UCF starts season on good note, blow out Siena Saints


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

UCF second baseman Dylan Moore want 2-5, while also making a good defensive play for the Knights on Friday.

UCF has started their 2014 “Road to Omaha” and the season started off with a victory for the Knights.

Derrick Salberg went 2-5 and scored two runs, while driving in another run, helping UCF defeat the Siena Saints 8-1 at Jay Bergman Field on opening night.

Eric Skoglund pitched six innings, giving up one earned run on two hits, while racking up four strikeouts and four walks, on the way to his first win of the season.

“I thought for opening night we played very well,” said UCF head coach Terry Rooney after the game. “Eric definitely started us off on the right foot.”

Skoglund gave up his one run early in the game when Siena’s Dan Swain took Skoglund deep to left field for a home run, giving Siena a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Skoglund settled down after the homerun, retiring the next three batters he faced.

Skoglund would only give up one more hit over the next three innings, before being relieved by Zach Rodgers in the seventh inning.

“That’s baseball,” said Skoglund about the one run he gave up. “It’s going to happen, I made a mistake, I wish I could have it back, but I just go out there and do my thing.”

Rodgers would go on to pitch two scoreless innings, holding Skoglund’s lead.

Sam Tolleson put the Knight’s on the board when he drove in Salberg with a single to left field, while Erik Barber gave the Knights a 2-1 by driving in James Vasquez with a double down the left field line.

UCF would add one more run in the fifth inning, before the busted the game wide open with five runs in the seventh. The Knights had seven hits during that five-run inning.

Vinnie Rosace came in in the ninth and held down the lead for UCF, securing their first victory of the season.

Tolleson and Barber both finished the game batting 2-4 with two runs batted in each.

The Knights improved to 1-0 with the win over Siena and will face the Saints again for game 2 of the series on Saturday. First pitch for Saturday’s game is set for 4 p.m. at Jay Bergman Field on the UCF campus.

“Every game matters, but certainly tonight we wanted to get it done on opening night.” said Rooney.