Feb. 22, 2014
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – Despite a masterful effort from Eric Skoglund, the UCF baseball team started off the UCF Baseball Tournament with a 9-3 defeat in 13 innings to Ohio State on Friday night in front of 1,616 fans at the baseball complex.
The Knights (3-2) received eight quality innings from their ace, Skoglund (1-0, 1.93 ERA), in his longest outing since March 18, 2013. Skoglund allowed seven hits and faced the minimum 16 batters from the fifth through the eighth inning.
“Eric Skoglund did a great job. He competed like crazy,” head coach Terry Rooney said. “It was gusty performance tonight. We had several opportunities to win the game and unfortunately we didn’t get it done. We need to bounce back tomorrow against a very good Oklahoma team and be ready to go.”
The Sarasota native totaled 92 pitches on the evening while striking out five Buckeyes (3-2). Skoglund was aided by great defense all night, including two double plays and a pick-off of his own in the fifth. The junior was lifted after facing one batter in the ninth. Sophomore Zac Favre came in with a runner on and was unable to convert the save in the ninth. The Jacksonville native allowed one run and also let an inherited runner score that was charged to Skoglund.
Shortstop Tommy Williams put the Knights ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth with a massive solo home run well over the wall in left. The blast was the second for Williams in his last three games after having no home runs in the first 59 games of his UCF career. Williams’ double-play partner, Dylan Moore, extended his hitting streak to five games with a seventh-inning single. The junior second baseman had two hits and knocked in UCF’s first run with a fielder’s choice RBI in the fifth.
LHP Parker Thomas was tagged with the loss after giving up three earned runs, but the junior showed a lot of heart in an extended effort. Having never pitched beyond 1.2 innings in a single appearance in his UCF career, Thomas set a new career high with three innings pitched and 54 pitches thrown. The Richmond, Texas native allowed just one hit and struck out a pair in his outing.
“Parker Thomas had an incredibly gutsy performance as well,” Rooney said. “He was getting tired there at the end, but he gave it all he had. He left it all on the field and that was awesome. Parker’s been our primary lefty out of the bullpen, but he was pitching so well tonight that I decided to leave him in there.”
Freshmen Matt Diorio and Tyler Hayden each made their collegiate debuts on Friday night. Diorio got the start at DH, drew a walk, and later scored a run on Moore’s fielder’s choice. Hayden was a late sub as a defensive replacement and dropped down a quality sacrifice bunt in his only plate appearance.
The Knights return to action Saturday night at 6 p.m. in their first meeting with Oklahoma since 1998. All live links can be found at the UCF Baseball Tournament Central page.
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.