March 17, 2010
UCF at Stetson
March 17, 2010
|From DeLand, Fla.
WP: Joe Rogers (2-0), 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
LP: David Burns (2-1), 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
It was another close game between UCF and Stetson, but it was a freshman who put the Knights in the lead for good. Trailing by one in the eighth and with the bases loaded, Darnell Sweeney delivered a two-run single to make it 6-5. That hit set up a five-run inning.
First Star: UCF LF Chris Duffy, 5-for-6, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Second Star: UCF SS Darnell Sweeney, 3-for-5, 3 RBI, 2 R, two-run single in the 8th put UCF on top
Third Star: UCF CF/C Ryan Breen, 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 SB
By Brian Ormiston
DeLAND, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior Chris Duffy (Orlando, Fla.) became the fastest player in UCF history to belt out 10 home runs, going 5-for-6 in an 11-7 victory at Stetson Wednesday. Duffy launched two dingers vs. the Hatters (8-10) to give him 11 on the season, marking the seventh time in his career he hammered out two home runs in a game for the Black and Gold (10-8).
"Tonight was a total team win without any question," said head coach Terry Rooney. "And (Duffy) is really unbelievable. It's so great to see it happen to Chris. Here's a guy who is a leader on this team and everybody looks up to him and respects him. I certainly do. When you see great things happen to guys like that it's even better."
While it took Duffy only 18 games to reach the 10 home run plateau, his two long balls also lifted him into sole possession of fifth on UCF's all-time list. He now has 33 career four-baggers, moving him past Jeremy Frost's total of 32 from 1999-02.
Duffy delivered the homers in his first two at-bats, and notched a single in his third after falling behind 0-2, staying with an outside pitch and grounding it through the opposite way and through the left-side. Including a two-out, two-strike opposite field two-run single in the eighth, Duffy finished with a career-high five hits while driving in five runs. Those five RBI boosted his season total to 35, which is already one shy of his season-high of 36 set last year.
Following Duffy's first shot in the second, UCF starter Brennan Dobbins walked the first two batters in the home half only to retire the next three to keep the Knights ahead 1-0. Duffy then strode to the dish again in the third for a two-run shot to right center.
But Dobbins would only be used for 2.0 innings, where J.M. Blake entered and the Hatters went on to score four times to take the lead. However the bottom of the lineup for the Knights produced in the sixth, as freshman Ryan Breen singled to right, stole second and touched home on a two-out base hit off the bat of freshman Darnell Sweeney.
Stetson came right back in the seventh on a two-out, two-strike fly ball that landed in between a group of three UCF players in left-center. That brought in the go-ahead run for the Hatters at 5-4.
Although the Knights found themselves in a typical tight game with Stetson, they dove into the past to take charge once again. In two games last year, UCF scored seven in the seventh inning in one contest and five in the eighth in another en route to two victories over the Hatters. And in 2007, the Knights scored 11 times in the eighth in a road triumph over Stetson. On Wednesday, the Knights were at it again in the eighth.
It all started with a leadoff double down the right-field line from Alex Friedrich and a single by Breen. Following a walk to Austin Johnston, Sweeney fired a single in between first and second to drive in two and Shane Brown gave UCF a 7-5 advantage with a sac fly. Eventually the Knights would place runners at second and third with two away for Duffy, who drilled a 0-2 pitch into left to cap off a five-run inning.
Yet the win would not come easy. Stetson loaded the bases with one down in the bottom of the eighth and cut its deficit in half thanks to two runs. But UCF responded in the ninth when Chris Taladay plated two runs on a two-out single with the bases loaded for his team's final runs of the evening.
The Knights return to campus to host Presbyterian College in their final non-conference weekend of the season. The three-game set gets underway Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Ticket plans 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.
UCF - 10-8 Overall
Stetson - 8-10 Overall
-Freshman Ryan Breen made his first-career start in center field Wednesday, and the first ball Stetson hit in the first inning was an easy fly out to center. He would later get behind the plate after Beau Taylor and third baseman Derek Luciano collided on a foul ball in the third.
-Now on a nine-game hitting streak, Chris Duffy has hit two home runs in the same game three times in 2010.
-Duffy also has driven in at least five runs in a game three times this season.
-To continue the notes on Duffy, he joins Beau Taylor and Darnell Sweeney on a list of Knights who have posted five hits in a game this year.
-Shane Brown was hit by a pitch for the 46th time in his career, moving him into a tie for third in UCF history. The record is 50 by Ryan Bono (2003-06).
-With a hit Wednesday, Brown is now 10-for-28 all-time vs. Stetson, while Duffy has hit five homers in his career against the Hatters.
-On the defensive side, Alex Friedrich made a highlight-reel catch in the bottom of the eighth, laying out in center to take away a sure double by Aaron Crittenden.
-Jonathan Griffin, Ryan Breen and Darnell Sweeney each amassed three hits in an 18-hit attack by UCF.
-The Knights stole four bases vs. Stetson, giving them 24 on the year. That already equals last year's total.
-UCF has won seven-straight games against Stetson.