March 15, 2014
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF baseball team overcame a three-run third-inning deficit to earn the series win over Central Connecticut State on Saturday as junior Jordan Savinon hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth for the 9-8 victory.
The Knights' (9-11) triumphant comeback was team's first walk-off victory since March 3, 2013. Three players concluded the beautiful day at the UCF Baseball Complex with multiple-hit games, including junior shortstop Tommy Williams who went 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored.
"Our guys deserved something like tonight," head coach Terry Rooney said after the game. "Anyone who's followed our program this year knows we've had an enormous amount of one-run and extra-inning games. These kids have remained confident, their work ethic has been unbelievable. They never give up and they deserve something like that."
UCF will conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m. with junior Zach Rodgers making his second-consecutive weekend start. Sunday's matinee will also serve as "Knights for Youth Day." All youth fans 12 and under will get free admission on Sunday. There will be bounce houses and a collapsible frisbee giveaway to the first 250 kids through the gates.
Due to an event at CFE Arena on Sunday afternoon, Garage F parking will be a cash lot. Refer to the UCF Baseball Parking Map for the latest parking information.
Savinon's heroics were set up by fellow junior Sam Tolleson. Tolleson, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, dropped a two-out single into right field to get aboard. The Houston, Texas native then picked a great time for his first-career steal as he swiped second to move himself into scoring position. From there, Savinon did the rest as he ripped a 1-2 pitch into the right-field corner that scored Tolleson and set off a mob scene near second base.
"I think this win should give our guys a tremendous amount of confidence," Rooney continued. "It's the beauty of baseball. The only way a win like today ever happens is if you have a group of confident, resilient and determined kids. The bench was unbelievable, they knew it was going to happen and they did a great job."
Trailing 2-0 in the second inning, the Knights put up four in the frame to take their first lead. Junior James Vasquez ripped a lead-off triple into the gap in right-center and later came around to score on an RBI groundout by freshman Kam Gellinger.
Later in the inning with the bases loaded and two outs, junior Dylan Moore drew an RBI walk to keep the rally alive and fellow junior Derrick Salberg followed up with a two-run single into right to put UCF ahead 4-2.
After Central Connecticut State stormed ahead with a five-run third inning, the Knights retook the lead in the fifth on a two-run double by Williams and a sacrifice fly by freshman Dalton Duty.
Rodgers (2-1) earned the victory after tossing a perfect ninth inning. Freshman Jarrod Petree kept the Knights in the game with three scoreless innings of relief after the Blue Devils (1-2) had put seven on the board in the first two frames. Junior Parker Thomas put out a fire as he escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth with back-to-back strikeouts.
Ten-game 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 at our Baseball Ticket Central page, or by calling the UCFAA Sales & Service Office at (407) UCF-1000. Stay up-to-date on all the latest baseball news by following the team on Twitter @UCF_Baseball, Facebook and Instagram.