ORLANDO, Fla. – UCF baseball (10-3) scored seven runs in the sixth inning before recording an out to defeat Florida A&M (6-8) 18-4 on Wednesday. William Saxton worked three innings of three-hit baseball, allowing an unearned run and striking out four batters to improve to 1-0 on the season.
UCF opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, as Alex Freeland hit his third home run of the season, a two-run shot to left center field. FAMU would respond in the top of the third to cut the deficit to 2-1, before the Knights put up a trio of runs in the bottom half. Trent Taylor would drive in Freeland, before Tom Josten tripled to right field to score Michael Brooks and Taylor.
FAMU did not go away, adding a run in the fourth to cut the lead to 5-2. UCF responded once again in the bottom half, as Alex Freeland scored on a failed pickoff move after stealing second. The Knights added a pair in the fifth, before erupting for seven runs in the sixth.
Riley Wash began the no-out RBI train, singling up the middle to score Freeland. Brooks and Josten drew bases loaded walks to score a pair, before Noah Orlando doubled to right field to score Brooks and Taylor. Lex Boedicker singled to left field to score Josten, before Cole Russo pitch hit for Gephry Pena. Russo singled up the middle to score Orlando, as the Knights blew the game open in the sixth.
Russo tacked on two more RBIs in the seventh, singling up the middle once again to score Josten and Ryan Taylor.
Julian Balzer made his collegiate debut on Wednesday, working an inning in relief and striking out one batter. Cameron Crain took over in the fourth and worked four innings out of the pen. Crain recorded six punchouts, before handing the ball over to Jacob Marlowe to close out the ballgame. Marlowe pitched a perfect frame in the ninth to lock down the Knights 10th victory of the year.
BOTTOM 1st| FAMU 0 – UCF 2 | Alex Freeland hits a two-run home run to left center field.
TOP 3rd | FAMU 1 – UCF 2 | FAMU gets on the board in the third.
BOTTOM 3rd | FAMU 1 – UCF 5 | Trent Taylor singles up the middle to score Alex Freeland. Tom Josten triples to right to score Michael Brooks and Trent Taylor.
TOP 4th | FAMU 2 – UCF 5 | FAMU adds another run in the fourth.
BOTTOM 4th | FAMU 2 – UCF 7 | Alex Freeland stole second and scored on an error by the pitcher.
TOP 5th | FAMU 4 – UCF 7 | FAMU scores two more runs to pull within three.
BOTTOM 5th | FAMU 4 – UCF 9 | Trent Taylor scores on a wild pitch. Lex Boedicker doubles to right center to score Noah Orlando.
BOTTOM 6th | FAMU 4 – UCF 16 | Riley Wash singles up the middle to score Alex Freeland. Michael Brooks walked to drive in Ben McCabe. Tom Josten walks to drive in Riley Wash. Noah Orlando doubles to left field to score Brooks and Taylor. Boedicker singles to left field to score Josten. Cole Russo singles up the middle to score Orlando.
BOTTOM 7th | FAMU 4 – UCF 18 | Cole Russo singles up the middle to score Tom Josten and Ryan Taylor.
- Julian Balzer recorded his first collegiate strikeout in his debut this evening.
- 13 different Knights registered a hit in the victory on Wednesday.
- It is the fifth time this season that UCF has eclipsed double-digit runs in a game, tying a season high for runs with 18.
- Cameron Crain worked four innings out of the bullpen, striking out six batters. The outing was the longest of the season.
- UCF scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth, all coming with no outs in the inning.
- Eight different UCF batters recorded RBIs on Wednesday.
- Tom Josten finished the day 2-for-4 with a double, triple and 3 RBIs. He scored two runs to his line as well and walked twice.
UCF will host North Florida for a two-game set at John Euliano Park beginning Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.