TAMPA, Fla. - The UCF baseball team saw its 10-game winning streak come to a halt Saturday evening as South Florida evened the three-game weekend series at 1-all with a 4-2 victory at the USF Baseball Stadium.
The Knights (19-13, 7-1 The American) had multiple chances as they put runners on base in seven of nine innings, including a bases-loaded, none-out situation in the second. However, the Bulls (18-13, 5-3) were able to turn a double play in each of the first three frames to help deny UCF’s scoring opportunities.
Coming into the game, the Black and Gold had only grounded into two double plays in the first 31 contests of the year.
Junior Tanner Olson (3-2) was tagged with the loss after giving up four earned runs on six hits in three plus innings pitched. UCF’s bullpen was excellent as Joe Marotta, Ryan Meyer, Parker Thomas and Trent Thompson combined to allow just three hits over five scoreless innings.
Marotta has recorded eight strikeouts in his last 4.1 innings pitched while Meyer has allowed just one run in his last 12.2 frames.
Trailing 3-0 in the fourth, junior Erik Barber picked up his team-leading 29th RBI after he ripped a single down the left field line to plate fellow junior JoMarcos Woods. Woods, who led off the frame with single, was 2-for-4 on the evening.
After South Florida got a run back in the fourth, junior Tommy Williams cut the Knights’ deficit down to 4-2 with a solo home run in the seventh. It was the North Palm Beach native’s seventh blast of the year, increasing his American Conference lead.
The Knights had one final chance in the top of the ninth. After Jordan Savinon dropped a two-out double into right, Woods came to the plate as the potential tying run. However, USF’s Casey Mulholland induced a popup to finish off a complete-game victory.
UCF will look to win the series as the action concludes tomorrow with a Sunday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. Starting pitchers for both teams are still to-be-determined.