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The Knights couldn’t pull out the win in the first of a three-game series against the USF Bulls on Friday afternoon at Jay Bergman Field.

The Knights struck first Friday afternoon when in the bottom of the second inning, junior outfielder Eugene Vazquez hit his first homerun of the season resulting in a 2-0 score.

In the top of the third, the Bulls had seven hits and six runs, forcing head coach Terry Rooney to make a pitching change in the middle of the inning. Sophomore pitcher Cre Finfrock faced 15 batters before red shirt senior Harrison Hukari went on to pitch 6 2/3 scoreless inning.

”What a warrior effort. What more do you want?” Rooney said. “Harry came out and put zeroes up the rest of the way and gave our team a chance to win. That was an incredible, gutsy, effort to provide his team with a chance to win.”

UCF scored two more times in the game — once in the third inning, and once in the sixth.

“The guys were ready to play,” Rooney said. “Unfortunately, we gave up that big inning and couldn’t rebound from it. Harry did a terrific job. We just have to continue to stay with it and keep plugging.”

Rooney plans on coming back tomorrow with resilience against USF for game two of the series.

“We have to find different ways to win,” Rooney said.  “We need to have one of those games where we get seven, eight or nine runs so everyone can relax a little bit. We just have to bounce back tomorrow and try to even the series.”

The Knights take on the Bulls in the second game of the series tomorrow at noon at Jay Bergman Field.

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Amanda Schoep is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future.

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