May 10, 2014
By Dan Forcella
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF baseball team gave up three runs in the top of the ninth as visiting Presbyterian defeated the Knights 6-3 on Citronaut Day to even the weekend series at one game apiece.
"Credit Presbyterian," Head Coach Terry Rooney said. "They played better than us in every single aspect. They pitched better than us. They hit better than us. They fielded better than us. Give them a lot of credit. Their pitchers did a nice job and their hitters did a nice job when they needed to. Those guys did a better job. Tomorrow we've got to respond."
The no. 26 Knights (31-20) allowed just one run to the Blue Hose (17-32-1) over the first six innings, as starting pitcher Tanner Olson and reliever Zac Favre held Presbyterian to just four hits during that span.
UCF built a 3-1 advantage thanks to single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Tommy Williams led off the fourth with an infield single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then scored on a double down the right field line by Jordan Savinon.
It was again an infield single that got things going in the fifth, with Derrick Salberg reaching base this time. The junior advanced to second on JoMarcos Woods' 17th sacrifice bunt of the season. Salberg came around to score when Erik Barber reached on an error by the Presbyterian shortstop.
Kam Gellinger got things going in the sixth when he singled through the right side. The third baseman then stole second and advanced to third when Presbyterian catcher Derek Long's throw made its way to the outfield. Salberg drove in Gellinger with a double down the left field line to give UCF the two-run advantage.
The Blue Hose came back on the Knights with a pair of runs off of Favre in the seventh. Long and Jay Lizanich led off the frame with back-to-back doubles, and both came around to score on a single through the left side by Brad Zebedis.
It remained 3-3 until Presbyterian was able to get to reliever Trent Thompson in the top of the ninth. Thompson, who forced three ground outs to go along with one hit in the eighth inning, gave up a single, a walk, and a double early in the ninth to give the Blue Hose a 4-3 lead.
Presbyterian added two insurance runs when Nate Chong doubled down the left field line off of Parker Thomas to make it 6-3. The Knights were unable to put anything together in the bottom half of the frame, as Presby was able to tie the series up at one game apiece on Saturday.
Thompson (1-6) was credited with the loss after allowing three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings of relief. Presbyterian's Ethan Wortkoetter (3-3) earned the win after allowing just one run on three hits while striking out three and walking just one in 4.2 innings of relief.
UCF finished with three runs on nine hits and one error. Salberg went three-for-five with one run scored and one RBI to lead the Knights at the plate.
Presbyterian totaled six runs on 12 hits and two errors in the victory. Long finished three-for-three, while Cam McRae went three-for-five in the win.
The two teams will be back in action on Sunday at 1 p.m. from Jay Bergman Field to determine the series.