonight.”

‘Noles reliever Alex Deise held the Knights’ offense scoreless during the final two innings as he earned his first win of the season, going five innings while giving up one run on three hits.

UCF started left-hander Harrison Hukari, but the junior only lasted 2.1 innings and allowed six earned runs on one hit and five walks. Friday night starter Zach Rodgers came in to pitch in relief of Hukari and went 3.2 innings while allowing two runs on three hits and four walks.

“For us it’s just a matter of that we need to get back to the drawing board a little bit from a pitching standpoint specifically,” said Rooney following the game. “We’re swinging the bats very, very well and we need to try to continue to do that, but obviously to me the main emphasis and focus here is to try to get our pitching staff back in line.”

Trent Thompson’s earned run average took a hit as the sophomore gave up six earned runs on six hits while going one-third of an inning. After the outing Thompson’s ERA went up to 13.50.

Heiser led the Knights’ offense with his five-RBI game and is now tied for the team lead with four home runs along with senior shortstop Dylan Moore, who also homered on Wednesday.

With the loss, UCF’s record falls to 14-4 for the season and brings them to 5-4 this season against ranked opponents. The Knights’ all-time record against the Seminoles also falls to 29-6 with the four-run loss.

UCF will now return home where they will face Fairfield on Friday at 6:30 p.m. for the first of a three-game series. With Rodgers having pitched 3.2 innings on Wednesday, expect to see freshman Cre Finfrock on the mound for the Knights on Friday.

“We just need to get back out there tomorrow, keep doing what we’re doing and we’ll be all right,” said senior Tommy Williams about bouncing back for the weekend series.