March 27, 2012
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By Eric DeSalvo
BOCA RATON, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 16 UCF baseball team mashed six extra-base hits and used seven pitchers to earn the 11-3 victory at Florida Atlantic Tuesday night. It was the third-straight road win for the Knights (20-6, 2-1) who are one contest into a five-game road trip.
Five UCF batters collected multiple hit games, including senior Alex Friedrich's 3-for-5, four RBI performance. The University High School product is now 10 for his last 14 with eight RBI, two triples, two home runs and one double.
Senior Ray Hanson, who was operating on a pitch count, made it through the first two innings to earn his second-straight victory.
"I thought we swung the bats very well," UCF head coach Terry Rooney said. "I feel like since the USF game last week, we have really bounced back offensively. We have put together some quality at-bats and that is the difference."
Holding down first place in Conference USA, the Knights head to Houston for a weekend series against the Cougars.
UCF wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the first as Friedrich blasted the first pitch he saw over the center fielder for his second triple in three games that scored Darnell Sweeney (3-for-4) and Chris Taladay.
With two outs in the top of the third, Friedrich would not be denied once again, taking a 3-2, two-out pitch off the right-field fence for his league-leading 11th double of the year to give the Knights a 3-1 lead.
UCF took advantage of FAU's miscues for three runs in the top of the fourth. The Knights strung together four hits as JoMarcos Woods, Ronnie Richardson (2-for-6), Sweeney and D.J. Hicks (2-for-3) all notched singles with the last two resulting in RBI. Hicks upped his total to 38 on the season.
After Shreve, who notched a pair of doubles earlier to extend his hitting streak to nine games, reached on a throwing error by the third baseman in the top of the eighth, Richardson took the second pitch of the at-bat out of the yard to left field for his first home run of 2012. The Knights put up two more in the inning with Friedrich notching a RBI single through the left side.
Six relievers helped preserve the win for Hanson as Chris Matulis, Bryan Brown, Ben Lively, Jimmy Reed, Roman Madrid and Joe Rogers scattered eight hits and held the Owls to just two runs after the second inning.
News & Notes:
-DH Jeramy Matos made his first-career start
-Woods made his third start of the year in left field
-Travis Shreve extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double in the second inning
-Hicks, who entered the week eighth nationally in walks, took three bases on balls in the game to up his season total to 28