March 18, 2013
By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Monday night's series finale with Columbia belonged to LHP Eric Skoglund. The Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American pitched like that and more in his eight shutout innings to give the UCF baseball team a 5-1 win, and 3-1 series victory.
"I thought that was the best performance of his career," head coach Terry Rooney said of his sophomore southpaw. "The thing I was most pleased about was his demeanor. He's been trying to make some adjustments and his presence and demeanor was outstanding."
Looking for his first victory of 2013, Skoglund kept the Lions' (2-9) bats at bay in his longest-career outing. Allowing just three hits in eight innings, the Sarasota native also struck out three batters and relied on his defense throughout the contest.
"I just filled it up in the zone and I let my defense do their work. They did a great job, and I'm proud of those guys," Skoglund said after the game.
UCF will have a one-day turnaround before it heads to Jacksonville on Wednesday for a noon matinee with the Dolphins. The two in-state squads will be finishing their season series that the Knights (14-8) currently lead, 2-1.
Despite a season-low three hits, UCF was able to manufacture runs by taking advantage of four walks, three balls in the dirt and two errors.
Redshirt senior RF Erik Hempe (0-for-2, 2 RBI) helped UCF strike first by driving home JoMarcos Woods (2 R, 2 BB), who led off the opening frame with a walk, from third base on a sacrifice fly to deep center field. The Knights pushed across the second run the following inning after Lions' third baseman David Vandercook couldn't handle a Jeramy Matos hot shot that would score Austin Johnston (1-for-3, 1 R) from third.
Pitching with an early lead, Skoglund started the contest by setting down the Lions in order the first time through prior to creating a one-out bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth. The southpaw buckled down and got DH Joey Falcone to fan through an 0-2 pitch followed by a fly out to centerfield by Nick Ferraresi to end the threat.
UCF's second hit of the game came in the sixth as James Vasquez (1-for-3, 1 R) belted the ball into the air to deep center that kept traveling and eventually landed off the twisting centerfielder's glove to result in an RBI double that would score Woods from first. Hempe would do his job once again by sending a fly ball to center for his second sacrifice fly of the game.
In the seventh, the Knights would manufacture their final run after Parker Webster (1-for-3, 1 R) ripped a double down the left-field line and was eventually driven home on a Spencer Haynes RBI groundout.
Reaching his pitch count for the evening, Skoglund was lifted for RHP Spencer Davis who made his 11th appearance of the season and finished off the game despite the Lions scoring their only run of the night.
Ten Voucher packages are now on sale for only $50. Select the games that you want to attend for a discounted price. Voucher packages and single-game tickets can be purchased by calling 407-UCF-1000 or visit the baseball tickets page. Stay up-to-date on all the latest news by visiting UCFAthletics.com and following the team on Twitter (@UCF_Baseball) and Facebook.