Tigers' Extra Inning Rally Cut Short By Knights, 5-4
April 22, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – UCF scored two runs in the 10th inning and held off a University of Memphis rally as the Knights earned a series opening 5-4 victory at FedExPark on Friday night.
Ronnie Richardson led off the 10th with a double off the right field wall on the first pitch from Tiger reliever Ben Paullus. D.J. Hicks followed with a single to center field to put runners on first and third with no outs. Jonathan Griffin would drive in Richardson with a sacrifice fly to right field and give UCF the 4-3 lead. With one out in the inning, Chris Tallady roped a single to right field and Ryan Breen would pinch-hit with runners on first and second with one out. Breen hit a bloop single to center to load the bases for Derek Luciano. A fielder’s choice would help UCF increase the lead to 5-3 and runners would be on the corners with two out for Shreve, but he would ground out to end the inning.
Back-to-back walks started a rally for the U of M and Ethan Gross laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to advance runners to second and third with one out. An infield single by Drew Martinez closed the Knight lead to one, but a double play sealed the victory for UCF.
UCF struck first with an RBI single by Beau Taylor. The single by Taylor was the first hit in the game and Derek Luciano scored on the play after reaching on a leadoff walk. After Richardson was hit by a pitch with two outs, Hicks slapped a grounder back to the mound that deflected off of Dan Langfield’s throwing hand before Chad Zurcher fielded and threw to first in time to end the inning.
The Knights had two one with one out in the top of the fourth inning, but a sliding catch in centerfield by Martinez started a double play to get Langfield out of inning. Martinez hit the cutoff man Zurcher and he threw to first for the potential double play. On Zurcher’s throw to first, Griffin attempted to take third base, but first baseman T.J. Rich threw to third for the double play.
After a leadoff double by Zurcher in the bottom of the fourth, Memphis laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third. With Zurcher on third base, Rich hit a sacrifice fly to left field to even the game at 1-1. The Tigers collected their 73rd run on the season following a leadoff man reaching base to start an inning.
The Knights quickly regained the lead in the fifth after a leadoff double by Travis Shreve. Taylor, who drove in UCF’s first run, hit a two-run homer to right field to give the Knights a 3-1 lead. A double and a walk put runners on with one out and Langfield was forced to work out of a jam once again. With an elevated pitch count, Langfield recorded his fourth strikeout of the game and forced a ground ball out to work out of the jam.
The U of M answered the Knights tally in the fourth with a two-run home run by Adam McClain. J.D. Wallace led off the inning with a single to left field and McClain drove him in with the homer to left field. Robby Graham doubled, following the two-run homer by McClain, but Knights pitcher Brian Adkins retired the next three batters he faced.
Langfield began the seventh inning with a strikeout, but a walk and a hit by pitch put runners on first and second with one out. Tyler Farley entered from the bullpen and Hicks hit an infield single to load the bases with only one out in the inning. Farley would get out of the inning with a double play turned by the Tiger defense. Griffin rolled a grounder to short, Zurcher stepped on second for out one and fired to first for the double play.
Five different Tigers recorded hits and McClain led the squad with two RBI. Memphis was outhit in the game 9-5 with four of UCF’s hits coming in the 10th inning.
Langfield allowed three runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings on the mound. He walked five and struck out six. Farley worked 2 2/3 innings in relief and allowed no runs on one hit and he struck out two batters. Ben Paullus took the loss, allowing two runs on four hits in one inning pitched.
The Tigers will look to even the series tomorrow at FedExPark. Ryan Holland will take the mound for the U of M and first pitch is slated for 2 p.m.