Heartbreaking losses to FSU prove UCF not elite enough yet
Published: Sunday, March 11, 2012
Updated: Monday, March 12, 2012 10:03
Spring break: a time for trips to the beach, relaxing with family and whatever other shenanigans you manage to squeeze in between.
But while you were soaking up some sun on the beach, the UCF baseball team was busy playing eight games — eight games that proved the Knights are really good, just not quite as good as they hope to be.
UCF kicked off the break with a three-game series sweep over Siena, outscoring the poor visitors 33-10. The sweep gave the hot squad a six-game winning-streak.
Then came the real test: a two-game midweek series with the eighth-ranked FSU Seminoles.
This showdown between top-20 teams would help determine where the Knights are in relation to one of the nation's best teams early in the season.
A series split was a reasonable expectation considering the series was in Orlando, and a sweep would be incredible for a team with the hopes of reaching Omaha.
But, instead, UCF dropped two heartbreakers.
The Knights lost both games by one run, UCF pitchers shut out the Seminoles' potent lineup in all but two innings of play over the course of the series and the Knights even had a four-run lead in the first game.
But they both still go down in the loss column.
And despite the encouraging signs in both of the games, the final results prove that the Knights still have a little growing to do.
But that's OK.
This is when you want your team to grow. This is the time it's OK to have some growing pains.
It's not OK to discover this midway through the conference schedule or halfway through game one of an NCAA regional.
This is the perfect time for head coach Terry Rooney to sit down and figure out what's up and how to fix it.
UCF is, after all, back to thrashing its opponents in weekend series. The Knights pummeled UMass this weekend, putting up 16 runs in the Friday night contest and taking the series on Saturday.
The Knights will have plenty of opportunities to prove they belong among the top dogs in college baseball, starting when 14th-ranked Miami comes to the Berg Wednesday night.
So now that you're back a little tanner and a little bit more relaxed, know two things: The Knights aren't quite where they want to be, but that's OK — Rooney and the gang have time to work it out.