TAMPA, Fla. – Ben Vespi worked six stellar innings for the second consecutive week, posting a career-high eight strikeouts, as UCF Baseball (28-17, 11-5) blasted South Florida (23-22, 4-12), 10-4, on Friday night to open the series. Vespi improved to 5-2 on the season, evolving into the Knights Friday starter.
The Knights opened the scoring in the top of the second, as Michael Brooks singled to left center field to score Ben McCabe and Tom Josten. Brooks later scored on a wild pitch to extend the Knights lead to 3-0, before Lex Boedicker doubled down the line in left to score Ryan Taylor.
In the third, UCF continued to put the pressure on USF as Trent Taylor singled up the middle to score Josten from third. South Florida ended up cutting into the UCF lead in the third, scoring to cut the Knights lead to 5-1. In the fifth, Brooks singled up the middle to score Josten from second and extend the lead to 6-1.
UCF added three more runs in the sixth, extending the lead to 9-1. Boedicker singled through the right side to score Noah Orlando from second. Brooks drew a bases loaded walk to score Boedicker and Trent Taylor flew out to right field to score Andrew Sundean from third. In the eighth, Gephry Pena singled to left field to score Trent Taylor and extend the lead to 10-1.
USF tried to get a rally going in the ninth, scoring three runs, but Dominic Castellano shut the threat down to give the Knights game one 10-4.
TOP 2nd | USF 0 – UCF 4 | Michael Brooks singles to left center to score Ben McCabe and Tom Josten. Brooks scores on a wild pitch. Lex Boedicker doubles down the line in left to score Ryan Taylor.
TOP 3rd | USF 0 – UCF 5 | Trent Taylor singles up the middle to score Tom Josten from third.
BOTTOM 3rd | USF 1 – UCF 5 | USF gets a run back in the third.
TOP 5th | USF 1 – UCF 6 | Brooks singles up the middle scoring Josten from second.
TOP 6th | USF 1 – UCF 9 | Lex Boedicker singles through the right side to score Noah Orlando from second. Brooks draws a bases loaded walk to score Boedicker from third. Trent Taylor flies out to right field to score Andrew Sundean from third.
TOP 8th | USF 1 – UCF 10 | Gephry Pena singles to left field to score Trent Taylor.
BOTTOM 9th | USF 4 – UCF 10 | USF scores three in the ninth.
- Ben Vespi posted another career-high for strikeouts on Friday night, picking up eight in his victory on the mound.
- UCF has won the first four games against USF this season with two left to play.
- Lex Boedicker finished the evening 4-for-5 with two RBIs.
- Michael Brooks drove in four runs on Friday, finishing 3-for-4 with a walk.
- Tom Josten was 3-for-3 with three doubles, three runs scored and two walks.
- Trent Taylor drove in a pair of runs, sacrificing three times in his 2-for-2 night.
- UCF improves to 12-0 on the season when scoring 10 or more runs, improving to 21-9 when scoring first, and 25-3 when outhitting opponents.
UCF and USF will continue the three-game set from the USF Baseball Stadium tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.