The eight-game road trip that the UCF baseball team is in the middle of did not get any easier Wednesday night as the Knights (18-16) dropped their second game of the year to USF, 9-3, on an 80-degree evening from USF Baseball Stadium.
Managing just four hits, the Knights used six pitchers as they failed to beat USF for the first time in a season since 1991. In the loss, senior infielder Chris Taladay was able to extend his season-best hit streak to 12 games with a single up the middle in the ninth.
UCF will face a quick turnaround as it ends its road trip in Houston, Texas, when it takes on No. 14 Rice beginning Friday night at 7:30 EDT on Fox College Sports.
After setting the Bulls (19-14) down in order the first two frames, starter Danny Davis (3-2) would give up a pair of singles prior to shortstop Kyle Teaf teeing off on a 2-1 pitch, and keeping it just inside the right-field foul pole, for a three-run homer.
USF would make it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth prior to the Knights’ bats coming alive in the following frame.
After Parker Webster was plunked to start the fifth, Austin Johnston smacked his ninth double of the year to put runners at second and third. Ryan Breen would hit an RBI groundout to the right side prior to Tommy Williams sending a fly ball to center field to score Johnston. JoMarcos Woods would make it 4-3 with an RBI triple, his second of the year, that got past the diving center fielder to score Brett Gordon from first.
The Bulls threatened for more in the bottom-half, and after coming up empty in the fifth, they exploded for five runs on six hits in the sixth while sending 10 to the dish to make it 9-3.
Keeping the UCF bats at bay, USF used four pitchers on the night, including freshman Jimmy Herget who recorded his fourth win of the year by going five innings while allowing three hits, three runs and striking out two.