April 10, 2012
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By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 13 UCF baseball team smacked a season-high 20 hits, including eight doubles, en route to a 16-4 thumping of Florida A&M Tuesday night. The Knights improved to 27-7 on the year and return to action Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. when they host Bethune-Cookman.
UCF got contributions from everyone in the lineup with each starter notching a hit. It was an especially productive night for the freshmen class as it totaled 10 hits with second baseman Spencer Haynes leading the way on a 4-for-5, two double performance.
Ben Lively earned his team-leading fifth win in three innings of no-hit, six strikeout relief. The sophomore from Gulf Breeze has been dominant in his last three relief appearances by striking out eight and allowing one hit in 7 2/3 innings.
"We had an opportunity to play a lot of different guys tonight which was good. I thought they took advantage of it with the top to middle of our lineup doing a nice job with quality at-bats to get us moving," UCF head coach Terry Rooney said. "I also thought Ben Lively and Harrison Hukari looked especially sharp out of the bullpen."
The game started after an hour and 13 minute delay due to travel problems for FAMU, but UCF wasn't fazed by the pushed-back start as it took an early 2-0 lead through two innings.
After FAMU scored three unearned in the top of the fourth, Ronnie Richardson (2-for-4, 1 RBI) knotted up the ballgame with a double down the left-field line and was followed two batters later by D.J. Hicks (2-for-3) who found the gap in left-center for his 47th RBI of 2012.
Hicks continued to add to his national lead in RBI in the sixth by taking a 3-1 pitch to left field that brought home Richardson. After FAMU loaded the bases, Nick Carrillo (1-for-5, 3 RBI) sent a blooper into shallow left that scored Hicks and Chris Taladay (2-for-5, 2 RBI).
The Knights padded their lead with an eight-run seventh inning that saw 14 Knights step up to the dish. Haynes took advantage of his two plate appearances with a lead-off single and a RBI double.
After it was all said and done, UCF raised its batting average six points (.302) and saw six batters record multiple hit games, including Taladay who notched his team-leading 17th.
News & Notes:
-Darnell Sweeney was not in the starting lineup for the first time in his career due to rest. He had started 150-straight games since arriving at UCF
-UCF improved to 15-2-1 all-time against FAMU
-The Knights have now scored a season-high 16 runs three times in 2012
-Alex Friedrich laced his C-USA-leading 13 and 14th doubles of the year
-Richardson was hit by his 21st pitch of the year, second all-time in a season, and one behind the season record. He owns 51 for his career, which is second all-time behind Shane Brown (55)