UCF Knights senior pitcher Jordan Spicer picked one hell of a time to post arguably the best outing of his career.
Against one of the top ten offenses in the nation in Tulane and with UCF facing elimination for the second straight game, Spicer went the distance, scattering eight hits and giving up two runs, and striking out six on a career-high 116 pitches, and UCF knocked out the Green Wave with a 6-2 victory in the American Baseball Championship in Clearwater.
One more look at Spicer’s game-ending K:
UCF gave Spicer the run support they did not give Chris Williams in the first game of the tournament - six runs worth - capped by home runs from Matthew Mika and Anthony George.
But Spicer stole the show, stranding six Tulane baserunners and walking only one. It was an emotional evening for the senior:
I’ll never forget this hug pic.twitter.com/Ssk01HooDx— Greg Lovelady (@CoachLovelady23) May 25, 2019
Here he was after the game:
Greg Lovelady again sounded like he was barely able to contain his emotions after the game:
Two for Saturday
The Knights are 2-1 in the tournament and advance to semifinal Saturday, where they face the 2-seed Cincinnati Bearcats, who defeated Tulane 8-4 on Thursday night to make it to Saturday:
UCF lost two out of three to Cincinnati in the regular season series up in Ohio, including a series-ending walk-off homer by Joey Wiemer:
The Knights need to beat Cincy twice on Saturday to make it to the final on Sunday in the double-elimination bracket. The game starts 47 minutes after the conclusion of Wichita State vs. UConn, slated for 10 a.m.
If UCF wins, the time of the second game depends on whether Wichita State beats UConn. If the 8-seed Shockers pull it off, they will play UConn again following the UCF-Cincy game, and a second UCF-Cincy game (if necessary) would take place right after that. If UConn wins and UCF wins, the Knights and Bearcats would play a second game immediately after the end of the first:
Another day down in Clearwater - Here's how the 2019 #AmericanBSB Championship bracket looks as we head into the weekend.— American Baseball (@American_BSB) May 25, 2019
All the latest info can always be found at https://t.co/72ND51ViOu pic.twitter.com/n3ouFVZmFE
With a 36-21 record and an RPI of 41, UCF is still squarely on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. The latest projections:
- D1Baseball: Last four in (#63, up one spot)
- Baseball America: Last four in (up from first four out yesterday)
Even so, UCF probably needs to win both games Saturday against the Bearcats (28-29, RPI #108) in order to feel comfortable about their position heading into NCAA selection time.
All games on Saturday will be televised on the American Digital Network.