College baseball: Offense steals the show for UCF and Kansas State in team and player of the week honors
Upsets. Offense. And more offense.
Let’s take a deeper look at NCAA.com’s college baseball Team and Player of the Week:
Team of the Week
Entering last week, the top-ranked Florida Gators had one loss to their name. It all changed when No. 23 UCF swept the nations top team in a midweek, two-game set.
In a home and home series the Knights salvaged a 9-7 victory at home in game one to mark the first victory against the No. 1 ranked team in the country in program history. The victory came in front of the second largest crowd ever at John Euliano Park, home of the Knights.
Florida had its fair share of success in game one, starting the game off with a Wil Dalton home run on the first pitch of the game. But UCF starter JJ Montgomery zoned in and struck out five of the next nine batters he faced on the way to his second win of the season.
It was the third inning that proved to be the difference maker for UCF. The Knights trailed 3-0 entering the bottom half of the inning. However, six two-out runs paved the way for UCF on their way to victory.
In game two, it was the Knights who jumped out to a quick lead with two runs in the first. Rylan Thomas blasted a two-run home run, while Matthew Mika drilled a solo shot in the sixth to push the Knights lead up to 3-1. UCF held on for a 4-2 victory to start the week 2-0 before sweeping Siena at home.
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Game one vs. Siena proved to be a pure pitchers duel. It took a walk-off triple in the bottom of the ninth for the Knights to take game one, 1-0. UCF starter Chris Williams tossed eight innings of scoreless baseball, allowing six hits and striking out six.
With only four hits in the game, Thomas notched a base hit to pave the way for Osik, who tripled home Thomas with two outs to win the game. The pitchers duel continued for the two teams in game two as the Knights pushed their way to a 2-0 victory. Thad Ward earned the win with seven innings and 10 strikeouts on the mound.
In the series finale, both offenses opened up in the Knights 10-8 win. Sienna dropped four runs in the eighth, but it was not enough to mount a comeback after UCF padded its lead to 10-4 with two runs in the seventh. Osik led the team once again, recording a home run and driving in six runs on his way to a 3-for-4 performance.
UCF owns the longest current winning streak in the NCAA at 12 after its perfect 5-0 record last week. The Knights boost its record to 13-3 overall. The newly minted No. 19 team in the country takes on Bradley, the University of Miami, and Chicago State this week.
Player of the Week
Drew Mount of Kansas State put up a week to remember during the teams four game stretch. The junior started the week vs. Incarnate Word 2-3 with a home run and two RBIs, but it was game two of the week that had eyes all over the outfielder.
Kansas State held a 2-0 lead vs. Mercer in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded, Mount crushed a grand slam to blow the game open for the Wildcats.
With complete control of the game, Kansas State held a 7-1 lead in the sixth. With one grand slam under his belt, Mount stepped to the plate with the bases loaded again.
On a 2-2 count, the lefty demolished a ball over the right field fence for a no-doubter, recording his second grand slam of the day.
Mount etches his name in the Big 12 record books as just the third player in conference history to hit two grand slams in the same game, and the first since 1998.
Jose Montenegro of Oklahoma and Jason Landreth of Texas Tech each had two grand slams in a game in 1998. However, no player has ever hit more than two in a single game. Cameron Blair of Texas Tech hit three in one season during the 2004 campaign for the most in a single season.
To wrap up the stellar week, Mount notched two singles and three RBs against Mercer to help the Wildcats take two of three. Mount now has a .315 average with seven home runs on the year while leading the NCAA in RBIs with 29 after a career week.
Kansas State looks to build upon its recent hot streak, winning 9 of its last 11 games. The Wildcats host Creighton and the College of Charleston this week in the midst of a 13-game home stand.