ORLANDO, Fla. - The Columbia baseball team dropped a 10-3 decision in the series opener at University of Central Florida on Friday night at Jay Bergman Field.
Five errors plagued Columbia (1-7) while UCF (12-7) starter Ben Lively fanned 11 on five hits and one run in seven innings of work to notch the victory.
Overall, the Knights scattered 11 hits while Columbia was close behind with 10, four of which came in the ninth. Jordan Serena, Nick Crucet and Joey Falcone led the Lions with two hits apiece.
Down 5-0, the Lions rallied in the fifth inning to get on the board. Serena started it off with a two-out infield single, and Crucet followed with a single through the right side, advancing Serena into scoring position at third. Columbia then strategically worked around the diamond as Serena stole second while Crucet stole home to make it a 5-1 ballgame.
In the top of the ninth, the Lions battled to make a comeback, scoring two runs on four hits against UCF closer Tyler Martin. John Kinne doubled to get things going and Serena followed with an RBI double to score Kinne. Crucet then hit a single, advancing Serena to third, and Falcone came through yet again with an RBI single to send Serena to the plate.
The Lions will look to bounce back in part two of the four-game series tomorrow, March 16 at 4 p.m.