ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 17 UCF baseball team clinched the four-game series victory on Sunday afternoon at John Euliano Park. The Knights started out of the gates slow, falling into an early deficit but used the long ball to take their first lead and never turned back to defeat CSUN 6-4.
Sunday's contest began similarly to the previous couple days, with CSUN striking first. Nearly batting around, the Matadors tagged starting pitcher Joe Sheridan with four runs in the first frame, coming off of two separate two RBI singles. Sheradin would settle in to throw 4.0 innings and only allowing three additional base runners after the first inning.
The Knights answered CSUN's early lead with four runs of their own in the second inning. Taking advantage of three separate errors, UCF's aggressive base running allowed four runs to cross the plate to tie the ballgame.
Ben McCabe, who homered in yesterday's game one loss, hit his second home run in as many days to give UCF a 5-4 lead in the fourth inning. Noah Orlando plated an insurance run on a sac bunt in the eighth inning for good measure, but thanks to relief pitching from the Knights' bullpen, that's all the Black and Gold would need to secure the victory.
The Knights allowed just two base runners in the final three innings of the contest. Jeff Hakansan entered the game in the eighth inning to pick up the two-inning save and slam the door on a CSUN comeback attempt with five strikeouts.
Winning Pitcher: David Litchfield (2-0)
Losing Pitcher: Michael Cartwright (0-1)
Top Pitchers: Jeff Hakanson (2.0 IP, 5 K, 1 SV), Billy McKay (1.2 IP, 2 K, 0 R)
Top Hitters: Ben McCabe (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI), Pablo Ruiz (3-4, 2 R, 1 2B), Gephry Pena (3-4, 1 2B)
- The No. 17 Knights have won five straight weekend series dating back to the series victory over AAC rival Memphis on Apr. 26-28, 2019
- The Black and Gold have now outscores their opponents 95-38 through 13 games.
- Jeff Hakanson picked up his third save of the early season against CSUN. Hakanson's three saves puts him tied for third in the country and at the top of the American Athletic Conference.
The Knights return to John Euliano Park host in-state rival Jacksonville University on Sunday, Mar. 1 at 12 p.m. The conclusion of the series can be streamed on twitch.tv/ucfknightstv1.
DON'T MISS OUT
The UCF baseball team is in its fourth season under head coach Greg Lovelady and will welcome seven teams from the 2019 NCAA Tournament to John Euliano Park in 2020. Click here or call (407) 823-1000 for ticket information.
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