The score is tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded. UCF senior infielder Kam Gellinger hits a pop-fly to second base, it’s dropped, and the Knights clench a last second 3-2 victory over Stony Brook, keeping their undefeated home record alive.
UCF (11-1, 0-0 AAC) gave up a double, single and a run at the start of the game, but the defense quickly turned the inning around with a strikeout by junior RHP Jason Bahr and two other quick outs by senior right fielder Eli Putnam. Putnam who started off the bottom of the inning by walking to first, later stole second and finished with a run due to a RBI double by freshman first baseman Rylan Thomas.
The Knights stepped up in the top of the second with Bahr dealing two quick strikeouts as well as a pop-fly caught by senior center fielder Luke Hamblin. Then on offense, Gellinger hit a RBI sacrifice fly to center field which scored junior DH Bryce Peterson, advancing UCF lead over Stony Brook to 2-1 in the bottom of the second.
“We made some really really nice defensive plays that really saved the game for us,” coach Greg Lovelady said.
Both teams were scoreless in the fifth, leading into an eventful sixth inning.
Sophomore catcher Anthony George caught a foul ball, coming within inches of the net behind home plate in the top of the sixth. With the bases loaded by Stony Brook, the Knights brought in junior RHP Eric Hepple who immediately struck out Seawolves’ David Real. The Knights gave up a run, tying up the game at two before redshirt sophomore Kyle Marsh caught a ball in the outfield to end the top of the inning.
“I feel a lot more comfortable this year,” Hepple said. “I’m definitely a lot better on the mound, and feeling comfortable. Just a lot of 1-on-1’s with coach makes it a lot easier now.”
UCF returns to play a home series against Florida State starting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Amanda Schoep is a contributor for the Central Florida Focus. You can follow her on Twitter at @amanda_schoep and you can email the sports team at EvanA@centralfloridafuture.com.