Orlando, Fla. – On the first day of a three-game set, the Knights hosted Liberty for a doubleheader, featuring a 2 p.m. start time on Friday – UCF dropped both contests, 2-1, and 8-3.
In game one, Colton Gordon threw a complete game, struck out 10 Liberty batters, and allowed just two runs. Game two saw the Knights bats come alive for 11 hits but were unable to string them together to overcome the eight run deficit.
Game One | Liberty (4-5) – 2, UCF (3-6) 1
Getting the Knights offense started with a bang, Ben McCabe hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to give UCF the first lead of the day. UCF starting pitcher, Colton Gordon threw his first complete game of his UCF career, going 9.0 IP with 10 strikeouts, allowing just two earned runs on five Liberty hits.
The Knights 1-0 lead held until the sixth, when Liberty would make their mark with a two-run home run to take the lead. It was the only mistake Gordon would make, but the UCF offense was unable to get to the Liberty staff, as they combined for just two hits allowed one run and 13 Ks.
Winning Pitcher: Trevor Delaite (1-1
Losing Pitcher: Colton Gordon (0-1)
Top Pitchers: Colton Gordon (9.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 K)
Top Hitters: Ben McCabe (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI)
- Slugging his fifth of the season, Ben McCabe led the Knights offense with a solo home run in the bottom of the first.
- Colton Gordon had a career night on the mound, tossing 9.0 IP for his first complete game as a Knight, fanning 10 Liberty batters, and allowing just two runs on a homer in the sixth.
Game Two | Liberty (5-5) – 8, UCF (3-7) 3
Once again, the Knights picked up the first lead of the game in the bottom of the first; UCF went up two runs in the first after Gephry Pena stole a pair of bases on his way to being driven in on a Jordan Rathbone RBI single. Two batters later, Matt Archer drove in Rathbone as his eighth RBI of the year.
Liberty answered in their half of the second with a run, and again in the fourth on a solo home run to even the game at two runs each. Junior, Trent Taylor hit his first home run as a Knight in the home half of the fourth to return UCF the lead.
After taking the lead once again, the Flames created a comeback in the sixth inning, stringing together three hits, including a two RBI bases loaded double, for four runs in the inning. Liberty added a single run in the seventh and eighth inning to put the game out of reach for the Knights.
Winning Pitcher: Mason Meyer(1-1)
Losing Pitcher: Jack Sinclair (0-1)
Top Pitchers: Ben Vespi (2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 K)
Top Hitters: Jordan Rathbone (2-5, 1 RBI, 1 R), Gep
- Following game one, UCF is now 1-3 in one-run games in 2021
- UCF is still leading the all-time series, now at 5-3
- After earning the lead in the first inning of both games, UCF has struck first in four straight contests.
- Trent Taylor's fourth inning homer was the first of his career as a Knight, and first hit of 2021.
- UCF matched Liberty's 11 hits in the game two loss, but only combined for more than two hits in an inning a single time.
UCF continues the three-game series with Liberty on Sunday, Mar. 7 with an 11 a.m. first pitch at John Euliano Park.
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