ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Despite a new single-game record of 3,678 fans packing the UCF baseball complex, the Knights (2-2) suffered a 5-3 loss to No. 17 Florida Tuesday evening. Sophomore JoMarcos Woods extended his hit streak to six games while UCF totaled nine base knocks in the contest.
"It was a great game tonight. The University of Florida played better than us," head coach Terry Rooney said after the game. "In order for us to be a great team, we have to play fundamentally sound and Florida played a little bit better than us, making a few more plays, and they got a few more clutch hits.
"I appreciate everybody coming out," Rooney said of the crowd that bested the previous total in 2011 by 77. "It was a perfect evening for college baseball. I think everyone continues to see the fan support for this program, and we thank everyone."
The Knights will continue their eight-game homestand when they host the Wawa Weekend Classic beginning Friday at 7 p.m. versus UConn. UCF will also face Texas Tech and Troy in its first home tournament since 1993.
LHP Brian Adkins, in his second-career start against the Gators (3-1), tossed 5 2/3 gutsy innings, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits. The Gators notched six infield base knocks off the Orlando native as the lefty was peppering the strike zone all night.
"I thought Brian Adkins did a fantastic job for us tonight," Rooney added. "He gave up a couple single runs. Who cares, that's baseball."
After giving up a solo home run to Vickash Ramjit, Adkins worked himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the second frame to keep it at a 2-0 deficit. He used great defense in the third, starting a 1-6-3 double play followed by fouled fly to catcher Ryan Breen behind the plate.
Ending his night with two strikeouts in the top of the fifth, Adkins was lifted in the sixth for rookie Zac Favre. The Knights looked to get out of the frame unscathed, but a throwing error after an 0-2 pitch brought home a pair of Gators to make it 5-0.
The Knights would respond in the bottom-half of the frame as James Vasquez (2-for-4, 1 RBI) blasted his first-career homer, and No. 1 of the season for the Knights. Austin Johnston (2-for-4, 2 2B) smashed a double over the center fielder's head and would be brought home on a Tommy Williams (1-for-3, 1 RBI) single to make it 5-2.
UCF inched closer in the seventh, taking advantage of a wild pitch that saw Erik Hempe (1-for-4) claim second and third base after the catcher couldn't find the ball. Chris Taladay (1-for-4, 1 RBI) wasted no time in sending a grounder to the second baseman to make it 5-3 for his team-leading fifth RBI on the year.
The two-run deficit would be the closest the Knights would be all evening as the Gators used a plethora of arms, including closer Johnny Magliozzi, to solidify the game.
UCF had its chances to plate more runs in the contests, putting runners in scoring position four of the first five innings.
In the bottom of the second, the Knights had runners at first and second and one out, but a pickoff at first followed by a strikeout ended the threat. UCF also loaded up the bases all on two outs in the fifth, but a strikeout ended the frame.
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