Knights initial offense powers over Red Raiders 13-8

ORLANDO – Ryan Breen went 4-5 with two doubles and an RBI as the University of Central Florida Knights defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 13-8 on Saturday night, Feb. 23 at Jay Bergman Field at the UCF campus.

The UCF offense didn’t take long to score, as the Knights went on to plate four runners in the first inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead. JoMarcos Woods had a leadoff triple and scored on a Chris Hempe sacrifice fly. James Vasquez would hit a three run homerun that would cap off the first inning.

“It was a tough at-bat, I got to two strikes pretty quick and with two strikes I just sit off speed and I saw off speed and let it go,” said Vasquez after his first inning blast to left field. “After you get one hit you get your confidence going and it comes together.”

UCF starting catcher Ryan Breen has made a smooth transition into hitting in the two spot this year after primarily being slotted in the lower third of the order last season. “I like it a lot,” said Breen about hitting number two in the order. “During the fall and early spring during the scrimmages I was in the two hole. It allows me to run a little bit and hit and run.”

Knights starting pitcher Danny Davis went five innings allowing six hits and four earned runs to pick up his second victory of the season. “Danny really battled and that’s the epitome of what we are talking about,” said UCF head coach Terry Rooney. “He gave up four runs in the fourth, but the story that we talked about was the next two innings he put up zeros and that’s a sign of a very mature pitcher.”

Texas Tech would score four runs in the third inning, highlighted by two homeruns. Tim Proudfoot hit a solo homerun with one out to score the Red Raiders first run of the game. Four batters later, Eric Gutierrez would hit a three run homerun to cut the lead to 5-4. The Knights offense would go on to dominate after that. UCF scored four runs in the bottom of the third, with three of them coming off the bat of Jeramy Matos when he hit a three run home run over the left field fence. The Knights would go on to put up four more to put the game away.

Chris Matulis pitched three innings of relief to get the save, while striking out five batters in the process. “Chris did a great job when he came in there,” said Rooney. “When Chris comes in the game, it’s not just that his stuff is good, he’s got poise and presence. That’s why he is in the bullpen.”

UCF will finish off the Wawa Weekend Classic on Sunday, Feb. 24 when they face Troy University at Jay Bergman Field.