Thundering Herd spoil Knights late heroics 5-4

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Courtesy of UCF Athletics

ORLANDO – UCF used four runs in the seventh inning to come back from an early 0-4 deficit, but four errors and two unearned runs helped the Marshall Thundering Herd defeat the Knights 5-4 in 10 innings on Friday, April 19th in front of 1,880 people at Jay Bergman Field on the UCF campus.

“I’m very proud of the way we bounced back,” said UCF head coach Terry Rooney after the game. “We battled like crazy all the way to the end.”

Marshall got on the scoreboard early when Isaac Ballou led off with a double and then with two outs Nathan Gomez drove a single to right field scoring Ballou from third, giving Marshall an early 1-0 lead.

Gray Stafford led off the fourth inning with a double for the Thundering herd and after a single by Gomez, Stafford scored on a sac-fly from Chase Vogelbach, extending Marshall’s lead to 2-0.

UCF starting pitcher Chris Matulis eventually settled down, allowing three earned runs for the game with seven strikeouts in seven innings of work.

“I thought Matulis was great,” said Rooney of his starting pitcher after the game. “I thought Matulis battled and essentially he did great.”

The Thundering Herd added two more runs in the sixth inning when Aaron Blair led off the inning with a single and was then driven in by Aaron Bossi’s RBI double with one out. Andrew Dundon then gave Marshall a 4-0 lead when he drove in Matt Kirkwood with two outs.

The Knights used a four run seventh inning to tie the game at 4-4. UCF scored all four runs with two outs in the inning and were able to tie the game when Chris Taladay hit a triple to left field, driving in two runs. Taladay finished the game going 2-3, while extending his hitting streak to 17 games.

After a scoreless eighth inning from Spencer Davis, Zac Favre came in to pitch the ninth and eventually tenth inning. Favre pitched a scoreless ninth before an error in the tenth inning by second baseman Bret Gordon got him his first loss of the season.

“You’ve just got to keep working,” said Rooney when asked about his team’s defensive play. “There’s nothing that replaces work, you’ve just got to keep getting better, and better, and better.”

The Knights finished the game with eight hits and four errors, while the Thundering Herd had 12 hits and three errors on the night.

With the loss UCF’s record falls to 20-19 for the season and 6-7 in Conference USA.