UCF drops series opener to UConn Huskies


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Cre Finfrock finished the game allowing seven hits and four earned runs over 5.1 innings pitched.

Jordan Savinon went 2-3 with three runs batted in but it wasn’t enough as the No. 12 UCF Knights fell 6-4 to the UConn Huskies in the opener of a three-game series on Friday at Jay Bergman Field.

UCF sent out freshman Cre Finfrock to start the game against UConn and the Huskies tacked on three runs to open the game and took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the first inning.

Finfrock would settle down and allow just two hits over the next three innings. The Huskies did manage to add another run in the fifth on a bases loaded single by Bobby Melley to take a 4-1 lead.

“The job of a starting pitcher is to give us a chance to win,” said UCF head coach Terry Rooney of his freshman starter. “And (Finfrock) did, particularly after those three runs right there, he did a nice job and battled.”

The freshman right-hander finished the game with 5.1 innings pitched and gave up seven hits and four earned runs, while getting hit with his second loss of the season.

UConn added two more runs in the eighth with another bases loaded single, putting the Huskies up 6-1.

Savinon hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to cut UConn’s lead to 6-3. UCF would add another run when UConn pitcher Patrick Ruotolo walked James Vasquez with the bases loaded to cut the Huskies lead to 6-4 going into the ninth inning.

UCF got the tying run on first base with two outs in the ninth inning, but Dylan Moore struck out swinging to end the game.

The Knights left 15 runners on base throughout the course of the game, including in six different occasions where they left two or more runners on.

“We had a couple of situations, had a couple of opportunities with runners in scoring position and weren’t able to get it done,” said Rooney after the game. “He’s a very good pitcher, again credit UConn they did a very nice job and they played a few pitches better and that’s what it comes down to.”

UConn starting pitcher Carson Cross went seven innings against UCF and allowed one earned run on eight hits while striking out six.

With the loss the Knights’ record falls to 24-11 for the season and 3-4 in American Athletic Conference play.

UCF will return to Jay Bergman Field on Saturday for Game 2 against UConn. First pitch was moved up to 1 p.m. EST due to inclement weather projected in the area.