ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Another Friday night, same story for UCF RHP Ben Lively as the junior tied his career-high with 11 strikeouts for the second-straight week in a 10-3 win over Columbia. The Knights (12-7) won their fifth-straight behind 11 hits in the contest while scoring runs in 5-of-8 frames.
"I thought we ran the bases probably as well as we have all season," head coach Terry Rooney said of his team that took advantage of numerous balls in the dirt and three stolen bases. "I thought we did some of the little things that we hadn't been doing a very good job of offensively. We had some good at-bats and some two-out hits that we always talk about."
Coming into the game with the nation's second-lowest ERA, Lively went seven innings and scattered five hits while allowing one earned run with 11 punchouts. The Gulf Breeze native pushed his record to 4-1, and owns a 0.50 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 2013.
Game two between UCF and Columbia will take place Saturday afternoon with a 4 p.m. first pitch on Knights for Youth Day.
UCF scored a first-inning run for the second-straight contest after Austin Johnston (2-for-3, 2 RBI) took advantage of a two-out situation with a single to shallow CF to score Erik Hempe (2-for-5). Both seniors improved their hitting streaks to 11 (Hempe) and six (Johnston) on Friday.
After JoMarcos Woods (1-for-4, 3 RBI) lined a sacrifice fly to left in the second, Johnston sent a base-knock to left field to score the hustling Chris Taladay (1-for-5) from second. Parker Webster (2-for-3, 1 RBI) would follow with an RBI single of his own and score after he stole third while advancing home after an error on the throw by the catcher.
Lively would face adversity in the four and fifth frames from the Lions (1-7). He would escape the fourth leaving two on, but would surrender his first earned run since Feb. 22 against UConn as Columbia successfully used the double steal, including a theft of home, with two outs.
UCF would strike for more in the following half inning after Webster scored on a passed ball prior to Tommy Williams (1-for-3, 1 RBI) smacking a double off the left-field fence to make it 7-1.
The Knights padded their lead with three more in the seventh after taking advantage of walks as Woods chopped a two-run single through the right side for his second and third RBIs of the night, and fourth and fifth this week.
Rookie RHP Tyler Martin would finish off the Lions in two innings of work, his first action since March 3 against Winthrop.
Ten Voucher packages are now on sale for only $50. Select the games that you want to attend for a discounted price. Voucher packages and single-game 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.