Knights baseball easily defeat Saints 7-1 on opening night

ORLANDO – Jomarcus Woods went 4 for 4 with four singles, and had three runs scored as the University of Central Florida Knights defeated the Siena Saints 7-1 on Friday night, Feb. 15 at the Jay Bergman field on UCF campus.

UCF has now started 5-0 on opening night under head coach Terry Rooney, as the Knights put up runs as soon as the first inning.

“As a lead off batter all you want to do is get on base,” said UCF centerfielder Jomarcus Woods. “You got your two three, you got your middle lineup, you want to give them a chance to get some RBI’s.”

Scoring early was part of the key victory over the Saints as bunching runs in the first ,third, and fourth innings sealed the game away.

“There’s a statistic out there that if you get seven runs you win a very high percentage of your games in college baseball,” said UCF head coach Terry Rooney on scoring runs.

“From a pitching stand point its the same thing, if you throw 70% strikes you win a lot of percentage of baseball games. In our mind you’re always trying to get to seven, I think in some ways I think thats how our offense is gonna be very similar to what happened tonight for us to be successful we really need to try and bunch runs together.”

UCF’s starting pitcher Ben Lively earned his first win of the season behind six innings pitched, allowing one run, and five hits as he stroke out five of Siena’s batters. Lively allowed his only run of the game in the third inning as he would shut out the Saints from then on.

Coach Rooney spoke about having huge expectations for Lively this season and how his control will be a key to his game.

“Two big things that come to mind is that Ben Lively settled,” said Rooney. “He pitched very well, theres some things in the way Ben pitches that is gonna take for him to be successful this year and you can see that he was in control tonight. He was very poised very calm working pitch to pitch and Ben did a very good job as we continue to move forward.”

Despite having a total of eight hits and leaving 24 runners on base, Siena could only come up with one run on one of the Knights errors by center fielder Woods as they gained no RBI’s compared to UCF’s six total RBI’s.

UCF has a 39-3 all-time record against Siena since the series dates back to 1977, and looks forward to defeat the Saints for their sixth-consecutive series sweep dating back to 2006. The Knights would also draw 2,017 in attendance on opening night.

Just before the first pitch, the Knights inducted former UCF players Joe Rogers, Roman Madrid, Darnell Sweeney, Ronnie Richards and D.J. Hicks into the “Tradition Room” also known as the distinguished few to be all-americans or drafted by Major League Baseball teams.

UCF will face off for the second game of the three game series against the Siena Saints on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m.