No. 22 Florida Atlantic thumps No. 6 UCF, 11-5


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Dylan Moore finished the game by going 1-for-3 with a home run and two walks.

ORLANDO, Fla. — CJ Chatham drove in three runs on a bases-clearing triple in the fourth inning to help lead the No. 22 Florida Atlantic Owls to an 11-5 win over the sixth-ranked UCF Knights on Tuesday night in front of 1,685 at Jay Bergman Field.

FAU (23-6) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after the first inning and added two runs in the third inning and four runs in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 10-1 after the first four innings.

Owls starting pitcher Sean Labsan (2-0) held the Knights’ top-ranked offense to just one run on four hits through six innings of work while walking three and striking out a career-high 10 batters.

“He did a great job,” UCF head coach Terry Rooney said of Labsan’s performance. “Give the credit to him; he did a terrific job. He was able to throw off-speed pitches for strikes and had enough on his fast ball to run it in there and he really did. FAU has got a good club, their offensive numbers are about like ours. They got a nice team.”

UCF starting pitcher Trent Thompson (0-3) pitched just one-third of an inning, allowing four runs off of three hits while walking one batter in the opening frame. The Knights would need six pitchers throughout the rest of the game in relief of Thompson.

“Trent is going to be fine,” Rooney said on Thompson’s outing. “Trent is a great pitcher, I got a lot of confidence in him; that’s why I ran him out [to start] again. He’s going to get the ball in Cincinnati, he’s going to be fine. He’s going through a little bit of a funk, but he’ll be okay.”

Trailing the Owls 10-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Knights added four runs off of three Owls relievers to cut the lead to 10-5.

Jordan Savinon began the Knights’ rally with a solo home run to right field to open up the inning and Kyle Marsh followed with a two-run home run to left field. Tommy Williams finished out the four-run inning with a two-out RBI single to center field to score Erik Barber.

The Knights’ comeback attempt would end in the seventh inning as they were unable to score during the final two innings.

The Knights (22-8) will travel to Cincinnati to begin a three-game weekend series starting on Thursday. The Bearcats are 0-3 in American Athletic Conference play while the Knights are 2-1.

UCF returns home on Tuesday, March 7 to take on Jacksonville with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.