In the last of a five game home stand, the Knights looked to continue their winning ways before they make the road trip to Texas. Though North Florida battled the Knights throughout the game, UCF came away with a 5-4 victory at Jay Bergman Field Wednesday night.
“What a team win in every essence,” UCF head coach Terry Rooney said. “It starts on the mound. Trent Thompson goes out there and puts up zeros the whole way. Gives us a chance, gives us an opportunity to win.”
The high scoring of the Knights in the first four games of the season was toned down a little tonight but behind some clutch responses, they were able to get the win.
In the second inning, UNF got their bats going and put up the first three runs of the game. In the bottom half of the inning, the Knights responded with four runs of their own to take a 4-3 lead.
A RBI double by senior Sam Tolleson got the Knights on the board in the second. After UNF hit Knights third baseman Kam Gellinger, Ryan Crile got a hold of one and blasted a three-run home run to right field to give the Knights the lead.
“I got behind in the count and he kind of just threw it up and in,” junior second baseman Ryan Crile said. “I put a good swing on it and luckily there were runners on base and I got a couple RBIs out of it, so it felt pretty good.”
The Knights held that lead until the eighth inning when UNF came together and pushed the tying run across the plate.
Like they did in the second inning, the Knights responded to the UNF run with a run of their own.
Logan Heiser started the bottom half of the eighth just beating out an infield single. With the game tied, junior Austin Griffin launched a ball over the North Florida center fielder’s head, scoring Heiser from first to take the lead for the final time, 5-4.
“You have got to find different ways to win,” Rooney said. “We have won by a decent margin the last couple of games and tonight we had to hold onto the lead. And we had to have the poise and the composure to do that and the guys did a terrific job.”
The Knights will head to Texas for a three game tournament starting Friday when they take on Texas A&M – Corpus Christi at 7 p.m.
Matthew Saunders is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @ClassicSmit or email him at MatthewS@CentralFloridaFuture.com