TAMPA — The University of Central Florida hit four home runs to power their way to a 12-9 win over the University of South Florida in the opener of their American Conference regular season series finale at USF Baseball Stadium. UCF opened the game with two home runs in the first inning and a 4-0 lead, by Tommy Williams and Jordan Savinon off USF ace Jimmy Herget.
Before the Bulls could come to bat on the bottom half of the inning the game was then delayed by severe weather for two hours.
The delay ended Herget’s night. Joe Cavallaro and Tommy Eveld each pitched three innings in relief, while Mark Savarese threw two innings of shutout ball.
Knights starter Zach Rogers got the win after pitching five innings and allowing two runs. He struck out six.
UCF tacked on another run in the third with another home run, the first of two by senior Erik Barber. Barber ended his night with four RBI and two home runs, this after clubbing two earlier in the week against North Florida.
While USF battled back with two runs on the third to make it 5-2, a six run inning fourth inning by the Kinights all but ended the USF hopes of a win. USF did close the gap with a five run ninth to make the final score closer.
The two teams will play game two of the series on Friday at 2PM. The American Athletic Conference Championship is scheduled for May 19-24 in Clearwater, Fla
GAME NOTES: UCF leads the Amrican Conference in home runs, now have 64 as team on the season and pounded Bulls pitching for 15 hits on the night. This team can hit and will be dangerous in the tournament.
The Bulls are # 32 in RPI, down to two games in the regular season and both are must win if the team entertains any hope of post season play, excluding the American Conference Tournament of course.
USF played the game without head coach Mark Kingston who serving a five game suspension, the result of being a post game ejection on Sunday against Tulane.