By: Kevin Ruane
The Knights (3-1) traveled to Gainesville Tuesday night to take on No.16 Florida Gators (3-1). The game was within reach for the Knights until the Gators scored four runs in the seventh inning causing the Knights to lose 5-1.
UCF starting pitcher Zach Rodgers only had one mistake giving up a two-out solo home run in the first to catcher Taylor Gushue. Rodgers pitched five innings with one earned run, two strikeouts, and no walks.
With two outs in the sixth, JaMarcos Woods scored UCF’s only run due to a fielding error by Gator shortstop Richie Martin.
The Knights were their own worst enemies in the seventh inning. Joe Marotta relieved left handed pitcher Parker Thomas to start the inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Marotta threw four straight balls and walked clean-up hitter Zack Powers to put the Gators up 2-1.
With the bases still loaded, Manager Terry Rooney decided to go with righty Trent Thompson to help end the inning. Thompson’s attempt was unsuccessful as he gave up a two-run single to right fielder Braden Mattson. Vinnie Rosace came in to relieve Mattson after only one batter. After Rosace loaded the bases with a walk to the first batter he saw, Justin Shafer hit a infield single to drive in another run putting the Gators up 5-1.
The Knights only managed to get one hit after the seventh inning outburst, failing to make a comeback.
The Knights host a three-day tournament starting February 21st. They take on Ohio State (2-2) on Friday, Oklahoma (3-1) on Saturday, and The Citadel (2-2) on Sunday.