April 22, 2011
UCF vs. Memphis
April 22, 2011
|From Memphis, Tenn.
WP: Rogers (2-1), 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
LP: Paullus (3-2), 1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
When Ronnie Richardson greeted Memphis closer Ben Paullus with a leadoff double in the top of the 10th inning, the rest of the offense was quick to respond, eventually getting a sac fly from Jonathan Griffin and a RBI groundout from Derek Luciano. Even though Memphis scored once in the bottom half, Joe Rogers forced Chad Zurcher to ground into a 1-6-3 double play with the tying run 90 feet away to end it.
First: UCF SP Brian Adkins, ND, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 K
Second: UCF RP Joe Rogers, WP, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 K
Third: UCF C Beau Taylor, 2-for-4, 3 RBI, HR
By Brian Ormiston
Box Score in PDF Format
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UCFAthletics.com) - Jonathan Griffin and Derek Luciano each drove in runs in the 10th inning to allow UCF to pull out a 5-4 victory in the series opener at Memphis Friday. Joe Rogers pitched the final 3.0 innings for the Knights (25-14, 5-8 Conference USA) and closed out the win by inducing Chad Zurcher, the nation's leading hitter, to ground into a game-ending 1-6-3 double play with runners at the corners.
In his second-career Friday-night start, sophomore Brian Adkins worked 7.0 innings, surrendering three runs on four hits and striking out four Tigers (23-16, 6-4). It was Adkins' seventh-straight start that he lasted at least 6.0 innings. Although he gave up a run in the 10th, Rogers allowed just one hit and fanned two to improve his record to 2-1 on the year.
UCF pitching also kept two streaks alive, as opponents are now hitless in their last 31 at-bats when there are two outs dating back to game two vs. East Carolina April 16. And the Knights have not given up a two-out RBI in their last five games.
Junior catcher Beau Taylor continued to thrive from the No. 9 hole, going 2-for-4 with three RBI highlighted by a two-run homer in the fifth.
"It was a great night and everybody did their job, especially Adkins. He was amazing tonight," said Taylor. "Everybody has been fighting. We all know what's at stake, so we're not going to give up. (And hitting from the No. 9 hole) is comfortable. Usually the nine-hole gets a lot of fastballs but I haven't been, and pitchers are mainly staying away. But that homer was one of the first pitches I got on the inside part of the plate."
Adkins had trouble starting the first two innings, walking the leadoff man each time only to get a double play in the first before striking out the side in the second. Memphis starter Dan Langfield also looked strong through two innings until issuing a leadoff walk of his own in the third. With Luciano on first, the righty went to 0-2 on Taylor yet the catcher still was able to send a line drive into the left-center gap for a RBI double.
The UCF lefty kept Memphis at bay until the fourth when Zurcher gave the home team its first hit, a double to get the bottom of the fourth going. Following a sac bunt, T.J. Rich lifted a sacrifice fly to left to even it up at 1-1.
With each team having only one hit through four frames, Travis Shreve provided UCF with its second hit by way of a two-bagger to get the fifth going. And the third hit would disappear onto the right-field deck as Taylor, who knew it was over the wall immediately, crushed a two-run homer to resupply the Knights with the lead.
After UCF would strand two runners with one out later in the fifth, Adam McClain tied it again with a two-run home run in the home half. The Tigers were 90 feet away from going on top for the first time as well in the fifth, but Adkins made sure Robby Graham, who doubled and was sacrificed over earlier in the inning, remained at third by earning the final two outs.
The Knights also ruined a scoring opportunity in the seventh where they loaded the bases with one away before Griffin grounded into an inning-ending double play vs. reliever Tyler Farley.
Adkins pitched all of the way into the eighth but a walk to start the inning gave way to Rogers from the pen, and he picked up three quick outs to reach the ninth still knotted up at three apiece.
Neither team produced a baserunner in their version of the ninth, and that stretch ended quickly in the 10th on a leadoff double by Ronnie Richardson against Memphis closer Ben Paullus. D.J. Hicks then came through by dropping a single into center to push Richardson to third, and Griffin successfully got the ball to the outfield, flying to right to allow the UCF center fielder to touch home on the sac fly.
Now ahead by a run, the Black and Gold searched for more, adding singles from Chris Taladay and Ryan Breen to fill the bags with one down. On a 3-1 count, Luciano grounded one deep into the hole between second and third that resulted in a RBI fielder's choice, scoring pinch-runner Kevin Vasquez from third.
With a 5-3 advantage, Rogers went back out for his third inning and proceeded to walk the first two Tigers to get it underway. A sac bunt by Ethan Gross moved the runners into scoring position, and an infield single by Martinez allowed the Tigers to inch closer at 5-4. With runners at first and third and still one out, Zurcher sent one back to the mound to start the deciding double play, causing the Knights dugout to erupt.
The Knights and Tigers resume the series with game two Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, and the finale is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
UCF - 25-14 Overall, 5-8 C-USA
Memphis - 23-16 Overall, 6-4 C-USA
-UCF has won three-straight games for the first time since a three-game sweep of Columbia March 18-20.
-Memphis finished with just five hits, the fewest by a UCF opponent since Columbia had three March 19.
-Beau Taylor, D.J. Hicks and Ronnie Richardson each had two hits for the Black and Gold. Richardson's two hits were both doubles including the leadoff two-bagger to start the 10th inning.
-UCF is now 61-38-1 all-time in extra-inning games, including a 1-1 mark this year.
-The Knights' last extra inning C-USA road win was at Southern Miss last season (11-10 in 10 innings April 10).
-UCF turned three double plays Friday.