Cincinnati, Ohio – The Knights came out bats ablaze Saturday afternoon with a loud answer to Friday night's matchup, evening the series at 1-1. Behind a six-home run day from the offense and Cameron Leiter's 11-strikeout performance, the Knights took the second game with a final score of 12-4.
The UCF baseball team improves to a 28-23 record and 9-11 American Athletic Conference record, while Cincinnati falls to 22-28 overall with a 9-11 conference record to match.
Leiter pitched lights-out for his second consecutive outing. Leiter opened the game by striking out the side swinging twice and proceeded to throw 4 perfect innings. In 5.1 innings of work, he struck out 11 hitters, 10 of them swinging, and allowed only two hits and two earned runs.
Getting the early lead in the game, Ben McCabe, Nick Romano and Andrew Sundean's three back-to-back base knocks loaded the bases in the top of the first inning and a balk scored the Knights' first run of the day. Through the first inning, five of the Knights' starting nine had tallied hits.
Three different Knights had two-home runs games en route to the 12 run victory. John Rhys Plumlee went yard in back-to-back at bats, hammering two balls over the left field wall to score three in the first inning and two in the third. He became the sixth Knight with a double-digit home run total and the fifth Knight to tally 5 RBI in a game.
Lex Boedicker had his second multi-home run in as many weeks, taking a pair deep to right field in the fifth and sixth innings. The Ohio native had a huge game in front of his family, complete with "Let's go Lex" signs in the stands.
McCabe had his third multi-home run game to bring his season total to 18, tying him for third in single-season home runs with Dee Brown. McCabe sent two towering solo shots to left field in the sixth and eighth innings, with his second home run bringing the score to 12-2.
In the final two frames Cincinnati got two runs back on two more hits, but Leiter, Cameron Crain and Kris Sosnowski combined to hold the Bearcats to only four hits.
UCF returns to the UC Baseball Stadium at noon Sunday for the series finale, wrapping up its eight-game road trip.