The Central Florida Knights have moved into the semi-finals of the American Athletic Conference Baseball (AAC) Tournament in Clearwater. On Friday, the top-seeded Knights overwhelmed the USF Bulls 12-0 to eliminate South Florida from the tournament.
For the second consecutive Saturday, the Knights have knocked the Bulls out of title contention. Last week, they defeated USF in a winner-take-all final season finale that delivered the regular season crown.
After a mind-boggling 14-3 defeat at the hands of eighth-seeded East Carolina in their opening game on Tuesday, UCF has rolled to their second consecutive impressive victory in this tournament. Chris Williams completely stifled the Bulls bats on Friday, holding them to two hits over eight innings to earn the victory.
On Thursday, Bobby Howell shut down Tulane in an 8-3 victory that kept UCF alive in the tournament.
Williams did not allow the Bulls a hit until Coco Montes doubled to right field with two outs in the seventh inning. He walked two and struck out 7 on the day.
The UCF offense finally broke through with a 7-run sixth inning. A two-run homer by Logan Heiser was the key blow. Ryan Crile also added a two-run homer in the 7th inning.
With the victory, the Knights get another chance at East Carolina. In order to reach the tournament finals, they will need to defeat the Pirates twice on Saturday.
The first game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Clearwater’s Spectrum Field. Should the Knights prevail, they will play a second game immediately following the first.
Houston and Connecticut are facing off in the other semi-final. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday at noon.
USF finishes with a 41-17 record and will await the NCAA Selection Show on Monday at noon on ESPN2. They are widely expected to earn a bid to the tournament.
UCF improved to 40-19 and will most certainly hear their name called on Monday.