Baseball Drops Pitcher's Duel to Jacksonville

GO KNIGHTS Ben Lively was fantastic on the mound once again for the Knights.
Ben Lively was fantastic on the mound once again for the Knights.

March 8, 2013

Final Stats

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By Eric DeSalvo

JU 4, UCF 0 Get Acrobat Reader

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - Friday night's pitcher's duel between UCF's Ben Lively and Jacksonville's Chris Anderson lived up to the hype as both right-handed aces went toe-to-toe for eight innings. Unfortunately for Lively and the Knights, the Dolphins were able to take game one of the series, 4-0.

"Those are two outstanding pitchers," head coach Terry Rooney said after the game. "Ben Lively threw great and Anderson threw great for them. It was a great college baseball game. Those two guys are Friday night in college baseball and who's going to last longer. JU played a little bit better than us tonight.

Dating back to April 20, 2012 when Lively was reinserted as the Friday-night ace, the Gulf Breeze native is now 7-1 with a 1.28 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings.

"Ben Lively is without question one of the best pitchers in the country. He is one of the greatest competitors I have ever been around. I will pitch Ben Lively in any big-game situation that will ever be encountered. He did fantastic and it was a great pitcher's duel that lived up to the hype."

Lively was locked in from the get-go, striking out six through the first four innings of work. He ended the night by tying his career-high with 11 punchouts in his second-straight week going eight innings. Although he took the loss, Lively gave up an unearned run, and his ERA in 2013 now stands at 0.31 in 29 innings of work.

The Knights (7-7) will look to avenge their loss Saturday at 4 p.m. when RHP Danny Davis (2-0) takes the mound.  

With both pitcher's on their game, UCF had its chances in the third after Spencer Haynes took a four-pitch walk and advanced to third after JoMarcos Woods (2-for-3) chopped one over the first baseman's head on a hit-and-run. JU's Anderson, however, would end the threat by striking out a pair to close the frame.

JU would strike for its first run of the game after a throwing error put a Dolphin (5-9) aboard with one out in the sixth. Drew Luther would take advantage by sending a double down the right-field line with the runner in motion to take a 1-0 lead. Lively would buckle down and fan the final two batters to end inning.

The Knights looked to answer in the bottom-half of the sixth after Woods led off the frame with a single and advanced to third on a Chris Taladay (1-for-4) base knock into center field. UCF's run-scoring opportunity would once again be halted by Anderson who recorded his ninth strikeout.

Two more runners would be on again for the Knights in the bottom of the eighth, but Taladay's slicing liner found the glove of left fielder Zach Houck to once again put a damper on UCF's scoring threat.

JU would put the game away for good after Lively exited, scoring three runs in the top of the ninth. Overall, Anderson and Lively's line were almost identical with the Dolphin right-hander striking out one fewer over the course of the game.

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