ORLANDO, Fla. – The Knights opened the American Athletic Conference portion of their 2021 schedule with a 5-2 War on I4 victory over South Florida on Thursday. Colton Gordon earned his fourth win of the year with is 6.0 IP performance and allowed two runs or less for the seventh time this season.
The Knights trailed early, as USF launched a solo shot in the second inning and doubled their lead with a pair of singles in the fourth. The UCF pitching staff kept the Bulls off the board for the remainder of the game, stranding nine South Florida batters on the bases in the last five innings.
UCF struck back in the sixth inning, which started with John Montes launching his first career home run as a Knight into the woods beyond the USF Baseball Stadium right-field wall. Gephry Pena followed the freshman with what he does best, a base knock followed by a stolen base before Jordan Rathbone pushed him across with a double off the right field wall.
David Litchfield came in to toss 1.2 IP of shutout work and earn his second save of the season. The Black & Gold also added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth when Gephry Pena added two RBI to his list of accolades for the contest.
UCF (11-14) – 5, South Florida (10-13) – 2
Winning Pitcher: Colton Gordon (4-2)
Losing Pitcher: Jack Jasiak (2-4)
Top Hitters: Gehpry Pena (John Montes (1-3, HR, RBI), Jordan Rathbone (1-3, 2B, RBI)
Top Pitchers: Colton Gordon (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 K, 3 BB)
- The game one War on I4 victory halted the Knights three-game losing skid.
- The Knights cut USF's all-time lead on the series to 72-69
- Gephry Pena extended his on-base streak with two hits and a walk, in today's game. His on-base streak extends back to March 9, 2020.
- Pena picked up his 11th stolen base of the year in the eighth inning
- Freshman, John Montes got the Knights offense going with his fifth inning solo shot – the first HR of his collegiate career
WAR ON I4
- Each game is worth .75 points for a total of six points available to each program by the conclusion of the eight games. (8 games x .75 pts = 6 total points)
- With the victory, the UCF baseball team picks up .75 pts to extend the Knights lead in the all-sports to 30.75 - 15
- Fans can follow the 2020-21 War on I-4 all-sport season series here: https://www.war-on-i4.com/
The UCF baseball team returns to the USF Baseball Stadium on Friday for a scheduled doubleheader, first pitch of the first game is set for 2 p.m. The two teams will wrap the first War on I4 weekend series on Saturday at 1 p.m.
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