Feb. 14, 2014
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - Opening Knight 2014 was a rousing success as the UCF baseball team earned its sixth-straight win in season-openers with an 8-1 victory over Siena in front of 1,891 fans at the UCF baseball complex.
Going into Friday evening, junior Eric Skoglund knew he would be counted on heavily in 2014 as a go-to pitcher on the Knights' young staff, and he delivered in his first outing. The Sarasota native went six innings while fanning four Saints and giving up just two hits and one run.
“I thought for Opening Knight we played very well,” head coach Terry Rooney said after the game. “For the most part we played a fundamentally sound game. Eric started us off on the right foot by throwing strikes. You look at the big picture; he went six innings, 85 pitches and that was really what we were looking for. We hung in there and got some clutch hits late. Overall for Opening Knight the guys did a nice job.”
Beyond Skoglund’s performance, clutch hitting was the name of the game for the Knights as the team racked up seven of its 13 hits with two outs. Eight of the nine Knights that started recorded a hit and five different batters recorded at least a pair of hits. Juniors Erik Barber and Sam Tolleson led the charge with two RBI apiece.
Trailing 1-0, the Black and Gold took a lead it would not relinquish in the fourth. With two on and two out, Tolleson dropped a single just in front of the glove of Siena’s diving left fielder to tie the action. Barber stepped in next and gave the Knights the lead with a double just inside the third base bag down the left-field line.
In the seventh, the Knights broke the game wide open as they tallied five runs on seven hits. Batting around the order, juniors Derrick Salberg, James Vasquez, Tolleson and Barber each recorded RBI singles in the frame, the last three each coming with two outs.
After Skoglund’s night on the mound was done, junior Zach Rodgers took over and picked up where his teammate left off, giving up just one hit and no runs over two innings in his UCF debut. Rookie Vinnie Rosace made his collegiate debut and shut the door on the Saints with a scoreless ninth to end the game.
The series continues tomorrow with junior Spencer Davis on the mound for the Knights. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
To purchase season or single-game tickets, visit our Baseball Ticket Central page, or call the UCFAA Sales & Service Office at (407) UCF-1000. Stay up-to-date on all the latest baseball news by visiting UCFKnights.com and by following the team on Twitter @UCF_Baseball, Facebook and Instagram.