UCF Hammers Owls 12-5 To Conclude Series Sweep

Orlando, Fla. (3/30/14) – The Owls continued to slide down the slippery slope in the American Athletic Conference standings with a 12-5 clobbering against the UCF Knights Sunday.

SP Ryan Keuhn pitched surprisingly effective in his first start last week against the Memphis Tigers but the competition was too much to handle against the favorites. UCF 2B Daniel Moore, the clear cut MVP for the series, led off the first getting hit by a pitch. He would later steal second. The Owls fielding was a problem in the inning as two errors were committed to load the bases. With one out, Keuhn walked DH Sam Tolleson to bring home the game’s first run.

He would get the next UCF hitter to strike out but would plunk freshman Kam Gellinger to bring home the second run in the inning. Up two, RF Erik Barber aided UCF with a two-run shot in the second and was followed by a James Vasquez solo home run. Back-to-back home runs put the Knights up five but the Owls weren’t going away.

3B Derek Peterson, hitting 5-8 in the series, doubled to center knocking in two Temple runs with two outs. The combination of Keuhn and RP Tim McCarthy kept UCF off the board in the third but the floodgates would soon open. Catcher Michael D’Acunti scored on a wild pitch by reliever Zach Rodgers in the fourth to cut the lead to two.

McCarthy endured a world of trouble in the bottom half of the fourth giving up a leadoff single to CF Derrick Salberg and let the next two hitters reach base. Tolleson came up looking to bring home some runners and accomplished his goal with a two run single as UCF took the four run lead. Two more runs would later score in the inning on an error and a sac fly.

A pair of RBI singles in the fifth by Vasquez and Tolleson pushed the UCF lead to eight. With runs to work with, Rodgers served up an RBI single to RF Frank D’Agostino and 2B Reyn Sugai knocked in another with a sac fly. UCF would tack on another run in the eighth and take the 12-5 win against their AAC foe.

Ryan Keuhn (1-1) picks up the loss going a mere 2.2 innings giving up three runs on five hits and three walks. The bullpen didn’t help matters letting up a combined seven runs. Even though he didn’t start the game, Zach Rodgers (3-1) came in to hold down the Owls and strike out four hitters in three innings of relief. Tolleson and Salberg led UCF with three hits a piece in the game.

After a disappointing weekend in the sunshine state, Temple (7-13, 2-4) heads to Delaware for the Liberty Bell Classic on Tuesday.

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