Dolphins ride behind ace’s shutout performance to defeat Knights 4-0

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Courtesy of UCF Athletics

Ben Lively allowed four hits, one unearned run, one walk and tied his career high in strikeouts with 11.

ORLANDO – Nathan Koslowski, Alex Mcrae and Kris Molter provided enough offense for the Jacksonville Dolphins, who won 4-0 against the University of Central Florida Knights at Jay Bergman field on Friday, March 8.

This game pitted the best pitchers from both schools against one another as Ben Lively was pitching for UCF and Chris Anderson was pitcher for JU.

In front of MLB scouts, Chris Anderson had a lights out performance as he pitched eight innings, allowed four hits, one walk and racked up 10 strikeouts with him throwing 108 pitches as he shutdown the Knights.

JU’s Head Coach Terry Alexander said of starting pitcher Chris Anderson , “Yeah, he is a really good one, he is a work horse, he can go a lot of pitches, lot of innings, he never gets tired doesn’t have a sore arm he just what professional scouts are looking for big body guy that is strong and durable. I think is he going to do well in the next few years.”

“It doesn’t matter what pitcher comes in after Lively, you see it a little better than him we got a situation where we got a few hits in a row those runs certainly important for us to be able to have insurance runs it a four game series here” , said Coach Alexander.

Both pitchers looked like they were both dealing earlier on as the game was held scoreless until the top of the sixth inning. When Jacksonville grabbed the earlier lead 1-0 thanks to Drew Luther doubling down the right field line to bring home Michael Babb for the first run of the game.

After giving up the first run of the game, Lively settled down and struck out the next two batters Brady North and Braddock Rowe to retire the side and stop the bleeding.

Ben Lively had a comparable night to Anderson as he pitched eight innings, allowed four hits, one unearned run, one walk and tied his career high in strikeouts with 11. He also threw 119 pitches.

UCF Head Coach Terry Rooney said, “ I will pitch Ben Lively in any big game situations that will ever be encounter that guy is as great as a competitor that I ever been around.” “ Ben Lively hands down is the Friday night guy” , said Coach Rooney.

“We had four two out opportunities I believe two out rbi opportunities that is the difference when you are facing great teams you got to get two out hits” , said Coach Rooney.

UCF had opportunities to score, but couldn’t capitalize on their chances. The best chances they had were in the first inning, third, sixth, eighth and ninth.

In the first inning, UCF had Erik Hempe on second after he stole the base during Chris Taladay’s at bat , but then Taladay struck out to end the inning.

The third inning was another good chance for the Knights to take the lead and put pressure on Chris Anderson. UCF had runners on first and third after Spencer Haynes drew a walk and then JoMarcos Woods singled through the right infield, but then Anderson got out of the jam as he struck out James Vasquez and Erik Hempe to end the inning and keep the game tied at 0-0.

UCF had first and third in the sixth inning, but again Anderson on the mound was cool, calm, and collective and seemed to have an answer for the Knights when they got into scoring positions. Anderson struck out Austin Johnston to end the sixth.

The Knights’ best chance to tie the game at one was in the bottom of the eighth inning, when UCF had first and second with Haynes on second and Hempe on first, the batter was Taladay but all he could do against Anderson was line out to left field.

The Dolphin’s offense came alive in the ninth inning to give Anderson some insurance runs.
As Alex Mcrae and Kris Molter drove in the third extra runs. Mcrae singled in to left field to score pinch runner Dylan Dillard, who ran for Brady North. Molter singled and then advanced to second and drove in Koslowski and Mcrae to make the score 4-0 Jacksonville.

The Knights will play the second and last game of the series against Jacksonville on March, 10 at Jay Bergman Field at 4 p.m.