Orlando, Fla. – The UCF baseball team clinched the War On I-4 series with a game one walk off win (5-4) over South Florida, as well as the all-sports season series. The Knights would split the doubleheader with the Bulls, falling in game two of the day.
Game One | UCF (17-18, 7-4 AAC) – 5, South Florida (12-17, 2-5 AAC) – 4
Freshman John Montes gave the Knights their first lead in the second inning, with a two-RBI single to right field. South Florida answered with a three-run home run, in their half of the fifth which was followed up by a solo shot two batters later to extend the lead to 4-2.
In the sixth, Andrew Brait singled to right, driving in McCabe for his fourth RBI of the year. Two batters later, Montes earns another RBI to tie the game, after beating out a double play to keep the inning alive – allowing Alex Freeland to score.
Ben Vespi came out of the bullpen to stifle the charging Bulls, tossing 3.0 IP in the heart of this one, striking out six batters and not allowing any runs.
Neither team were unable to break the stalemate before the end of nine innings, pushing the game into extras. With a runner placed on second to start the inning, Josh Crouch drove in the winning run to secure the War on I-4 title.
Winning Pitcher: David Litchfield (3-2)
Losing Pitcher: Orion Kerkering (2-2)
Top Pitcher: Ben Vespi (3.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 K)
Top Hitters: Josh Crouch (1-2, RBI, R), Pablo Ruiz (2-3, 2 2B, R)
- Gephry Pena extended his on-base streak to 34 with a 1-4 day at the plate.
- The walk-off victory clinches the 2020-21 all-sport War On I-4 season series, 47.5 – 16.5.
- Ben Vespi made his 15th appearance out of the bullpen for the Knights, tossed 3.0 IP with 6 strikeouts.
- David Litchfield earned his third win of the year, entering a tie ballgame in the 10th before UCF won the game in walk-off fashion.
Game Two | UCF (17-19, 7-5 AAC) – 0, South Florida (13-17, 3-5 AAC) – 11
South Florida jumped out to an early lead with a two-out solo shot in the first. They would continue to have four, multiple-run innings to plate double digits in game two.
The Knights were unable to find an answer to South Florida pitchers in game two of the day. It took UCF 5.1 innings to break through, as Ben McCabe broke up the no-hitter with a line drive up the middle. The Black & Gold would collect another three hits in the game but were unable to string anything together to plate a run.
Winning Pitcher: Brad Lord(2-3)
Losing Pitcher: Jack Sinclair (1-4)
Top Hitters: Ben McCabe (2-3)
- The four-game series win marks the first since taking three of four from North Florida in March.
- UCF finishes the series with the Bulls trailing all-time, 73-75
- The Knights will finish the regular season 12-11 against Sunshine State foes.
- Gephry Pena's on-base streak extends to 35 after being hit by a pitch in the first inning.
The Knights are set for a four-game series at East Carolina next weekend. UCF and the Pirates are scheduled for a doubleheader on Friday, first pitch of game one coming at 1 p.m. Saturday's game will begin at 4 p.m. and Sunday will begin at noon.
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