ORLANDO, Fla. – Three UCF pitchers combined to throw a one-hit shutout on Friday evening, as The Knights (16-10, 1-0) defeated South Florida (18-8, 0-1) 5-0 to open American Athletic Conference play. Connor Staine worked six innings, allowing one hit and striking out eight Bulls, improving to 4-0 on the season.
Kyle Kramer entered in the seventh and worked 1.2 innings striking out four batters. Chase Centala closed the game, stranding a pair in the eighth, before retiring the side in the ninth. He added two more strikeouts on the ninth to give the UCF staff 14.
The Knights opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, as Tom Josten was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Gephry Pena. In the third, Lex Boedicker singled to right field to score Noah Orlando, one of Boedecker's three hits on the evening.
In the fourth, UCF continued to add to the lead as Gephry Pena singled to right field to score Josten and push the lead to 3-0. Alex Freeland recorded his first hit of the night, innings after making a highlight reel throw across his body to record the final out of the fifth, a solo home run to left field. UCF added one final run to extend the lead to 5-0 on a Josten fielder's choice that scored Pablo Ruiz from third.
BOTTOM 1st | USF 0 – UCF 1 | Tom Josten is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded scoring Gephry Pena.
BOTTOM 3rd | USF 0 – UCF 2 | Lex Boedicker singles to right to score Noah Orlando.
BOTTOM 4th | USF 0 – UCF 3 | Gephry Pena singles to right to score Josten.
BOTTOM 7th | USF 0 – UCF 4 | Alex Freeland hits a solo home run to left field.
BOTTOM 8th | USF 0 – UCF 5 | Josten grounds into a fielder's choice and scores Pablo Ruiz.
- Lex Boedicker extended his hitting streak to six games on Friday night, finishing 3-for-3 with an RBI.
- Connor Staine improved to 4-0 on the season, working six innings of one-hit baseball, while striking out eight batters. He extended his streak to 30.2 innings without allowing an earned run.
- UCF is a perfect 9-0 when allowing opponents to score less than two runs.
- Friday marks the first time since 2018 when Cre Finfrock and Thad Ward combined to throw a one-hitter against USF on April 20th.
- Andrew Sundean finished the night 2-for-3 improving his batting average to .476 on the season.
- Tom Josten tallied two RBIs on the evening, being hit by a pitch and grounding into a fielder's choice.
UCF and USF will continue the first meeting of the War on I4 this season on Saturday. First pitch has been moved up to noon from John Euliano Park.