BOCA RATON, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF freshman lefty Bryce Tucker went 5 1/3 innings and struck out a career-high six in the Knights 3-1 victory at No. 17 Florida Atlantic. A solo homer by junior left fielder Matt Diorio completed the UCF scoring in the third inning at FAU Stadium.
"It was a great team win tonight against a really good FAU team," head coach Terry Rooney said. "It started with Bryce Tucker. He has received the last couple midweek starts for us for a reason because he is a winner (State Champion at Lake Brantley High School). He also has great poise on the mound and carries himself with a lot of confidence. Then, we got some clutch hits when we needed them."
Picking up a two-hit game for UCF (21-22) as a leadoff hitter was junior designated hitter Brennan Bozeman against FAU (28-11).
"Tonight was the epitome of this team -- the toughness and competitiveness," Rooney added. "These guys have battled through so much. Their fight, determination and competiveness has been awesome the entire year."
- Bryce Tucker logged a career-best 5 1/3 innings and six strikeouts, while only giving up a single earned run on five hits.
- The Apopka, Fla., native earned his first victory of the season in his third midweek start.
- Harrison Hukari registered his third save of the campaign and fanned one over three frames of work.
"I definitely felt good tonight and filled up the zone for the most part. My defense was behind me the whole night and that gave me a lot of confidence to throw strikes and let them hit the ball."
-LHP Bryce Tucker
Three Runs Through Three
- The Knights struck for three runs over the first three frames.
- Following a hit batter, bunt single by Kam Gellinger and walk, Eugene Vazquez pushed across the first run on a groundout in the second inning.
- A two-out single to left by Luke Hamblin put the Knights up, 2-0.
- Matt Diorio connected on first homer of the campaign to stretch the UCF lead to 3-0 in the third frame.
"It was awesome to see Matt [Diorio] go out there and let it rip. Obviously, it was great to see him get a home run. Griffin also got a hit. Those are two guys that we need to continue get going that hit in the middle of our lineup."
-HC Terry Rooney
Noting the Owls
- FAU was paced by Austin Langham with three hits.
- The lone run scored by the Owls came on a sac fly by Tyler Frank.
- The loss was handed to David McKay (2-2), who went six innings and fanned seven.
- The Knights start a three-game set at conference-rival USF on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Saturday's matchup is set for 6:30 p.m., while the finale on Sunday starts at noon.
- UCF begins a four-game homestand on May 4 with a 6:30 p.m. start against Jacksonville. The contest will serve as the final Dollar Dog Knight of the season.