JU (22-22), which held a 5-4 lead heading into the ninth, dropped its second consecutive game with a lead heading into the final inning and fell to 0-2 in extra inning games.
UCF (29-16) snapped a three-game losing streak to the Dolphins by getting a solo homer in the ninth by Jonathan Griffin before a bloop RBI single in the 10th by Chris Duffy ended the game.
“We have to be able to finish off leads if we are going to continue our season,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “This is another tough one for us but we are playing for the weekends at this point in the season. Luckily, we have a chance to get things going before Friday comes along.”
Sophomore Baker Chapman (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing a run on two hits in 0.2 innings of relief. Sophomore Clay Kollenbaum got the no-decision despite allowing no runs on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts in three innings of a predetermined start. Freshman Chris Patrick also added a stellar 2.1 innings of perfect relief in which he struck out four batters.
Joe Rogers (4-1) got the win after hurling an inning of shutout relief. Matt Goodyear also got a no-decision after allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 4.2 innings.
Freshman designated hitter Adam Brett Walker and sophomore center fielder Jonathan Murphy each finished with two hits to lead the Dolphins. Senior first baseman Alex Martinez added a three-run homer.
Darnell Sweeney led the Knights by going 3-for-5 with an RBI.
JU took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when senior second baseman Chuck Opachich hit a sacrifice fly to right. With one out, Walker reached on a fielding error by Griffin at first. Junior catcher Alex Swenson followed with a single to right on a hit-and-run to move Walker to third. In the next at-bat, Opachich laced a ball into right to score the game’s first run.
The Dolphins increased the margin to 5-0 in the fifth when Martinez hit a three-run homer to left and Opachich beat out an RBI single to short.
The Knights cut the deficit to 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth after plating four runs on four hits while taking advantage of a Dolphin throwing error.
UCF evened the contest in the bottom of the ninth when Griffin hit a solo homer over the right field wall with one out.
JU and UCF will end its series at John Sessions Stadium on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The contest can be viewed on ASun.TV or through live stats by logging onto JUDolphins.com.