Willy's Gem Not Enough as UConn Ties Series

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – For the second straight game, the UCF baseball team saw its starter throw at least seven innings and hold UConn’s chances offensively, but Chris William’s gem was not enough in a 3-1 defeat in 11 innings.

Williams was solid in bounce-back performance. The redshirt senior went a season-long seven innings with a pair of strikeouts and no walks. He scattered five hits and allowed just one earned run in the second inning.

Williams settled in after the second, retiring the side in three of the next five innings. The Fort Lauderdale native attacked hitters at the top of the inning with just one leadoff batter reaching first during his time on the mound. Williams topped a season high with 106 pitches, 75 of which were strikes.

The northpaw finished strong, retiring the final eight batters he faced, including the last pair with his only strikeouts of the game.

After the Huskies took the lead, Chandler Robertson brought the Knights level an inning later. Brandon Hernandez reached on a fielding error to start the inning and made his way over to third after a steal and a sacrifice bunt from Pedro Castellano. Robertson then ripped an RBI single through the left side to tie the game.

The relievers kept the Huskies hitless for the next three frames. Jeffrey Hakanson made quick work of his only inning in the eighth with a strikeout and 13 of 14 pitches for strikes. He made way for Kyle Kemp for the ninth and 10th innings, and the righty fanned one and walked one.

UCF had chances to scratch runs across. The Knights put a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs in the seventh but could not bring in the go-ahead run. An inning later, Dalton Wingo hammered a 2-2 deliver to third, only for third baseman Conor Moriarty to make a stellar play to turn an inning-ending double play.

UCF (17-10, 1-4) – 1, UConn (17-10, 3-2) – 3
Winning pitcher:
Jacob Wallace (2-0)
Losing pitcher: Garrett Westberg (2-3)
Top hitters: Chandler Robertson (2-2, 1 RBI)
Top pitchers: Chris Williams (7 IP, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 ER), Jeffrey Hakanson (1 IP, 1 K, 0 H), Kyle Kemp (2 IP, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 H)

• UConn leads the all-time series 12-8.
• Williams recorded his third outing with no walks and at least five innings pitched this season.
Tyler Osik’s career-long on-base streak came to an end at 24 games.
Chandler Robertson went 2-for-2 with an RBI, his seventh multi-hit game of the year.
Kyle Kemp now has a bullpen low 1.08 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings of work.
Jeffrey Hakanson leads the relievers with 27 punchouts out of the bullpen.

UCF will look to win the series on Sunday afternoon in the rubber match against UConn at 1 p.m. Marc Daniels will have the call on UCFKnights.TV and FM96.9/AM740.

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