UCF wins big on ‘Senior Knight’

The Knights set the tone for the night by exploding with three runs in first inning. No. 13 UCF earned an early lead and held on to it as they beat Presbyterian 8-1 at Jay Bergman Field on Saturday.

In the seven strong innings that Ben Lively pitched, he faced 25 batters and allowed one run and four hits while striking out eight. Lively recorded his 100th career strikeout during the fourth inning.

“If you look at it last week I know statistically he (Ben Lively) did a good job, which I guess it’s the bottom line. But his command was not very good,” said Rooney. “I thought his command was better today. At the end of the day he gave us seven strong innings and did a nice job.”

LHP Eric Skoglund relieved Lively during the eighth inning. Skoglund pitched for an inning he then was relieved by senior Matt Collins. Collins was one of the six seniors honored before the game as part of senior night.

Travis Shreve, Alex Friedrich, Bryan Brown, Erik Hempe, and Ray Hanson were the other five seniors that were recognized for the leadership and contributions to the team.

“Besides their individual accolades, first and foremost they were part of a group that had a hand in bringing UCF back to the NCAA regionals in 2011,” said Rooney. “They obviously as a group collectively played a huge role getting this baseball program back in the top 25 and back to a NCAA regional.”

First baseman D.J. Hicks (3-for-4, 3 RBI) increased his season RBI to 60. Hicks and Friedrich each had a double. James Vasquez (1-for-3, 2 RBI) hit a single through the right side during the first inning and ran in Hicks and Friedrich.

UCF will host Presbyterian for the second game of the series tomorrow at 4 p.m.
Brian Adkins is the projected starting pitcher for the Knights.