A single game series win improved the Knights’ record to 18-4 Tuesday afternoon, highlighting this season’s offensive powerhouse while adding to another record-breaking performance.
UCF worked up a 14-3 lead through the 7th inning before Bethune-Cookman put up a fight, marking down a season high 20 hits in their 18-13 victory along the way.
Center fielder JoMarcos Woods set the Knights’ offense in motion on a triple to center field. Dylan Moore, Tommy Williams and Woods ran in the first scores of the game following a homer from Williams.
The 4th inning totaled 5 runs, improving the score to 8-0 in favor of UCF. Bethune-Cookman responded with three runs at the bottom of the 5th but would be outdone by UCF’s five runs in the next two frames. The Wildcats fought back at the bottom of the 8th with their seven run inning and three runs in the ninth. An attempted repeat of the 8th inning for the Wildcats fell short to end the game 18-13, UCF.
Second baseman Kam Gellinger recorded 5 RBI’s before the game’s end, trailed by Tommy Williams’ 4 RBI’s and home run. Williams went 6 for 7 at the plate and earned two doubles on his career-high 6 hits, tying a 17-year-old record made by Eric Riggs, in 1998 versus Stetson, when UCF was still referred to as The Golden Knights. Seniors Erik Barber and JoMarcos Woods joined Williams in their home runs, with 5 RBI’s for the pair.
UCF’s batting lineup has notched two grand slams and 30 home runs this season, powering the Knights forward in their No. 7 ranking, according to Baseball America. The Black and Gold have peaked at No. 6 in the rankings, the highest ever for the program. Following the weekend sweep against Fairfield, UCF ranked first in home runs (27) and slugging percentages (.536), and ranked second and third in batting averages (.331) and runs total (171), respectively.
“Over the course of a 56-game regular season, every team in the country is going to go through highs and lows and ups and downs. Right now, our offense is incredible and is doing a terrific job this season,” said head coach Terry Rooney. “Our pitching [has been] struggling over the past couple of games, but we are going to get better. The bottom line is our guys are finding ways to win.”
The Knights make the short drive home to Jay Bergman Field to begin a three-game series against Presbyterian on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s game will be set for 4 p.m., while Sunday’s game will be prepared for 1 p.m.