Behind a five-run third inning, the UCF baseball team stayed undefeated Tuesday night with a 10-2 win over Stetson University at John Euliano Park.
Redshirt junior outfielder Ray Alejo had a career night, coming through with two hits and four RBIs. He hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, which was the second of his Knights career.
“I’m going to keep swinging. I’m going to keep doing what I can,” Alejo said. “Just hit the ball hard and whatever happens, happens.”
A pair of bases-loaded walks helped UCF open the game with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. After Stetson came back to tie the game in the third, it was all UCF for the rest of the game. The offense took advantage of some defensive mistakes by the Hatters, and scored five two-out runs on the night.
The Knights' pitching, on the other hand, was lights-out. The staff combined for 11 strikeouts on the night.
“Overall, we played a really good game and I’m proud of the kids,” UCF head coach Greg Lovelady said.
The bullpen continues to impress for the Knights after allowing just two earned runs and combining for 23 strikeouts during the weekend sweep of Siena.
Redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Jaylyn Whitehead had a solid first start of the season for UCF, recording three strikeouts and allowing four hits in five innings of work.
Whitehead pitched his way out of a couple jams, with a two-run home run being the only blemish on his night.
“I think I did a good job. I think there’s a lot I can improve on just like everybody would say,” Whitehead said. “I’m happy with my first start and [I'm] excited to grow on it."
With the win, the Knights are 4-0 for the 11th time in school history. The victory kicked off an eight-game stretch against opponents that made it to last year's NCAA Tournament.
“I just want to keep winning, no matter what,” Whitehead said.
UCF will start a three-game series against No. 22 Auburn on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at John Euliano Park.