Feb. 24, 2010
UCF at Florida
Feb. 24, 2010
|From Gainesville, Fla.
WP: Hudson Randall (1-0), 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
LP: Brian Adkins (0-1), 4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
-When Florida's ground balls started to go through for base hits in the second inning, it was clear the ball was bouncing in favor of the Gators Wednesday. They took advantage by scoring three times in the inning and would not relinquish the lead, holding off six unanswered runs late by the Knights.
First Star: UF SP Hudson Randall, winning pitcher, gave up three hits in 5.0 scoreless innings
Second Star: UCF LF Chris Duffy, 3-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 R
Third Star: UCF CF Ronnie Richardson, 3-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 R
By Brian Ormiston
Gainesville, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Ground ball base hits provided No. 5 Florida with an early lead and it held off a late rally to defeat the UCF baseball team, 7-6, on a rainy Wednesday night in Gainesville. With the loss the Knights dropped to 3-1 on the season and will now look ahead to a three-game home series with Siena this weekend.
The Black and Gold scored three times in the seventh and eighth innings to erase a 7-0 deficit but could not push across the tying run.
UCF used five freshmen in the starting lineup vs. the Gators: CF Ronnie Richardson, SS Darnell Sweeney, 2B Austin Johnston, DH Chris Taladay and SP Brian Adkins. Meanwhile, the Knights finished the game by outhitting the Gators, 14-12, including Chris Duffy's 25th career homer.
Adkins was keeping the ball low in the zone and forcing Florida (4-0) hitters to pepper the defense with ground balls early. But one grounder off the bat of Bryson Smith sailed through for a double to lead off the second, which set the stage for a few more that went through for hits as UF stormed out to a 3-0 lead. The Gators then plated an unearned run in the third to bring it to 4-0.
After Florida hurler Hudson Randall cruised through five innings, Nick Maronde took over in relief and the Knights had their first scoring chance when Richardson singled to kick off the sixth and Beau Taylor put runners at the corners with two down on a base hit of his own. But Maronde managed to pick up the third out to keep UCF off the board.
Florida padded to its lead in the sixth with three more runs off the Knights' pen. The visitors attempted again to cut into their deficit when Duffy blasted a single to start the seventh before Austin Johnston drilled a hard single off second baseman Josh Adams.
With runners at first and third and no outs, Maronde sat the next two batters down only to see Richardson notch an infield single to plate Duffy. The two-out rally continued with RBI singles off the bats of Sweeney and Shane Brown, who was down in the count 0-2 before getting aboard, as the Knights made it 7-3.
Reliever Bryan Brown kept the Knights in it with an impressive seventh on the hill, setting up the UCF offense in the eighth, and it took a little bit of luck vs. righty Greg Larson. Jonathan Griffin sent a dribbler between the shortstop and third baseman and the duo struggled to get a glove on it for the infield single. Larson then went 2-0 on Duffy, and witnessed the left fielder power his third-homer of the year over the right-center wall.
The inning was not over. Taladay delivered a one-out single, giving way to pinch-hitter Anthony Caronia who dropped down a sac bunt. Richardson capped off the inning by lacing a RBI double into right for UCF's sixth-unanswered run.
Looking for just one more run, UCF watched as lefty Kevin Chapman preserved the win by closing it out in the ninth.
UCF will return to Orlando to open a 13-game homestand when it hosts Siena for a three-game set beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Season tickets for the 2010 campaign are currently on sale. To purchase tickets, call 407-823-1000 or visit UCFAthletics.com. And for the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com and become a follow of the Knights on Twitter and Facebook.
No. 5 Florida - 4-0 Overall
UCF - 3-1 Overall
-Three Knights made their first-career starts Wednesday, as junior Michael Holmes made the start at third base for an injured Derek Luciano, freshman Chris Taladay served as the designated hitter and freshman Brian Adkins received the honors as the starting pitcher.
-Wednesday marked the fifth-straight season UCF battled at least one team ranked in the top five (including the postseason).
-Senior Matt Manning made his first appearance on the mound since 2008. The righty sat out all of 2009 due to an injury.