Mom Nature finally let her kids play outside on Wednesday, and the Central Florida baseball team responded with a dominant display of pent-up pitching and hitting in an 11-4 victory over Hillsborough at Tampa.
Michael Paulk, a 6-3 sophomore righthander, picked up the victory on the mound. The sophomores also delivered at the plate as Dru Jones knocked in 3 runs and Jordan Zech counted a triple among his 3 hits.
CF, playing its first game since its opening-day 4-3 defeat of St. Petersburg on Jan. 29, improved to 2-0. The Patriots' last four games had been rained out, including a Jan. 30 home doubleheader against Northwest Florida State, a Monday visit to Indian River State and a Tuesday home date with Polk State. That last game has been rescheduled for Thursday at 3 p.m. at Goodlett Field.
Wednesday's game, by the way, was the first of a seven-game, six-day stretch that should be a truer measure of this team's ability than the disjointed schedule has allowed thus far. It will test the Patriot hitters' ability to produce on back-to-back days, the top-to-bottom talent level of the starting pitching staff and the depth and versatility of the bullpen. My hunch is that this Patriot team is going to be a good one.