After a tough loss to in-state rival and the No. 1 ranked team in the land, the Florida Gators, the top-20 UCF baseball team (4-1) bounced back against a strong Boston College (3-1) team, earning a win by a score of 6-5 in the first game of a three game series to be played at Jay Bergmann Field.
The bottom of the order stepped up big as Travis Shreve and Nick Carrillo combined for five hits. Shreve went 3-for-4 and scored twice as Carrillo had a big homerun, hitting 2-for-4 with two RBI’s.
While D.J. Hicks saw his six game hit streak come to an end, Shreve extended his to five.
“Oh you know coach has been putting in a lot of work with me. I’ve been spending some extra time in the cages, it paid off a little bit,” Shreve said about his spike in hitting.
Boston College got on the board early when lead off batter Matt McGovern singled to the right center gap. McGovern would have had a stand up double had he not tripped over first base preventing the advance. Tom Bourdon, batting from the two-slot, would make the slip irrelevant as he blasted a homerun giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Knights starting pitcher, Ben Lively, zoned in after giving up the homer, retiring nine straight batters. He had a career high 11 strikeouts on the night.
“You really can’t get too mad about it. I knew we were going to hit the ball, I knew we were going to get back into the game…I just had to focus on doing my thing and it worked,” Lively said about getting into a zone after giving up two quick runs.
Shreve scored in the bottom of the third on a wild pitch from BC starter Eric Stevens to bring to score to 2-1. Shreve reached first on an error by BC first baseman Spenser Payne, when Shreve caused Payne to drop the ball while attempting to tag Shreve after coming off the base to cover an errant throw from the shortstop.
Spenser Payne drove in a run for the Eagles in the top of the fourth on a line drive to center, giving the Eagles a 3-1 advantage.
Alex Freidrich sparked a rally by giving the Knights their first hit of the night in the fifth inning on a double to left field. Nick Carrillo launched a rocket out of the park, directly over the rowdy fans in the right field deck, to tie the game at 3-3. Shreve then doubled on a bouncer that jumped the third baseman, and scored on a Darnell Sweeney single.
The rally prompted BC to go to the bullpen and bring in Nate Bayuk to try and stop the bleeding. Bayuk’s first batter, D.J. Hicks, reached on an error when Bayuk failed to the catch the throw while covering first, bringing Sweeney home. Bayuk would get out of the inning, but only after the Knights put up four, claiming a 5-3 lead to start to the 6th.
Left handed relief pitcher Jimmy Reed came in for the Knights to start the seventh, but after hitting a batter and giving up a single, he was quickly relieved by righty Roman Madrid. Madrid gave up a single, allowing one of his inherited runners to score and a series of passed balls allowed the Eagles to score again, tying the game at 5-5 before Madrid got out of the inning.
The Knights reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh when Ryan Breen put a rope down the first base line to bring in Taladay, who had just reached on a single. Boston College right fielder Matt McGovern was charged for an error when bobbling the ball, allowing Breen to advance to third base on the play.
Boston College had three errors compared to none by UCF.
Left-handed pitcher Joe Rogers earned the save when he retired three straight to close out a narrow victory for the Knights. Roman Madrid was the winning pitcher for UCF and Steve Green earned the loss.
“We needed to win that type of game, back and forth… It gave us the confidence that we needed. We really hung in there, their pitchers did an outstanding job and that’s kind of the resiliency that you see in our club…We hung in there and grinded it out,” UCF Coach Terry Rooney said.