ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF Baseball team improved to 15-3 Tuesday, after defeating Bradley 12-9 at the UCF Baseball Complex.
After scoring a run in the first inning but relinquishing three in the third, the Knights racked up five runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth.
Down 4-2 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, UCF catcher Anthony George was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for short stop Kam Gellinger. Bradley called to the bullpen for help, but the relievers would struggle with their control.
Gellinger drew a four-pitch walk, outfielder Eli Putnam was hit by a pitch, and outfielders Luke Hamblin and Kyle Marsh each walked. UCF scored a total of four runs in the sequence without putting the ball in play. Then, with his squad up 6-4, first-baseman Rylan Thomas delivered a single up the middle scoring two more runs before the inning would end.
Knights reliever Joe Sheridan got three quick outs in the top of the fifth and the Black and Gold went back to work. This time, designated hitter Bryce Peterson led off by blasting a solo home run over the center field wall. The next three-hitters would walk, loading the bases once again.
Another run scored on a wild pitch, before Marsh stepped up and ripped a triple to the right-field corner, scoring two more. The Black and Gold now had a 12-4 lead and the game seemed well in hand.
The Braves battled back in the seventh however, notching five runs in the top half of the inning. Five pinch hitters contributed to three hits, two errors, and two sacrifice’s that brought the visitors within striking distance. But the Knights were able to limit the damage before looking to relievers Jordan Scheftz and Bryce Tucker to bring home the win.
Scheftz gave up one hit, but struck out two and got a ground ball out in the eighth to set up a save situation for his teammate. Tucker then came on in the ninth and put the game away, fanning three-straight hitters. The save was his fifth of the season and it was the third time he has struck out the side in a save opportunity this season.
- Hamblin went 2-for-3 with 2 walks and 2 RBIs against the Braves
- Tucker has given up just 4 hits, tallied 24 strikeouts, and just 1 walk through 10.1 innings pitched
- Thomas and Marsh are tied with a team-best 19 RBIs
- Marsh leads the Knights in extra bases with 8 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 home runs
- Peterson has 3 home runs and 9 RBIs in 2017
- UCF drew 10 walks from the Braves
Next up, the Knights host the JU Dolphins on Friday, Mar. 17 at 6:30 p.m. The team then travels to Jacksonville for games two and three of the series on Saturday and Sunday.
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Thumbnail Photo is Courtesy of UCF Athletics