Game Recap

Friday’s game was another grind-it-out, come-from-behind bout for the University of Central Florida. The Knights (5-0) defeated the Jaspers (0-1) 13-3 at Jay Bergman Field for UCF’s 1,500th win as a program.

Robby Howell (2-0) got the start and the win, pitching 6.1 innings nine hits, two earned runs, no walks and six strikeouts. Manhattan’s Joe Jacques (0-1) got the loss, going 4.2 innings with four earned runs, five hits, five walks, four hit by pitches and two strikeouts.

“I wasn’t pleased, exactly, with how we played today. I thought it was a little sloppy,” first-year UCF head coach Greg Lovelady said after the game. “We did a good job of walking. They gave us 15 free bases, which is good. We left too many guys on base, though. I didn’t think we played very sharp. Without those 15 free bases, it might be a different story.”

With Manhattan trailing only 5-3, UCF exploded for six runs in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach for the Jaspers.

First baseman Kyle Marsh‘s double to left-center field drove in Luke Hamblin to start the scoring. Two batters later, a base hit by third baseman Kam Gellinger scored Marsh. Designated hitter Ryan Crile then hit a sacrifice fly to center field on a 3-0 count to help Brennan Bozeman to home plate. Base hits by Logan Heiser and Matthew Mika accounted for the other three runs of the sixth.

That made the score 11-3 in favor of the Knights.

“We talk a lot about answering,” Lovelady said. “And so they scored three times, and we answered twice. They start to get some momentum, we get back in the dugout, and we make them feel like they’re never gonna be able to come back.”

After the Knights fell to an early 2-0 deficit, they patiently took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the third.

Mika, Eli Putnam and Hamblin loaded the bases to start the half-inning. That was when Jacques began a slew of miscues. Marsh drew the second of three walks to start UCF’s scoring. Bozeman then got hit by the pitch to tie the game at 2-2. After Gellinger struck out, Bryce Peterson got hit by a pitch and Austin Griffin was walked on bases loaded to give UCF a 4-2 lead.

Prior to the third inning, UCF only had two hits and a walk. For the Knights in the early season, focusing on the mental game when their bats weren’t working has been a focus.

“Basically just staying focused. Not losing what’s at sight,” Marsh said after the game. “Staying patient. If we’re gonna go out there and just swing at bad pitches, we just gotta slow the game down and play like we know how. We just gotta use the mental game to our advantage and just take our time, breathe.”

Said Lovelady on his team’s mental approach: “The one thing I thought we did do is I didn’t feel like we pressed. I mean, we had a couple at-bats that we gave away that I thought we should’ve been better, but, for the most part, we were patient, made sure we got pitches to hit, and, because of that, we got ahead in counts and were able to walk.”

The Jaspers tried to battle back in the top of the sixth, scoring a run before UCF had their biggest scoring output of the game. Manhattan was held scoreless the rest of the game, though.

“We definitely have been putting the ball in play a lot this year,” Howell said after the game. “We did a really good job offensively of getting on base, I would say, making the pitcher throw a bunch of pitches, kinda leaning on him and forcing him to come to us.”

Player of the Game: Kyle Marsh

Marsh had the Knights’ only extra-base hit of the game with a double in the bottom of the sixth inning. He also assisted in scoring the Knights’ first run when he drew a walk in the bottom of the third. He finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs, an RBI and a walk.

What’s next?

UCF continues its three-game series with Manhattan on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Jay Bergman Field.

Knights Win 1500th Game in Program History

In the Knights’ 13-3 win over the Jaspers, UCF won its 1,500th game in program history. The program was founded in 1973, earning 11 NCAA tournament appearances and winning four conference championships.

“That’s good for the program. That says a lot more about all the alums and teams before us. Coach [Jay] Bergman, he got most of ’em,” Lovelady said.

For Marsh, the new era under Lovelady has seen a lot of good changes.

“It feels really good. Since the day [Lovelady] came, we were gonna rally behind him, and he’s changed the program for a lot of good reasons. We’re just having fun playing the game right now. We’re just gonna keep it going.”

Austin Griffin Gets 1st Start

Entering Friday’s game against the Jaspers, Griffin had recorded only one at-bat. In the Knights’ win over Manhattan, Griffin got his first start of the 2017 season, playing designated hitter in the seven hole.

He finished the game 0-for-1 with a walk before being replaced by perpetual DH Crile in the fifth.

“Tried to get Griffin in there and see what he could do against a left-hander,” Lovelady said. “Got another lefty [tomorrow]. Might be something similar. As soon as a right-hander got in there, I got Crile back in the game.”

In 2016, Griffin had 10 home runs and 41 RBIs.

Highlights

NDR Notes

  • Griffin found himself in the starting lineup for the first time in the 2017 season after recording 10 homers and 41 RBIs last season. He finished 0-for-1 with a walk.
  • The Knights absorbed a record nine hit by pitches in the win. The last time UCF players were hit by that many pitches was on Feb. 28, 2010, against Siena College when the Saints hit six players.
  • Putnam and Marsh both extend their hitting streaks to five games.
  • The Knights won its 1,500th game Friday night.

Scoring

University of Central Florida Manhattan College
Runs 13 3
Hits 11 10
Errors 3 0
Left on Base 10 7
Inning Team Play Score
T2 Manhattan College Paul Genners doubled down the right-field line, RBI; Evan Brown advances to third; Michael Pfenninger scores, unearned 1-0, MC
T3 Manhattan College Michael Pfenninger singled to right field, RBI; Matt Forlow scored 2-0, MC
B3 University of Central Florida Kyle Marsh walked; Luke Hamblin advanced to second; Eli Putnam advanced to third; Matthew Mika scored 2-1, UCF
B3 University of Central Florida Brennan Bozeman hit by pitch; Kyle Marsh advanced to second; Luke Hamblin advanced to third; Eli Putnam scored 2-2, T
B3 University of Central Florida Bryce Peterson hit by pitch; Brennan Bozeman advanced to second; Kyle Marsh advanced to third; Luke Hamblin scored 3-2, UCF
B3 University of Central Florida Austin Griffin walked; Bryce Peterson advanced to second; Brennan Bozeman advanced to third; Kyle Marsh scored 4-2, UCF
B5 University of Central Florida Kam Gellinger scored on passed ball, unearned 5-2, UCF
T6 Manhattan College Paul Genners reached on fielder’s choice, RBI; Evan Brown out at second; Michael Pfenninger scored 5-3, UCF
B6 University of Central Florida Kyle Marsh doubled to left-center field; Luke Hamblin scored 6-3, UCF
B6 University of Central Florida Kam Gellinger singled to right side, RBI; Brennan Bozeman advanced to second; Kyle Marsh scored 7-3, UCF
B6 University of Central Florida Ryan Crile flew out to center field, sacrifice fly, RBI; Kam Gellinger advanced to third; Brennan Bozeman sscored 8-3, UCF
B6 University of Central Florida Logan Heiser singled to left field, RBI; Josh Moser advanced to third; Kam Gellinger scored 9-3, UCF
B6 University of Central Florida Matthew Mika singled up middle, 2 RBIs; Logan Heiser scored; Josh Moser scored 11-3, UCF
B7 University of Central Florida Josh Moser singled, RBI; Brennan Bozeman advanced to second; Brooks Morgan scored 12-3, UCF
B7 University of Central Florida Ryan Crile singled through right side, RBI; Josh Moser advanced to second; Brennan Bozeman scored 13-3, UCF

Statistics and Starting Lineup

Pitching

Player Team IP R ER H BB SO
Robby Howell (2-0) University of Central Florida 6.1 3 2 9 0 6
Trent Thompson University of Central Florida 1.2 0 0 0 0 2
Joe Jacques (0-1) Manhattan College 4.2 5 4 5 5 2
Ryan Takacs Manhattan College 1.2 8 8 6 2 2

Hitting

Player Team AB H R HR RBI SB BB SO
Kyle Marsh University of Central Florida 3 2 2 0 1 0 1 1
Kam Gellinger University of Central Florida 4 2 2 0 1 0 0 2
Ryan Crile University of Central Florida 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0
Paul Genners Manhattan College 4 1 0 0 2 0 0 0
Michael Pfenninger University of Central Florida 4 3 2 0 1 1 0 0

UCF starting lineup: 1. Eli Putnam (9) 2. Luke Hamblin (8) 3. Kyle Marsh (3) 4. Brennan Bozeman (6) 5. Kam Gellinger (5) 6. Bryce Peterson (7) 7. Austin Griffin (DH) 8. Logan Heiser (2) 9. Matthew Mika (4)

UCF starting pitcher: Robby Howell (1-0)

Manhattan starting lineup: 1. Jose Carrera (6) 2. Fabian Pena (2) 3. Matt Forlow (4) 4. Michael Pfenninger (3) 5. Jason Patnick (7) 6. Evan Brown (DH) 7. Paul Genners (9) 8. Anthony Rocchietti (5) 9. Adam Genners (8)

Manhattan starting pitcher: Joe Jacques (0-0)

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