CLEARWATER, Fla. – UCF Baseball (33-24) scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning on Wednesday evening and never looked back, eliminating Wichita State (21-36), 12-4. The Knights live to fight another day, advancing to Friday's elimination round against the loser of the Houston and Memphis game tomorrow afternoon.
Wichita State opened the scoring in the top of the first, scoring a run off of Connor Staine, who started tonight's game against the Shockers. The righty worked 2.1 innings, allowing three runs on three hits and striking out two.
The Knights responded in the bottom of the first, as Tom Josten singled to center field to score Gephry Pena from second to tie the game at one. UCF erupted for five runs in the bottom of the second, as Pena started the inning with a single to center field scoring Michael Brooks. Noah Orlando singled to left center to score Pena and Lex Boedicker, before Alex Freeland made it 5-1, scoring on a wild pitch.
Later in the second, Tom Josten singled through the right side to score Orlando from third and increase the Knights lead to 6-1. Wichita State punched back in the third, scoring a pair of runs to cut the lead to 6-3.
In the fourth, UCF added a run thanks to Alex Freeland's sacrifice suicide squeeze, increasing the lead to 7-3. In the fifth, the Knights added three more, as Michael Brooks singled to right field to score Andrew Sundean from third. Trent Taylor hit his second double of the night, score Brooks from second, Before Pena flew out to left field to score Boedicker and push the Knights lead to 10-3.
UCF scored two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to extend the lead to 12-4, surviving the first elimination game of the tournament and advancing to Friday's games.
Ruddy Gomez picked up his fifth win in relief, working 4.2 innings, allowing four hits and one run. He struck out a career-high six batters to improve to 5-0 on the season. William Saxton closed out the ballgame, working 2.0 innings and allowing one hit. He struck out two of the final three batters he faced to slam the door.
TOP 1st | WSU 1 – UCF 0 | Wichita State opens the scoring in the top of the first.
BOTTOM 1st | WSU 1 – UCF 1 | Tom Josten singles to center field to score Gephry Pena from second.
BOTTOM 2nd | WSU 1 – UCF 6 | Gephry Pena singles to center field and advances to second on the error to score Michael Brooks from second. Noah Orlando singles to left center to score Gephry Pena and Lex Boedicker. Alex Freeland scores on a wild pitch. Tom Josten singles through the right side to score Orlando from third.
TOP 3rd | WSU 3 – UCF 6 | Wichita State scores a pair in the third.
BOTTOM 4th | WSU 3 – UCF 7 | Freeland lays down a sacrifice squeeze, fielder's choice to score Trent Taylor from third.
BOTTOM 5th | WSU 3 – UCF 10 | Brooks singles to right field to score Andrew Sundean from third. Trent Taylor doubles to left field to score Michael Brooks from second. Pena flies out to left field to Boedicker from third.
TOP 7th | WSU 4 – UCF 10 | Shockers get one back in the seventh.
BOTTOM 7th | WSU 4 – UCF 12 | Brooks scores on a failed pickoff move. Trent Taylor triples to left center to score Ruiz.
- Michael Brooks stole second in the second inning to record the 100th stolen base this season. It marks the third time under head coach Greg Lovelady that the Knights have accomplish that feat.
- Ruddy Gomez worked 4.2 innings and struck out a career-high six Shockers on Wednesday's elimination game. Gomez improved to 5-0 on the season for the Knights.
- UCF improves to 15-1 this season when scoring 10 or more runs, defeating Wichita State 12-4 on Wednesday.
- Trent Taylor finished the night 3-for-4 with all three of his hits being for extra bases. He doubled twice and tripled, driving in two runs.
- Eight different Knights scored a run Wednesday, while three of them scored multiple runs.
- UCF pitchers combined to strike out 11 Shockers.
UCF Baseball will await the loser of game eight between Houston and Memphis tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 47 minutes after the 1:00 p.m. game.