Baseball knocks off Knights 5-3

Florida got the season started off on the right note over the weekend, topping Duke in the opening series 2-1 after dropping the opening game. The No. 17 Gators kept it rolling Tuesday night, extending their winning streak to three games with a comfortable 5-3 win over UCF.

Junior Keenan Kish picked up a win over UCF after pitching two scoreless innings on Tuesday.

Justin Shafer helped the Gators (3-1) open up an early lead on the Knights (2-2) when he knocked in freshman Richie Martin on a one-out sacrifice fly in the first inning.

First baseman Vickash Ramjit added to Florida's lead with a leadoff home run in the second inning, before third baseman Zack Powers blasted his third home run in two games in the top of the fourth to make the score 3-0.

Powers finished the night 3-4 at the plate, scored two runs and drove one run in. He is hitting .600 with three home runs through the first four games.

A pair of errors by UCF in the top of the sixth inning allowed Florida to plate two more runs to get the lead to 5-0 before the Knights finally answered.

Starting pitcher Keenan Kish got the win after he pitched two scoreless innings.

Freshman left-hander Parker Danciu pitched 3.1 innings in relief before he ran into trouble in the sixth. He gave up a solo homer and a double before leaving the game.

Reliever Ryan Harris gave up an RBI single to allow the Knights to plate the runner Danciu left at second to cut the lead to 5-2 in the sixth.

After Harris gave up a single in the top of the seventh, coach Kevin O'Sullivan brought on Daniel Gibson in relief. A wild pitch from Gibson allowed the runner to get all the way to third, and an RBI groundout to second base scored him to cut the lead to 5-3.

Johnny Magliozzi came on in the bottom of the eighth inning and pitched 1.2 innings of hitless relief to pick up the save.

Florida will return to action on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at McKethan Stadium against Georgia Southern.

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