ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) – After learning he was going to make the rubber-match start on Sunday against Marshall just four hours before first pitch, UCF’s Brian Adkins aided his team to a series win over the Thundering Herd with an 11-0, three-hit complete-game shutout in seven innings.
Making his 44th-career start, fifth all-time at UCF, Adkins faced the minimum without allowing a hit through 4 2/3 innings. He ended the run-ruled contest surrendering just three hits, no walks and striking out four in his second-career complete game.
The University High School graduate became the first Knight (22-19, 8-7) since Tim Bascom on April 7, 2006, to throw a complete-game shutout, and first to toss a three-hitter since Nick Cicio back in 2010.
“It’s pretty rare for me as a contact pitcher, as you are likely to find some holes here and there, but my defense played great,” Adkins said when asked about not giving up a hit until the fifth. It has been too long since I’ve given my team that kind of outing, and they deserved it the way they have been working. I’m glad I could give it to them after a couple of not-so-good outings.”
Adkins rode an offensive explosion by the Knights in his ninth start of the year as the team registered 10 hits, sent 37 batters to the dish in just six frames and had three players with multi-hit games. It was the first regular-season run-ruled win for the Knights since May 15, 2011 at UAB.
Behind the plate most of the afternoon, Taladay continued his assault on the baseball this season, extending his hit streak to 19 games with career-hit No. 254 in the third inning. The single to right-center moved the Windermere native into a tie for sixth on the UCF all-time hit list with Tony Marrillia (1992-95).
In the second inning, walk-on Bret Gordon (1-for-3, 2 RBI) continued his hot-hitting as he singled to left-center with two outs in the second inning to drive home Jeramy Matos who walked in the previous at-bat. It was the sixth hit of the week for the Tampa native.
UCF got the big inning in the third with three-straight hits from Erik Hempe (2-for-3, 2 R), Taladay, and an RBI single by James Vasquez (2-for-3, 3 RBI). Three more runs would come in as Matos walked with the bases, Gordon drove in his second run of the day after reaching on an error and Vasquez scored on a wild pitch.
The Knights re-loaded the bases in the fourth prior to Vasquez ripping a 2-1 pitch to the right-field wall to score Hempe and Taladay and push the lead to 7-0. The sophomore from Palm City now owns 25 RBI on the year.
Making it four-straight frames with runs on the scoreboard, pinch-hitter Erik Barber (1-for-2, 1 RBI) doubled off the left-field fence while left fielder Parker Webster (2-for-3, 3 RBI) drove in a pair with two outs on a single to left-center to make it 11-0 and cap the scoring on the afternoon.
The team will have four days off due to finals week before it hits the field again looking for its third-straight Conference USA series win when it hosts Houston starting on Friday.
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