Driven by a season-high 16 hits, the UCF baseball team defeated the VCU Rams 10-9 at John Euliano Park on Friday.
The Knights came in strong off after their midweek sweep over the Yale Bulldogs.
UCF head coach Greg Lovelady said the Knights' win showcased the type of offense that he has been hoping to see the past few series.
“We talked about the last two weeks [and] not being able to win the first game of the series and we needed to come out better,” Lovelady said. “I thought the offense was just outstanding tonight. [UCF] came out from the first pitch swinging. [It] put a lot of pressure on [VCU].”
UCF hit three home runs on the night, one short of matching their season-high against Auburn on Feb. 24.
In one of the first few games he's been back on the field since recovering from injuries, UCF designated hitter Anthony George stepped up to the plate and hit the first home run of the game into left field.
The redshirt junior said he "messed up" his hamstring a week before the start of this season and sustained a season-ending knee injury in 2018.
“[I] just start[ed] to see the ball again, that’s the main thing,” George said.
UCF redshirt senior first baseman Tyler Osik said the Knights' batting lineup will benefit now that George is back in action.
“It’s good to have George back,” Osik said. “You know he’s going to be a big piece of our line up moving forward now that he’s healthy.”
UCF redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Chris Williams started off the game for the Knights on the mound. Williams struck out seven batters, allowed 11 hits and gave up six runs in the five innings he was on the bump.
The game was an offensive slugfest, with both teams totaling 30 hits.
The Knights' offense continued to heat up as Ray Alejo stepped up to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning. Faced with two outs, the redshirt junior center fielder stepped up to the plate and knocked the ball out of the park.
Alejo’s home run to left field brought the Knights to a 10-8 lead at the bottom of the eighth. The home run was the Knights' third home run of the night and the last run scored by UCF.
Friday’s match up marks the first Friday night win for the Knights since playing the Siena Saints on Feb. 15.
“You know Friday nights have been a little tough for us," George said. "But I think we got that mojo and will carry it on tomorrow."
With the win, the Knights are now 13-5 on the season, while the Rams fall to 13-4.
The Knights will face the Rams for the second game of the three-game series Saturday at 6 p.m. at John Euliano Park.