Another Tough Knight for ECU
ECU was up 7-1, but UCF scored seven unanswered runs to come back and take an 8-7 win in eleven innings in game one of the three game AAC series in Greenville Thursday night.
After going 0-5 for the evening, Brennon Bozeman singled to right off of Matt Bridges in the eleventh inning to score Matthew Mika to give UCF the go ahead run. UCF then shut the Pirates down on three straight batters in the bottom half of the eleventh to pick up the one-run victory.
Bryce Tucker picked up the win to move to 2-0 for UCF(24-11/3-4 AAC). Matt Bridges with the loss fell to 0-3 on the season for ECU who remains winless in conference play.
It was a game of runs Friday night. ECU got on a run, UCF got on a run, ECU then couldn’t get any runs and the Knights scored two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Then the Knights got the game winning run to win it the eleventh.
“We need to get more base runners on. We need an opportunity to drive a guy in in the ninth inning. We didn’t get a big hit, so it’s a game of momentum and they got the momentum," ECU head coach Cliff Godwin said, "After we scored four, they scored three. They had the momentum that they kept chipping on and we never could answer back and that was the difference in the game.”
T.J. Riles and Travis Watkins scored to put ECU(19-16/0-7 AAC) up 2-0 in the first inning when Spencer Brickhouse reached on a fielding error. Brickhouse had three hits in the game.
UCF got their first run of the game when a Kyle Marsh grounder allowed Eli Putnam to make it home for the Knights’ to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Pirates took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third when Brickhouse singled to center off of UCF righty Robbie Howell allowing Charlie Yorgen to cross home plate.
Charlie Yorgen chased Howell out of the game and broke the game wide open in the fourth with a towering grand slam to right field that gave the Pirates a 7-1 cushion. It was ECU’s fifth grand slam of the season. Yorgen had a career high four runs in the game.
But Eli Putnam doubled off the wall in left field in the top of the fifth off of Jacob Wolfe then Central Florida closed the gap in a hurry when Kyle Marsh’s two-run shot and Rylan Thomas solo homer trimmed the ECU lead to 7-4. Mathew Mika’s single in the sixth inning brought home another run to make it 7-5.
“We definitely didn’t throw enough strikes early. Jake (Agnos) just wasn’t comfortable. Anytime you have to go to the bullpen in the fifth inning in game one, it’s just not a recipe for success,” Godwin stated after the loss, “We put together a big inning, we’re up 7-1 and then we don’t score again, so we didn’t do enough offensively. We didn’t do enough on the mound, but I thought we played really good defense.”
Down by two runs, Putnam singled to right to open the ninth inning for UCF. Then Mika was hit by a Tyler Smith pitch. Marsh grounded out, but that advanced two Knight runners to second and third with two outs before Rylan Thomas’ single to right field scored two runs to tie the contest at 7-7.