The Knights won their second consecutive game against LIU Brooklyn as they defeated the Blackbirds 5-2 on Saturday night.
The Knights got on the board in the bottom of the second inning when junior infielder Austin Griffin hit a solo homerun. Two batters later, freshman catcher Anthony George stepped up to hit his first collegiate homerun with junior outfielder Eli Putnam and junior infielder Kam Gellinger on base, raising the score to 4-0.
“[George] is a freshman in our program and comes from one of the best programs around the state of Florida at Hagerty with Coach Goodwin,” head coach Terry Rooney said. “He’s been well coached and well brought up on how to play the game. He’s a great player, and he’s done a great job for us.”
Even though junior pitcher Robby Howell lost his 24.1 frame shutout streak in the sixth inning against the Blackbirds, he continuously stepped up to prove himself as a prominent force for the Knights.
“He was locating his pitches very well,” George said. “His curveball and slider and change up were really good and not hittable.”
Howell went on to strike out five batters, allowing five hits and giving up only a single run as he pitched into the eighth inning.
"We play great defense,” Howell said. “We pride ourselves on pitching and playing defense. My adjustment is that I’m going to split pitches a lot better. My tempo is a little faster, and I’m staying a little down on all my pitches.”
UCF’s final run of the night was scored in the bottom of the eighth inning by Putnam who scored off a RBI double delivered by senior outfielder Sam Tolleson.
“I think the key tomorrow is that we play a 10 a.m. game,” Coach Rooney said. “Something new and something different, [we are] up here at 7 a.m. Let’s be ready to go and have some energy and play every pitch.”
The Knights intend to continue their winning streak with their last game against LIU Brooklyn on Sunday at 10 a.m.
Amanda Schoep is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.