ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF baseball team used a four-run eighth inning to erase a 2-1 deficit and earn a 5-2 win over Florida A&M Wednesday night to sweep the series. The Knights improved to 11-7 on the year and 7-3 overall in March.
After starter Eric Skoglund left the game with one out in the top of the sixth, rookie RHP Zac Favre began his assault on Rattler (1-17) hitters by striking out nine of the 13 he faced in 3 2/3 innings of work while not allowing a hit. The Jacksonville native earned his second win in three games, and now owns a 0.57 ERA in 10 appearances.
"Zac Favre has done an awesome job for us all season. For a freshman, he sure doesn't pitch like one. He pitches like a seasoned veteran," head coach Terry Rooney said about his young righty. "The thing about Zac is that he's done it in tight games and when we've needed it most. I had no intentions of pitching him as long as we did, but I also didn't intend the game to be what it was. He is certainly the star of the game from that standpoint."
UCF will continue its string of six games in seven days when it welcomes Columbia to the baseball complex beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. on "90s Night." The Lions (1-6) will be in town for a four-game set.
To start off the game, redshirt senior RF Erik Hempe (2-for-4) wasted no time extending his hit streak to 10 games with an RBI single to right field to drive home a sprinting James Vasquez (1-for-3) who smacked his sixth double of the year in the prior at-bat.
After the Rattlers tied the game at 1-all in the top of the fifth on an RBI single, they would take the lead the following frame on a strike-three wild pitch that got away from catcher Dale Irving (1-for-3). The wild-pitch strikeout would not phase Favre, however, as he got another punchout to end the top of the sixth.
Looking to lift its young reliever, the Knights' offense took advantage of two Rattlers miscues prior to LF Parker Webster (2-for-3, 1 RBI) delivering a two-strike run-scoring single to left field to tie the game. The Sandy, Utah, now has back-to-back contests with an RBI after a solo homer on Tuesday.
The Knights tacked on two more after reliever Tony Covington got wild on back-to-back pitches to plate both Austin Johnston (1-for-3) and Webster. Pinch-hitter Nick Carrillo drove home the fourth run of the inning on a grounder to second base for his first RBI of the year.
Getting the run support he needed, Favre marched back on the mound and closed out the contest by striking out the side. The rookie now owns 23 punchouts in just 15 2/3 innings of work.
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.