David Phrathep, who delivered the walk-off RBI in the 10th inning to lift the Knights over LIU Brooklyn, 4-3 on Friday at the UCF Baseball Complex.
"It's an unforgettable feeling and moment. All the hype and excitement was a part of a great team win," Phrathep said. "I remember Trent [Thompson] telling me in the dugout, `Are you ready to walk-off tonight?' and I said, `Let's do it.' If you put your mind to it, anything can happen."
After a lead-off double by Austin Griffin and sac bunt, LIU Brooklyn (3-8) issued consecutive intentional walks to load the bases with one out. Phrathep, who entered the game as a catcher in the eighth inning, came up to the plate and put the ball in play to score the runner from third.
"Coach [Rooney] told me before heading to the plate that it's your time and make it happen," Phrathep said. "I know that he tells us all the time in practice to do whatever it takes to make it happen. I found the right pitch, put a good swing on it and made something happen for the walk off tonight."
Upon reaching first base, the Knights (8-7) mobbed the sophomore and congratulated him for the clutch hit. He was later given the proper walk-off treatment by his teammates with a pie-in-the-face.
"David works harder than anyone on this team. That kid comes up, catches early bullpens every day and is the last one to leave," junior Trent Thompson said. "If I could give him the win tonight, I would. It was a big time play following a leadoff walk by me in the 10th inning. Back picking that guy was a humungous momentum swing."
Thompson (1-1) earned the victory after tossing three innings of relief and striking out one.
The series against the Blackbirds continues on Saturday at 4 p.m. UCF rounds out the three-game set on Sunday with the first pitch slated for 1 p.m.
- The Knights scored a run in the second and fourth frames through executing after the leadoff batter reached base.
- In the second inning, Austin Griffin singled down the right field line and Sam Tolleson followed it up with a bloop single to center.
- After a sac bunt from Eli Putnam that moved the runners into scoring position, a ground out from Kam Gellinger put the Knights in the lead, 1-0.
- Following consecutive walks issued to Ryan Crile and Austin Griffin to start the fourth inning, a fly out put runners on the corners and Crile scored on a sac fly by Eli Putnam to knot the contest, 2-2.
- Cre Finfrock registered 10 punchouts over seven innings of work.
- The Blackbirds were held to two runs on four hits and a combined .137 batting avg.
- The Jensen Beach, Fla., native matched his season high with 10 strikeouts and recorded his third quality start in four outings.
"For me, it was typical Cre Finfrock and he gave us a quality start. He wasn't as sharp as he has been in the past, but he still gave us a chance to win."
-HC Terry Rooney
Noting the Blackbirds
- Brian Lamboy and Harrison Preschel recorded a pair of base hits.
- Six innings were logged by Brian Drapeau, who stuck out three and gave up two runs.
- The loss was given to Mike Kreiger (0-2), who fanned one in 1.1 frames.