April 25, 2014
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - Junior Eric Skoglund tossed his third complete game of the year as the No. 22 UCF baseball team defeated Rutgers, 3-1, on Friday night. The lefty became the first Knight since Tim Bascom in 2005 to go the distance three times in one season.
The Knights (26-16, 13-3 American Athletic Conference) maintained their 2.5 game advantage over Louisville for the top spot in the conference standings. The loss dropped the Scarlet Knights (19-20, 6-6) from third place in the league down to a tie for fifth.
Eric Skoglund was tremendous, head coach Terry Rooney said after the game. He has given us an opportunity to win every single time he's pitched. The difference tonight is that early on he wasn't as sharp as he's been. Tonight was really the epitome of what Skog has been all year. He made adjustments and got better as the game went on.
Skoglund (7-1), who has gone at least eight innings in four-consecutive starts, did not have his best stuff early as he allowed five hits over the first three frames and seven in the first five. The Sarasota native, however, got progressively better as the game went on, retiring 12 of the final 13 hitters he faced.
Overall, Skoglund scattered nine hits, two walks and one run over the full nine innings to go along with seven strikeouts.
It's great to get a win on Friday night, especially in conference, Skoglund said. The defense was great. Without them, I wouldn't be able to do what I did tonight. I struggled a little bit in the beginning of the game, but I tried to make a few adjustments in between innings and get some more feel.
UCF fell behind early when the Scarlet Knights plated a run in the second inning. With runners on first and third and no outs, the Knights turned a 1-6-4-3 double play on a deflected ball which allowed Rutgers' lone run to score.
The Black and Gold rallied back in the fourth with a pair of runs to take a lead it would not relinquish. After back-to-back singles by juniors Dylan Moore (1-for-3) and Erik Barber (2-for-4, 2 R) put two on with just one out, junior James Vasquez (1-for-4) ripped a double down the line in right to tie the game at 1. Freshman Matt Diorio stepped in next and gave the Knights the lead for good with an RBI groundout.
Diorio would provide an insurance run in the sixth. After Barber led off the frame with a double into the left-field corner, the Staten Island native smacked a single up the middle for his second RBI of the evening.
Junior Derrick Salberg came up with the defensive play of the game in the eighth. RU's Chris Folinusz knocked a single into the left-centerfield gap and tested Salberg's arm by attempting to stretch the play into a double. The Kelso, Wash., native delivered a perfect strike to Moore covering at second for the third out of the frame.
Game two between UCF and Rutgers will take place Saturday afternoon with a 4 p.m. first pitch. Sophomore Ryan Meyer (3-1, 1.72 ERA) will make his first Saturday start for the Knights.
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.