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UCF Athletics | February 26, 2021

UCF baseball upsets No. 1 Ole Miss in series opener

All you need to know about the 2021 college baseball season

ORLANDO, Fla. — For the third time in UCF history, the Knights have knocked off the No. 1-ranked team in the country. In game one of a three-game set in Oxford, Miss., the UCF baseball team topped the No. 1 Ole Miss Rebels 3-2 at Swayze Field on Friday night. The victory marked the fifth straight win over SEC opponents, all on the road.

RANKINGS: D1Baseball.com poll 

Knights starting pitcher Colton Gordon set the tone, only allowing just a single run in 7.0 innings of work. The lefty would finish his outing with six strikeouts, allowing six hits.
 
Ole Miss struck first in the fourth inning, stringing together a few singles together to take a 1-0 lead. The Knights found a response in their half of the seventh, as Jordan Rathbone hit a solo shot into the UCF bullpen beyond left field to tie the game at one. Two batters later, Josh Crouch responds to Rathbone with a solo shot of his own to give the Black and Gold their first lead of the game.
 
Rathbone added what would be a needed insurance run in the top of the ninth, doubling to left to start the inning, and would later come around to score on a throwing error. After coming into the game in the eighth, David Litchfield stayed on to earn the two-inning save, despite giving up a solo home run in the bottom half of the ninth.

WATCH: FAU's Caleb Pendleton hits two grand slams in one inning to start college baseball career

UCF (2-3) – 3, No. 1 Ole Miss (4-1) – 2
 
Winning Pitcher: Colton Gordon (1-0)
Losing Pitcher: Doug Nikhazy (0-1)
Top Pitchers: Colton Gordon (7.0 IP, 6 K, 1 ER),  David Litchfield (2.0 IP, 1 K, 1 ER, 1 SV)
Top Hitters: Jordan Rathbone (2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R), Josh Crouch (1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI)
 
Knocking Off No. 1

  • UCF's victory handed the No. 1 Rebels their first loss of 2021 and snapped a program record 20-game win streak.
  • Friday's win marks UCF's first ever win in Oxford, Miss. and the Knights improve to 3-6 all-time vs. Ole Miss.
  • The Knights have now won five straight games against ranked SEC opponents on the road
  • Dating back to 2018, the Knights are 3-0 against the No. 1 ranked team in the country
    • 3/5/2018, W, 9-7 vs. Florida
    • 3/6/2018, W, 4-2 at Florida
    • 2/26/20, W 3-2 at Ole Miss
  • UCF has hit at least one home run in four of its five games this year
  • The Knights held the No. 1 Rebels to a season-low two runs. The two runs allowed is also a season-low for the UCF pitching staff.
  • Jordan Rathbone's seventh inning home run was his first of the 2021 campaign after slugging three in the shortened season a year ago.

WOW: Georgia State's bats come alive in historic sweep of No. 14 West Virginia

Next Up
The Knights will return to Swayze Field to wrap up the weekend series with a doubleheader tomorrow, featuring two nine-inning contests. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. ET, with the series finale following 45 minutes after the conclusion.

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Division I
Baseball Championship
June 17 - 26/27, 2022
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