CF Baseball takes opener behind Khawam's 5 RBI

Ocala, FL-- Sparked by a pair of newcomers, the College of Central Florida baseball team got off to a good start in its regular season opener.

Christian Khawam homered and drove in five runs, while Mike Cetta struck out nine in a 7-4 win for the Patriots over Pensacola State in a game that was called by rain after seven innings on Friday afternoon at Goodlett Field.

Khawam, a freshman from Miami Southridge High School, hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat as a Patriot and helped the hosts wipe out a 3-0 first inning deficit.

For the game, Khawam went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and had one of his team's four doubles, to go along with his two-run homer.

Cetta, a transfer from Point Park and Miami Palmetto High product, allowed just one run over his final six innings of work and was effective in getting out of trouble.

Pensacola went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position after the opening inning and Cetta allowed four runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.

Khawam gave him all the support he would need with a go-ahead two-run single in the fifth.
He added a run-scoring double for CF (1-0) in the sixth and Josh Ellzey extended his team's lead to three with a sacrifice fly later in the frame.

From there, Weston Pope got the final two outs of the seventh for the save.
Another newcomer, Ryan Crile of North Marion High, went 1-for-4 with three runs scored and a double from his leadoff spot.

Enderson Velasquez (2-for-4), Ben Ellzey (double) and Robby Jolley (3-for-4, two runs scored, triple) also had good games for the Patriots at the plate.

CF will host Indian River State in a doubleheader beginning at noon on Saturday.