UCF takes first two games of series against USF

Knights+starting+pitcher+Cre+Frinfrock+improved+to+7-4+on+the+season+after+Saturday%27s+complete+game+win.+

Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Knights starting pitcher Cre Frinfrock improved to 7-4 on the season after Saturday's complete game win.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Cre Frinfrock limited the USF Bulls to one run and Erik Barber knocked in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to help lead the UCF Knights to a 2-1 win over USF on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,213 at Jay Bergman Field.

The victory ensures the Knights (28-19, 7-10 American) of their first conference series win since taking two out of three games against Houston in late March.

“It was a team effort,” Knights head coach Terry Rooney said. “The majority of the games in college baseball are going to come down to one or two pitches every night. Last night it did and tonight it did the same thing. They played a little bit better. We got the run in when we needed to; it was a terrific job.”

Frinfrock (7-4) joined Friday night starting pitcher Zach Rodgers in limiting the Bulls (28-18, 9-8 American) to just one run or fewer by holding USF to just one run scored in a complete game effort. Frinfrock allowed six hits in the game and struck out four while walking two batters.

Frinfrock lowered his ERA to just 2.76 after allowing the one run.

“I’d say it was my best outing,” Frinfrock said. “I felt really good, everything was working. The defense and the bats helped me out a lot. It’s really important to get these first two [wins] going. It gets us on a roll. It gets us confident knowing that we have everything in front of us.”

The two teams each traded runs in the second inning as Bulls third baseman Andres Leal hit an RBI two-out single to score the game’s first run while Kam Gellinger’s sacrifice fly to right field got the Knights on the board.

Barber hit the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning that scored Dylan Moore from third base to put the Knights up for good.

Five teams entered play on Saturday tied for the conference lead in the American as USF, Houston, Memphis, East Carolina and Tulane all had identical 9-7 records in conference play. With just seven games remaining in conference play, the Knights hope Saturday’s win can kickstart a late-season surge in the standings from seventh place.

“Everything matters,” Moore said. “To win two against these guys and have the opportunity to sweep tomorrow it’s a great feeling. It can put us on a roll through the conference tournament and into the Regionals.”

First pitch for Sunday’s game is scheduled for 1 p.m. with the Knights sending Robby Howell to pitch while the Bulls have yet to determine a starter. UCF will be looking for its first series sweep in conference play since defeating Rutgers in three games April 25-27 of last year.