Skoglund's Arm, High-Powered Offense Lead Black to World Series Title

Nov. 1, 2013

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By Andrew Jennette

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – Racking up 14 runs in just six innings of work, Black, led by manager Ryan Klosterman, notched its third-straight Black & Gold World Series title Friday night at the UCF baseball complex. Over 750 fans enjoyed the championship game in what was the highest-ever attended fall baseball event.

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“I thought tonight was awesome,” UCF head coach Terry Rooney said. “In my six years here, this was the most people we’ve ever had for a Black and Gold game. There aren’t many schools in the country that will draw between 500 and 1,000 people for fall scrimmage game. It was a beautiful night and we really appreciate everyone coming out and certainly hope they enjoyed the experience.”

Junior Eric Skoglund, competing for the Knights’ number one starter spot, pitched the maximum four innings and allowed just four hits and one run in picking up the victory. The 6’7” lefty from Sarasota, making his third-consecutive game 3 start in the Black and Gold World Series, added muscle to his frame during summer workouts and showed marked improvement throughout fall camp. Skoglund’s lone blemish was a solo home run hit by junior infielder Dylan Moore in the fourth inning.

“Skoglund did a great job at getting better every time he went out this fall,” UCF head coach Terry Rooney said. “He’s always has some success and done some things well, but he’s been doing things on a more consistent basis. A lot of his fastballs were in the bottom half of the zone and when he combines that with his height, he creates a down plane that can be really tough on hitters. He’s done a good job throughout the fall.”

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True freshman Matt Diorio led the way offensively for Black by going 2-for-3 with a double and four RBI. The Staten Island, N.Y., native worked primarily at catcher in fall camp, but made all three starts in left field for Black during the World Series.  

“Matty is a very interesting freshman,” Klosterman said. “He swings the bat really well and its one of those things, if you hit, we’re going to find a spot in that lineup for you somewhere. His bat really has stood out.”

A few other newcomers also shined on Friday night. True freshman Tyler Hayden wowed the crowd with a mammoth home run to left center that sailed deep into the night. Hayden finished 1-for-3 with three RBI while working at 1st base during the series. Junior pitcher Parker Thomas was dominant in relief of Skoglund as he didn’t allow hit in 1.1 innings of relief to go along with a pair of strikeouts.

The Knights’ returning players showed that they wouldn’t have their spots taken without a battle. Junior outfielder JoMarcos Woods was excellent in the leadoff spot for Black as he reached base four times and scored three runs. Junior infielder Tommy Williams went 1-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored while also turning a nifty 6-3 double play in the second inning. Senior Bret Gordon turned in his own 4-3 double play while going 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

This concludes the fall season for the Knights who will now work on individual drills before starting the 2013 campaign. Stay tuned to this month for information on becoming a member of the UCF Dugout Club and the unveiling of the 2014 baseball schedule.



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