ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Behind the right arm of junior Danny Davis, and 10 hits from the offense, the UCF baseball team snapped its three-game skid with a 5-2 victory over Jacksonville on Saturday to tie the three-game set.
The weekend-finale rubber match will move two hours northeast when the Knights (8-7) and Dolphins (5-10) battle at John Sessions Stadium on the campus of JU with a 2 p.m. first pitch. The game can be heard free of charge on Stretch Internet radio.
After standing the bases loaded in the first inning, JU would load them again in the second and drive in the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly. Davis would limit the damage, though, by getting a strikeout swinging and grounder to exit the frame.
The Brandon, Fla., native settled in nicely, retiring 13-straight batters between the second and sixth frames to earn his third win of the season. He went 6 2/3 innings and scattered just four hits while surrendering one run and striking out a season-high seven batters.
"Danny Davis pitched great and did a heck of a job out there," head coach Terry Rooney said. "He's been doing that all year. He throws strikes and that's why he is out there. He competed very well. We talked about it yesterday that we were at a crossroads and we needed to get back on track and we got a great outing from Danny to do that."
UCF broke its 19-inning scoreless streak in the second frame when freshman Bo Decker (1-for-2, 2 RBI), making his first career start, drove an 0-2, two-out pitch up the middle to score Chris Taladay (1-for-4), who extended his hitting streak to seven games, and second baseman Austin Johnston (3-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB).
"Biggest hit of the game," an emphatic Rooney added about the freshman's base knock. "Biggest hit we've had in what seems like a long time. Baseball is all about what you make of your opportunities, and Bo Decker had the biggest hit of the game and did a great job."
In the fourth, the Knights were knocking on the door once again after loading the bases with no outs. But JU third baseman, Alex McRae, made two fine snags and putouts at home plate followed by a grounder to second to end UCF's scoring threat.
Johnston wouldn't let a scoring opportunity go by in the fifth for the Knights as he singled to left field on the first pitch he saw with the runners already in motion to drive in Erik Hempe (1-for-5) while moving Taladay from first to third.
After a Dolphins' pitching change, Parker Webster (2-for-3, 1 RBI) took advantage of a 2-1 pitch by sending it down the left-field line to plate Taladay on his first double as a Knight. Catcher Ryan Breen (1-for-3, 1 RBI) would tack on one more run with a grounder to second to make it 5-1.
After Davis exited in the seventh, LHP Jimmy Reed did his part with a strikeout looking in a lefty-lefty matchup to end the inning, while RHP Spencer Davis closed out the game over the last two frames with a pair of strikeouts.
Season tickets can be purchased by calling 407-UCF-1000 or visit the baseball tickets page. Stay up-to-date on all the latest news by visiting UCFAthletics.com and following the team on Twitter (@UCF_Baseball) and Facebook.