No. 7 UCF Holds Off Late Memphis Rally; Downs Tigers 4-3
April 27, 2012
Two walks and an infield single had Memphis starter Dan Langfield on the defense in the first. The Knights had the bases loaded with one out in the first and Alex Friedrich hit a chopper to third. Jacob Wilson fielding the chopper and threw home for the first out and catcher Keaton Aldridge's throw to first was in time for the inning-ending double play.
Langfield struck out four batters in the second, but a passed ball on a strikeout of Ryan Breen ended up costing the Tigers. Breen stole second and moved to third on a second passed ball in the inning. A walk and hit by pitch loaded the bases and a bases loaded wild pitch with two outs allowed the Knights to take a 1-0 lead. UCF extended the lead in the third with the help of a two-out RBI single to right. Alex Friedrich worked a two-out walk and moved to scoring position on a stolen base. Breen drove him in with a single to right field and the Knights grabbed the 2-0 lead.
The Tigers continued to struggle with runners in scoring position as Memphis left runners in scoring position in both the third and fourth inning. In the third, Ford Wilson reached on a one-out single and a two-out walk to Zach Willis moved Wilson to scoring position, but he was stranded after a ground out. Adam McClain recorded his second hit of the night in the fourth and moved to second on a groundout. With one out, UCF starter Ben Lively forced a foul out and ground out to again strand a runner in scoring position.
UCF added a run in the sixth and seventh innings to open up a 4-0 lead. In the sixth, Jeramy Matos doubled down the left field line to plate Friedrich. The Knights later loaded the bases, but Langfield recorded his 11th strikeout of the night to end the inning. In the seventh, a controversial catcher's interference call allowed a runner to reach with two outs. Later in the inning, a RBI single by Breen plated the fourth run to give the Knights the 4-0 lead.
Ford Wilson and pinch-hitter Bryce Beeler set the table for the Tigers in the eighth. The duo started the inning with singles and back-to-back one out single by Jacob Wilson and McClain led to two runs as the Tigers cut the lead in half. An errant throw on a potential double play allowed a third run to score, but UCF closer Joe Rogers shut the door to send the game to the bottom of the eighth with the Knights leading 4-3.
Ethan Gross reached on a one-out single and moved to second on a throwing error to put the tying run at second in the ninth. Ford Wilson flied out to right, but Gross moved over to third with two outs. Pinch-hitter Tucker Tubbs was called and the closer Rogers struck out Tubbs on a check swing third strike to end the game.
Langfield (5-6) was tagged with the loss although he allowed three runs, two earned, on just four hits in six innings. Langfield recorded 11 strikeouts and passed former Tiger Chad Harville for third all-time at the U of M with his 229 career punch outs. Lively (7-1) earned the win after allowing three hits in six innings of work. Rogers collect his ninth save with 1.2 innings in relief. McClain led the Tiger offense with three hits and Ford Wilson added a pair as the Tigers out-hit UCF 8-6.
Memphis meets UCF on Saturday at 3 p.m. as the Tigers look to even the three-game set.