March 18, 2014
By Andrew Jennette
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - A career effort from junior RHP Tanner Olson, combined with a season-high 15 hits from an explosive offense, led the UCF baseball team to a 9-2 victory over No. 25 Miami on Tuesday evening at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
Olson tossed a career-high eight innings and allowed just four hits and two runs to go along with four strikeouts. The Ferndale, Wash., native did not walk a batter and continuously pounded the strike zone all night long.
I felt pretty good tonight as soon as I got out there, Olson said. Coach has emphasized the last two weeks to pound the strike zone and let the defense work for you. When you get the kind of run support we had tonight, it is just huge.
He was backed by strong offensive performances from juniors Dylan Moore and Sam Tolleson. The former teammates at Cypress College combined to go 7-for-10 at the plate with three RBIs and four runs scored. Moore racked up a career-best four hits while Tolleson has six hits in his last eight at-bats.
Tanner did a terrific job, head coach Terry Rooney said. He had command of all of his pitches and really attacked the strike zone all night. He got himself into advantage counts and did a tremendous job.
The Knights (10-12) jumped on the Hurricanes (11-10) early with two runs in the top of the first. After a pair of singles and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out, junior Tommy Williams lifted a sacrifice fly to the warning track for the game's first score. Tolleson stepped in next and delivered a clutch two-out, RBI single.
There were a lot of great hitting performances up and down the lineup, Rooney continued. I thought the approach right out of the gate was great. They came at us with a couple of different pitchers and different looks. I thought from a complete-game standpoint, the guys did a very nice job.
Derrick Salberg flashed the leather when he made a sliding backhand catch to rob a Hurricanes' base hit in the bottom of the first. The junior, playing in the outfield for the first time since the Ole Miss series 18 days ago, also extended his hitting streak to 10 games when he beat out an infield single for the game's first hit. The Kelso, Wash., native went 3-for-5 and has reached base nine times since returning to the lineup four games ago.
After Miami cut the UCF lead in half in the bottom of the third, the Knights got the run right back in the top of the fourth. After a pair of hits by Moore and Salberg put runners on second and third with one out, junior Erik Barber picked up his 19th RBI of the season on a groundout.
Junior JoMarcos Woods helped extend the lead with some effective base running in the sixth. After drawing a one-out walk, Woods swiped second and took third when the throw from the catcher skipped into the outfield. Woods came around to score on an RBI single by Moore. After another Miami error moved Moore to third, Barber became the first Knight to reach 20 RBIs with his second run-producing groundout of the night.
The Black and Gold poured it on in the final frames, scoring three more. Woods and Moore picked up RBI singles in the seventh while junior Jordan Savinon came up with an RBI single of his own in the ninth.
Freshman Trent Thompson struck out one in a perfect ninth to seal the victory. The Tampa native leads the team with 12 relief appearances.
The Knights get the next two days off before kicking off their inaugural run in American Athletic Conference league play with a three-game series against Cincinnati at the UCF baseball complex. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m.
Ten-game voucher packages are now on sale for only $50. Select the games that you want to attend for a discounted price. Voucher packages and single-game tickets can be purchased at our Baseball Ticket Central page, or by calling the UCFAA Sales & Service Office at (407) UCF-1000. Stay up-to-date on all the latest baseball news by following the team on Twitter @UCF_Baseball, Facebook and Instagram.