Baseball Takes 12-3 Victory Over Memphis in Series Opener

ORLANDO – The UCF baseball team (19-15, 2-5 AAC) opened the three-game weekend series against the Memphis Tigers with a 12-3 victory on Friday night at John Euliano Park.

All three phases brought their best in another well-rounded performance with the offense scoring 12 runs on 15 hits, the defense making zero errors, and Ruddy Gomez and Chase Centala combining for 12 strikeouts.

Gomez made a strong statement in the first inning by striking out the side, notching three of his nine strikeouts over 7.0 innings of work. Allowing three earned runs and seven hits, Gomez exited the game with a convincing 11-3 UCF lead, earning the win to improve to 5-2 record on the year.

John Rhys Plumlee opened the scoring for the Knights in the bottom of the third, hitting his first career triple to bring the first two runs across. Drew Faurot led off the inning with a single to left center field and Cole Russo followed with a walk, with both scoring on Plumlee's triple. UCF added three more runs in the frame on three additional hits, as Ben McCabe scored Plumlee with a single to left field and Tom Josten and Andrew Sundean hit back-to-back RBI doubles to help the Knights jump out to an early 5-0 lead through three.

Memphis got a run back in the top of the fourth to spoil the shutout, driving in their first run on only their third hit of the evening.

The Knights added three home runs in the later innings, bringing the team total to 63 for the season. The first was in the bottom of the fifth, as Lex Boedicker's eighth home run of the year was a towering shot to dead-center that drove in Josten, who reached on a perfectly-executed bunt single, and Sundean, who was hit-by-pitch. In the bottom of the sixth, Sundean hit a solo shot to left center for his eighth of the season and Faurot took the first pitch of the seventh yard, notching the ninth homer of his freshman campaign.

Answering the Knights' runs in the sixth and seventh innings, Memphis plated two more on a single to right field and an RBI groundout.

Sundean was hit by another pitch in the bottom of the seventh with bases loaded to score Russo and bring the score to 11-3.

Tying UCF's single-game season high of five hit by pitches, Boedicker wore one to lead off the eighth inning. To finalize the scoring in the contest, Russo became the third Knight in four days to record the first triple of his career, plating Boedicker in the process.

Chase Centala worked two 1-2-3 innings out of the bullpen, retiring the side in the top of the ninth with only 11 pitches to seal the 12-3 win for the Black and Gold.

The Knights and Tigers will conclude their series Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 2:30 p.m. with the series finale to follow approximately 45 minutes after.