Feb. 27, 2010
UCF vs. Siena
Feb. 27, 2010
|From Orlando, Fla.
WP: Joe Rogers (1-0), 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
LP: Jake Werdesheim (0-1), 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
UCF may have won it in the 12th, but it never would have reached extra innings if it were not for a pair of newcomers stepping up in the ninth. On a 3-2 pitch, Austin Johnston led off with a double, and Chris Taladay wasted little time driving him in, placing the first pitch he saw into left for another two-bagger to tie it up at 5-5. That gave UCF all the momentum it would need heading into extras.
First Star: RP Joe Rogers, winning pitcher, hurled the final two innings to keep UCF in the game, striking out four while throwing 21 of 28 pitches for strikes
Second Star: C Beau Taylor, produced the game-winning hit in the 12th, and had two hits on the day
Third Star: RP Chase Bradford, worked 4.2 very important innings of relief, not allowing a run while striking out three
UCF Notes for Game Three Sunday
Game Notes in PDF Format
By Brian Ormiston
Box Score in PDF Format
Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Sophomore Beau Taylor drove in freshman Darnell Sweeney with a single in the 12th inning that lifted UCF to a 6-5 walk-off victory over Siena Saturday. The triumph over the Saints (1-6) ensured the Knights (5-1) of their second-straight series win to open the 2010 season.
"Great players always rise to the occasion, and obviously that was a tremendous hit by Beau," said head coach Terry Rooney. "But that game tonight was a total team effort. To hold on to a lead takes poise and maturity, and when you're behind or tied, it takes confidence and the belief that you can come back. This team is showing those characteristics. They showed it tonight, last Sunday and in Gainesville. So obviously from a mentality standpoint I think we're on our way."
UCF sent it to extras thanks to back-to-back doubles from Austin Johnston and Chris Taladay in the ninth. Relievers Chase Bradford and Joe Rogers shut the door over the final 6.2 innings, setting up the Knights' heroics in the 12th.
The Black and Gold collected 11 hits Saturday, two each from Sweeney, Shane Brown, Taylor and Taladay. But the story belonged to the final two arms from the pen. Bradford went 4.2 scoreless frames, striking out three and allowing just three hits. And Rogers worked the 11th and 12th innings, striking out four as the freshman picked up his first-career victory.
Cloudy and cold conditions greeted both teams throughout the contest, where UCF grabbed the 2-0 lead in the third on a sac fly from Ronnie Richardson and a two-out RBI single off the bat of Brown. Siena would answer with two of its own in the fourth and had runners at the corners with one out. Rooney went out to meet with starter Johnny Sedlock and the lefty proceeded to throw six of his next seven pitches for strikes, earning a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
When UCF climbed back into the box in the bottom half, Taylor placed a perfect bunt to the right of starting pitcher Kyle Sumple, and Jonathan Griffin followed his teammate by launching an estimated 440-foot homer over the batter's eye wall in dead center for his first long ball of 2010.
Siena seemed to deflate the Knights, though, when Dan Paolini tripled in a run in the fifth, and Kyle Hudson and Andrew Sawyer picked up an RBI in the sixth for a 5-4 lead.
Still down by a run going into the ninth, UCF's last attempt finally paid off. Already with five doubles on the year, Johnston led off with another two-bagger into the left-field corner, and Taladay immediately followed with a double as the Knights very quickly tied it up. Now with the game-winning run at second with no one out, reliever Jake Werdesheim shut UCF down with a pickoff and two strikeouts.
Bradford then found himself in a little trouble to start the 10th, as the Saints placed runners at first and second with no one out. After falling behind 2-0, the righty induced Kyle Baldani to ground into the 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
With Bradford escaping without Siena touching home, UCF was in prime position to win it again in the bottom half only it stranded runners at second and third.
When Rogers blanked Siena with a perfect 12th including two strikeouts, the Knights hoped to end it right away. And it was Sweeney who had the honors of starting the home half, and the freshman cranked a single into center. Brown dropped down a sac bunt to move Sweeney into scoring position, setting up Taylor, who fouled off several pitches before lining the game-winning hit into right field.
UCF and Siena will now close out the series with a Sunday afternoon contest at 1 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 follower of the Knights on Twitter and Facebook.
Siena - 1-6 Overall
UCF - 5-1 Overall
-The 12-inning game was the longest for the Knights since they defeated Monmouth in 16 frames, 5-4, March 9, 2008.
-The Knights' last walk-off win came against Marshall (on an error) May 3, 2009, but the last time they won on a walk-off hit was on Eric Kallstrom's single in the 10th inning vs. UAB May 9, 2008.
-UCF has now posted at least 11 hits in all six games this year.
-Beau Taylor's hitting streak reached nine games dating back to 2009.
-Chris Duffy's streak, meanwhile, extended to seven games.
-Jonathan Griffin and Austin Johnston also have a hit in each game in 2010.
-Junior lefty Johnny Sedlock finished his day with 5.0 innings, no walks, three earned runs and four strikeouts.
-Freshman and Winter Haven native Austin Johnston notched his sixth double of the year Saturday.
-The Knights stole three more bases to give them 13 on the year, which is already more than half of their total from 2009 (24).