April 21, 2012
By Eric DeSalvo
NEW ORLEANS, La. (UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 10 UCF baseball team continued its impressive season with an 8-7, 12-inning win to capture the series over Tulane Saturday afternoon at Turchin Stadium. The Knights (33-8, 11-3), as of Saturday afternoon, are one of only three teams in Division 1 to reach the 33-win plateau this year.
Alex Friedrich's go-ahead RBI in the top of the 12th capped off a stellar day for the senior right fielder. He went 4-for-6 with a pair of runs batted in, his 16th and 17th doubles of the year and seven put outs in the field.
"Our team is tough and grinded back, and I think the better team won today. I'm definitely going to get a good night's sleep," Friedrich said after a busy game.
UCF led 7-2 over the Green Wave heading into the eighth inning, but a three-run double and a two-run ninth-inning homer sent the game into extra innings. UCF didn't panic and turned to junior Brian Adkins, who picked up his third win of the year with three innings of relief, his first non-starting frames since April 1, 2011.
The Knights will go for their sixth sweep of the season on Sunday with Ray Hanson getting the start and the first pitch set for 2 p.m. EDT.
Friedrich wasted no time in getting the Knights on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second. After a lead-off walk to Chris Taladay, Friedrich ripped a first-pitch fastball into the power alley in left center for his 16th double of the year to score the third baseman. JoMarcos Woods (2-for-6) continued his stellar play of late and notched a double down the left-field line for his 12th RBI this year.
After Tulane tied up the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, shortstop Darnell Sweeney smacked a 2-0 fastball over the left-field fence to give the Knights a 3-2 lead. It was the second homer of the season for Sweeney and his first since March 4.
The Knights went right back to work in the sixth with three runs on four hits to take a 6-2 lead. UCF stole three bases in the inning and received RBI from Jeramy Matos (2-for-5) on a double, Travis Shreve (1-for-4) on a single through the right side and Ronnie Richardson on a sacrifice fly.
Starter Chris Matulis pitched effectively all day for the Knights, going six innings for the third time this year while allowing seven hits and two runs with four strikeouts. His day included a six-pitch sixth inning.
Tulane made the game interesting in the bottom of the eighth after registering a bases-clearing double by pinch hitter Tucker Oakley. The Knights got out of the jam after Oakley was thrown out trying to advance on a wild pitch.
Joe Rogers entered the contest for the second-straight day, but didn't have the same success as he did Friday night, serving up a two-run, two-out home run. It was the first blown save for Rogers this year.
The Knights executed clutch hitting once again in the top of the 12th as D.J. Hicks laced a double down the right-field line to lead off the frame. After a Taladay grounder moved him to third, Friedrich smashed an 0-2 pitch into left field for his second double of the game and the go-ahead RBI. Adkins returned in the bottom half of the frame and got two flyouts and a groundout to clinch UCF's seventh-straight C-USA series.
News & Notes:
-The Knights improved to 11-2 on the road and 9-1 on Saturdays
-UCF is now 10-0 in weekend series in 2012
-It was UCF's 24th game this year with 10-plus hits and the 11th in C-USA play
-UCF has now hit 29 homers on the year
-Friedrich extended his hitting streak to 10 games
-UCF has won four of its last five at Tulane
-When the Knights return home Friday, they will host Military Appreciation Night with free admission plus one complimentary ticket offer good for active duty, retired and civilian military personnel with a military ID. The Military Appreciation Night game against Memphis will start at 6:30 p.m.