Matt Yokley Ties Single-Season Saves Mark as Baseball Closes out UCF Series with 10-9 Victory
May 6, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
UCF (23-26; 5-13 C-USA) 100 213 020 - 9 11 2 Memphis (29-18; 11-7 C-USA) 510 310 00X - 10 12 4
In his first collegiate start Tiger hurler Will Hudgens went five innings and struck out four to earn his fourth win over the year, and closer Matt Yokley nailed down his record-tying eighth save of the season as Memphis clinched the C-USA series against UCF with a 10-9 win Sunday afternoon at Nat Buring Stadium.
Despite four defensive errors, Tiger pitchers followed the lead of Hudgens in a trio of solid outings. Hudgens (4-0) scattered seven hits and surrendered just four earned runs in his first start since his prep days at Ridgeway High School. He got help from middle reliever Neil Schenk, who preserved the lead with an effective three innings of work. Schenk worked out a critical jam in the sixth, when struck out Tyson Auer and induced an inning-ending groundout by UCF cleanup hitter Kiko Vazquez to strand runners on second and third. Yokley worked a scoreless ninth to tie former Tiger and big leaguer Chad Harville for the single-season record of eight saves.
UCF crossed an unearned run in the first, but Memphis answered quickly with a five-spot in the home half of the inning. K.K. Chalmers was plunked by an Eric English offering to lead things off and Michael Murray lined a single off a drawn in Chris Duffy's glove at third. With one out and Adam Amar at the plate, the duo successfully executed the double steal. Golden Knight's catcher Steve Stropp opted to make the throw to second to catch Murray, but his throw skipped into centerfield allowing Chalmers to score and Murray to move to third. Murray scored on a passed ball to make it 2-1. Joey Lieberman started a two-out rally when he drove a double into the leftfield corner and scored on a bloop single by Kyle Norrid. That single set up the highlight of the inning--a two-run shot off the top of the right centerfield by Josh Irvin. Irvin's second homer of the year made it 5-1.
Memphis used a UCF error and a sac fly by Bill Moss to expand its lead to 6-1 in the second, before the Golden Knights scored a pair of unearned tallies in the top of the fourth to make it a 6-3 ballgame. UCF's fourth inning started a string of five consecutive half innings in which runs were scored.
A walk by Irvin led off the Tiger fourth inning and Chris Kirkland followed with a double just inside the leftfield foul line to chase English in favor of southpaw Brian Brooks. Chalmers greeted Brooks rudely as he launched the first offering over the leftfield wall for a three-run blast and a 9-3 Memphis cushion.
Both teams scored a run each in the fifth, but UCF began a strong rally to get back into the game in the sixth. Ryan Richardson led things off with a single and a double by Eric Kallstrom allowed him to score from first to cut the Tiger lead to 10-5. A fielder's choice groundout by Matt Horwath and an RBI-single from Dwayne Bailey closed the gap to 10-7.
UCF would make it an even closer contest, cutting the Memphis lead to just one run with two scores. With the bases loaded and no outs, Schenk was able to induce a 5-3 double play. An RBI single by Vazquez capped the Knights scoring for the 10-9 final
The Tigers five, six and seven hitters--Lieberman, Norrid and Irvin each had two hits and went a combined 6-for-11 with five runs scored and three RBI. Murray led Memphis' 14-hit attack with a 3-for-4 effort. Chalmers drove in three.
Memphis will return to action on Tues., May 8, when the Tigers travel to Jonesboro, Ark., to take on Arkansas State in the first game of a two-game home-and-home midweek series. The Tigers and Indians will play at Nat Buring on Wed., May 9. First pitch for both tilts is set for 6:30 p.m. Listen live as "The Voice of Tiger Baseball" Jeff Brightwell calls the play-by-play action.