HOUSTON, Texas (UCFKnights.com) - A two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning by UCF junior second baseman Ryan Crile cut the deficit at Rice to 4-3, but the Knights were unable to push across the tying run on Friday at Reckling Park.
Sophomore right-hander Cre Finfrock pitched all eight innings and notched seven strikeouts. The Jensen Beach, Fla., native registered the second complete game of his career.
UCF (6-5) scored first with an RBI single by junior shortstop Brennan Bozeman in the third inning.
The Owls (5-5) responded by taking advantage of two infield singles and totaled four base knocks in a three-run third inning to take the lead. Rice tacked on the eventual game-winning run in the fifth frame on a sac fly.
Jon Duplantier (1-1) from Rice set a personal best with 14 strikeouts and allowed one hit through eight-plus innings. Glenn Otto recorded his second save of the year and notched two strikeouts.
The former Conference USA foes are set to battle on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET and conclude the series with a 2 p.m. ET Sunday matinee.
UCF is back home on Mar. 11-13 against LIU Brooklyn. The series opener is set for 6:30 p.m. at the UCF Baseball Complex.