Knights Offense Erupts in 22-5 Win Over Siena

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Knights had an offense-filled opening night as they defeated Siena 22-5 at John Euliano Park. UCF combined for 22 hits, including five players with multi-hit games and two with multi-homer games. 22 runs marks the most in Opening Knight history and the most since March 14, 2010 against Hartford.

"It was great to see the offense do what we feel like it can do," said UCF head coach Greg Lovelady. "We still have a lot of room to go, but it was great to see some of our young guys make some great plays. I thought it was a well-rounded game and a good start."
After exchanging two scoreless innings, the Saints took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third on a Gavin Thornburn home run just over the left field fence. 
The Knights returned the favor in the bottom half of the inning. After a Corey Robinson single and stolen base, Nick Romano stepped up to the plate with one on and two out. He promptly launched a two-run shot to left center field, scoring Robinson from second to give the Knights the 2-1 lead. Tom Josten was hit by the pitch to bring up Ben McCabe to continue the inning. McCabe also hit one out of the park, another two-run homer to extend the lead to three. 
The Knights' two home run third inning was their first multi-homer inning on Opening Day since 2018. 
Romano and McCabe were at it again in the fifth for the Knights. After Robinson reached on an error to begin the inning, Romano followed up with a two-run shot to right center, his second two-run homer of the night to put the team up 6-1 on the Saints. With one out in the inning, McCabe hit the team's fourth homer of the night, a solo shot, to put the Knights up six. 
Siena's Aiden Stewart doubled to center field with two out in the top of the sixth. After a wild pitch advanced him to third, Vincent DiNicola singled to left center, scoring Stewart, cutting the lead to 7-2. Matt Livingston plated another two runs for the Saints in the inning on a single to center, cutting their deficit to three. 
The offense erupted for eight runs in the bottom half of the inning. John Rhys Plumlee started the inning by walking and then promptly stole second. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and then came around to score on Robinson's RBI single. With one on and one out, Josten doubled home Romano to give the team a 9-4 lead. McCabe then launched his third home run of the night, a two-run shot to push UCF into double digits. The scoring continued as Drew Faurot blasted a three-run shot for the sixth homerun of the game. Robinson then added his second RBI single of the night to extend the lead to 15-4 going to the seventh. 
UCF plated six more runs in the seventh. After back-to-back hits for Andrew Brait and McCabe, Matt Cedarburg doubled, scoring McCabe. Faurot followed up with an RBI single to center field, his fourth RBI of the game to give the Knights an 18-4 lead. Brady Shannon capped off the inning with a three-run homer to give UCF its seventh homerun of the game, tying the school record for the most home runs in a single game. 
McCabe's single in the seventh gave him his fifth hit of the night. He is the first Knight to have five hits in a game since Ryan Crile in 2016. 
After two walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with one out for Siena, a passed ball scored the runner from third giving the Saints an unearned run. A 1-2-3 double play ended the game for UCF for a final score of 22-5. The Knights and Saints will continue their three-game set on Saturday at 4 p.m.