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UCF Athletics | February 28, 2021

College baseball: UCF clinches series win over No. 1 Ole Miss

FAU's Caleb Pendleton breaks down his two grand slams in the same inning (!)

OXFORD, Miss. — After picking up a game one win on Friday night, the UCF baseball team split Saturday's doubleheader against No. 1 Ole Miss to clinch the series victory over the top-ranked program.

Here's a recap of Saturday's split to conclude the weekend series.

Game One | No. 1 Ole Miss 6, UCF 5

The Rebels' offense jumped out to an early lead in the second inning, tagging starting pitcher Hunter Patteson for three runs on a pair of extra base hits. Patteson settled back into a groove and would finish his day with five innings pitched, seven strikeouts and just the three runs allowed.
 
The Knights would answer and pull within a run in the fifth inning thanks to a two-out, two-RBI double from freshman John Montes. Ben McCabe gave the Knights their first lead of the day with a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning.
 
Ole Miss responded with a bottom of the ninth solo shot to pull within one, before stringing together a couple hits and taking advantage of a defensive error to walk off game one.
 
Winning pitcher: Jackson Kimbrell (2-0)
Losing pitcher: David Litchfield (1-1)
Top pitchers: Hunter Patteson (5.0 IP, 7 SO, 1 BB), Zack Hunsicker (2.0 IP, 1 SO, 1 BB)
Top hitters: Ben McCabe (1-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI), John Montes (1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI)
 
Key moments

  • John Montes' fifth inning double was just his second of his collegiate career, and drove in his first two RBIs as a Knight.
  • The UCF lineup left nine runners on base, compared to Ole Miss' six.
  • McCabe's three-run home run to give the Knights the lead in the eighth was his third of the year.

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Game Two | UCF 7, No. 1 Ole Miss 2

The Knights bounced back in a big way in the series rubber match, as AJ Jones set the tone on the mound tossing six innings, fanning 10 Ole Miss batters and allowing just one earned run.
 
The UCF offense broke out the bats in a big way, as six Knights had a hit. Sophomore Ben McCabe led the squad, going 3-for-4 with a double, home run, two RBIs and four runs scored.
 
The Knights put up a single run in four innings, before breaking it open with a three-run eighth. McCabe got the scoring started, driving in a pair on his double and was then driven in by first year freshman Alex Freeland.
 
Ole Miss reclaimed a single run in its half of the eighth, scoring a run on a bases-loaded double play. First-year freshman Zack Bennett finished the day with three innings pitched, four strikeouts and just one run.
 
Winning pitcher: AJ Jones (1-0)
Losing pitcher: Derek Diamond (1-1)
Top pitchers: AJ Jones (6.0 IP, 10 K, 1 ER), Zack Bennett (3.0 IP, 3 K, 1 ER)
Top hitters: Ben McCabe (3-4, 1 HR, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 4 R)

TWO GRAND SLAMS IN ONE INNING: FAU freshman pulls off ridiculous feat — in his debut
 
Key moments

  • On his way to his first victory as a Knight, AJ Jones had 10 strikeouts against No. 1 Ole Miss. Jones' 10 strikeouts was just one shy of tying his career-high.
  • Ben McCabe homered for the fourth time this season, to give UCF the first lead of the day.
  • Pablo Ruiz got in on the hit parade, with two RBI base hits on the day, including a double in the sixth to drive in McCabe.
  • Alex Freeland picked up three hits, including his first double of the season, on his way to driving in two runs.

 
Notables

  • Dating back to 2018, UCF is 4-1 in its last five games against the No. 1 ranked team in the country.
  • With the series victory, the Knights are now 4-7 all-time vs. Ole Miss.
  • UCF is 9-3 vs. the SEC since 2018, with four victories over No. 1 ranked opponents.
  • Ben McCabe leads the Knights in every slugging category — three doubles, four homers, 14 RBIs, .853 SLG%.
  • Through seven games on the year, ffreshman Alex Freeland is hitting .500 with one double and one home run.
  • The three Knights starting pitchers vs. No. 1 Ole Miss combined for 18 innings, a 2.50 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 23 strikeouts, and four walks.

 
Next up

UCF will travel to Deland, Florida to face off with Stetson for the second time in 2021. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET.

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Division I
Baseball Championship
June 19-30, 2021
TD Ameritrade Park | Omaha, NE

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