ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF baseball team fell short in its late rally against Penn State on Sunday afternoon at John Euliano Park, falling 11-5. The Knights held the lead through six innings of play, but Penn State broke the game open in the seventh to take the series.
UCF starter Trevor Holloway went 5 1/3 innings, allowing just a pair of runs. The righty fanned five and scattered eight hits, while walking two.
The Knights built up a two-run lead through four to provide Holloway with some support. Griffin Bernardo broke the deadlock in the second with a lazy single to right field that let Dallas Beaver score from second.
UCF added to its lead in the fourth. Tyler Osik moved around to third after reaching on a hit by pitch and a single by Matthew Mika. Beaver brought him home on a slow groundout to second during the next at-bat.
The Nittany Lions battled back to tie the game with runs in the fifth and sixth innings, the latter forcing Holloway from the game. Beaver drove in his second RBI of the game to put UCF ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth with a double down the right field line.
The lead was the last the time the Knights would lead. Penn State took control of the game with a seven-run seventh on four hits. The Nittany Lions tacked on a pair in the top of the ninth.
UCF continued to battle into the ninth. After shaking up the order through substitutions, the Knights plated a pair of runs in the final frame. Adams Torres singled up the middle to bring in Beaver from third, before Ben McCabe beat a potential game-ending double play at first to let Gephry Pena score from third.
UCF (10-5) – 5, Penn State (9-3) – 11
Winning pitcher: Mason Mellot (3-0)
Losing pitcher: Garrett Westberg (2-1)
Top hitters: Dallas Beaver (1-2, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB), Matthew Mika (2-4, 1 R)
Top pitchers: Trevor Holloway (5.1 IP, 5 K, 8 H, 2 ER), Zack Hunsicker (1.1 IP, 1 K, 1 H
• Gephry Pena picked up his first career hit in the ninth inning on a single to right center.
• Adams Torres made the most of his at-bat of the season with the RBI single.
• Jay Lyons singled to right center in the ninth for his first career base knock.
• Matthew Mika stole his eighth base of the season.
• The Knights forced Penn State to strand 13 runners on base to UCF’s seven.
UCF will continue its homestand for a two-game midweek series against Yale. First pitch for both games is 6 p.m.