ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Behind hometown seniors Brian Adkins and Chris Taladay, the UCF baseball team bounced back Sunday with a 6-1 win over Columbia to retake the series lead, 2-1.
Needing a strong start to get the Knights back on track, UCF head coach Terry Rooney turned to Adkins, who showed plenty of moxie in his 40th-career start. The Orlando native tossed 5 2/3 innings of three-hit ball while allowing an unearned run and striking out five for his first win of 2013, and 14th of his career.
"To be honest with you, that's what I expect out of Brian," said Rooney about Adkins, who set down 13 in a row at one point. "As a senior, he is a four-year starter for us and he answered the bell. We have to continue to rise up individually and make big plays and big pitches."
UCF's run support came in large part from the bat Taladay who went 3-for-4 with two RBI. The four-year starter also cracked UCF's top-10 all-time hit list with his 224-226th-career base-knocks, passing Tyson Auer (2005-08) for No. 10.
Monday's series finale will see LHP Eric Skoglund take the mound looking for his first win of the year. The contest will also serve as "Dollar Knight" with $1 hot dogs and Coke products.
Facing a 1-0 deficit, the Knights answered in the third inning by taking advantage of two mishandled bunts after Tommy Williams (2-for-4, 1 RBI) singled to lead off the frame. After a sacrifice fly by Erik Hempe (1-for-3, 1 RBI), Taladay came through with the runners in motion by ripping a two-run double down the right-field line to make it 3-1.
The third-inning barrage continued with second baseman Austin Johnston (1-for-4, 1 RBI) sending a 3-2 pitch through the left side to score Taladay.
UCF would make it two-straight frames with at least a run after Jeramy Matos (1-for-4, 1 RBI) teed off on a 1-2 pitch and sent it over the left-field fence for his sixth homer of the year, and first in two weeks.
Adkins ran into trouble in the sixth as the bases were loaded with two outs. Rooney would bring in freshman RHP Zac Favre in his 12th appearance of the year to get the Knights out of the jam on just two pitches by inducing a grounder to Taladay.
In the eighth, UCF took advantage of the Lions' sixth error of the day as Williams smacked his second double of the series to left field to score LF Parker Webster.
With plenty of run support, Favre would continue to lower his already paltry ERA to 0.45 by tossing 3 1/3 innings of 1-hit ball with two strikeouts to close out the win for the Knights.
Ten Voucher packages are now on sale for only $50. Select the games that you want to attend for a discounted price. Voucher packages and single-game tickets can be purchased by calling 407-UCF-1000 or visit the baseball tickets page. Stay up-to-date on all the latest news by visiting UCFAthletics.com and following the team on Twitter (@UCF_Baseball) and Facebook.