April 23, 2013
By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After returning to the UCF baseball complex following an eight-game road trip, fans who came out to the Florida Atlantic game last Tuesday might have asked themselves when looking at the lineup board, Who is Bret Gordon?
The junior walk-on has made quite a journey before he found himself in the Knights' starting lineup. To date, he has started nine times in 2013 as the Knights head into the weekend series with Houston beginning on Friday.
Hailing from Tampa, Gordon was a multi-sport athlete at Chamberlin High School, showing off his athleticism on the basketball court as well as on the baseball diamond.
After earning Hillsborough County Honorable Mention honors after his junior year, the 5-foot-11 infielder hit .328 his senior season and was named the All-Western Conference First Team.
Despite having a solid senior campaign, Gordon tore his ACL which left him without a place to play collegiate ball. He decided to attend UCF while studying industrial engineering, but his love for the game never subsided.
More than a year away from the diamond, Gordon decided to give club ball a chance at UCF, playing 24 games and totaling a .351 batting average with eight doubles, two homers, 23 RBI while leading the team with three triples.
Playing club (baseball), I realized how much I loved the game still, so I decided to come back out this year, Gordon said. It has been a blessing.
At the urging of a few friends on the club team, Gordon made his way out to fall tryouts where he could be seen donning his own jersey and using all of his own equipment while vying for a spot on a Division I roster.
He made his presence felt with his slick glove and quick bat in the Black & Gold World Series where he aided the Black squad to the championship by batting .500 (4-for-8), including scoring a pair of runs in the final game.
Recalling head coach Terry Rooney's chat with him after fall ball came to a close, Gordon said Rooney asked if he knew anything about the history of UCF baseball. His reply?
I know you guys win. I am willing to work so I can be a part of it.
Fast forward to April 6 where Gordon first saw his name on the starting-lineup card in the visiting dugout at Memphis. The second baseman would go on to notch his first-collegiate hit in the game and ended the weekend with three base-knocks and an RBI.
Perhaps the pinnacle of Gordon's hard work so far this season happened last Tuesday night. In the third inning, after attempting a bunt on the first pitch he saw, he pulled his bat back and ripped a 1-0 fastball that was left up in the zone over left-field fence for his first collegiate home run. After touching home plate, Gordon was mauled by ecstatic teammates whom he's grown close with over the last few months.
It has been amazing, Gordon said of the support he's received. God has blessed me in many ways. It is crazy how many roads you can take to get to a spot. I've just been blessed with the team I have and how the players have helped me out left and right. (Chris) Taladay, (Ryan) Breen, AJ ( Austin Johnston) and (Erik) Hempe are all there to support me.
Rooney also couldn't be more pleased with the day-to-day effort he sees from Gordon and how he has seized the opportunities given to him.
Bret Gordon has done a great job for us. He's doing everything. He has gotten some big hits for us and is making the plays, Rooney said. You talk about taking advantage of your opportunities, and he is taking huge advantage of his. I'm proud of him. He's worked hard. When you work hard, and your chance comes, you do it.