ORLANDO, Fla. - The Columbia baseball team edged UCF by a 5-4 score Saturday evening at Ray Bergman Field to even the four-game series 1-1.
Columbia (1-7) halted UCF’s five-game winning streak as the Lions recorded 11 hits while holding the Knights (12-8) to just seven thanks to strong pitching. Thomas Crispi earned his first win of the season, letting up one run on one hit and one strikeout in 1.1 innings of work. Alex Black earned the save with no runs and two strikeouts, and starter Tim Giel struck out nine in six innings of work. Aaron Silbar went 3-for-4 with three hits and one run to lead the Lions offensively.
Serena started off the game with a leadoff double and later scored as Williams, Ferraresi and Black took advantage of UCF walks to give the Lions an early 2-0 lead.
Giel held UCF scoreless through five, but the Knights broke through with a three-run sixth, sparking a back-and-forth game over the next several innings. UCF went ahead as Parker Webster hit a two-run double to give the Knights a 3-2 advantage.
The Lions battled right back to regain the lead with two runs in the seventh. Serena drew a walk and Crucet singled to left field as Ferraresi sent them both to the plate with a two-run single to put Columbia back in front, 4-2.
UCF answered with another run in the bottom of the seventh to even the score, four-all. Tommy Walker drew a leadoff walk and scored after James Vasquez singled and advanced to second based due to a Columbia throwing error.
An RBI single by Serena in the top of the eighth put the Lions ahead for good as Black finished out the last 1 2/3 innings to notch his first save of the season.
Columbia will look for its second straight win in the third game of the series tomorrow, March 17 at 1 p.m.