UCF improve to 2-0 in American Championship tournament


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

UCF starting pitcher Robby Howell went 7 1/3 innings and gave up one run in his first start since March 3rd.

CLEARWATER — Robby Howell pitched 7 1/3 innings on Thursday night in his first start since March 2 to help led the UCF Knights to a 6-2 win over the Temple Owls in the American Athletic Conference tournament at Bright House Field.

UCF head coach Terry Rooney elected to start Howell over AAC Pitcher of the Year Eric Skoglund.

“First of all Robby Howell did a terrific job, he was the star of the day,” Rooney said. “Robby is a guy that started out the year in our rotation and hasn’t started until early to mid-March. His last couple of outings out of the bullpen he has been electric.”

Second baseman Dylan Moore led the Knights’ charge as he knocked in three RBIs and scored one run while hitting 3-for-4 at the plate.

“It makes it a lot easier to pitch because you know your team is going to score runs,” said Howell on pitching with a large lead. “You don’t have to be pressured to put up zeros every single inning. Every now and then you’re going to give up a run so it doesn’t hurt us that bad if we do because we have that offense behind us.”

UCF will play their final game in pool play on Friday against the Houston Cougars. A win against the Cougars will guarantee the Knights a spot in the championship game on Sunday afternoon.

The Knights can also advance to the championship game with a loss against the Cougars and a UConn win on Saturday against Temple.

Rooney said “there’s a very good possibility” that Skoglund will get the start on Friday against Houston. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.