April 28, 2012
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By Eric DeSalvo
Memphis 6, UCF 5 ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Memphis scored five runs in the final three innings to beat the No. 7 UCF baseball team 6-5 Saturday and even the series. More than 450 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and their group leaders were part of the 16th-largest crowd (1,812) in UCF baseball complex history.
When the two teams play the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday, the Knights (35-9, 13-4) will look to build on their school record for Conference USA wins and capture their eighth-consecutive conference series.
Trailing 4-1, the Tigers scored two runs in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth to advance to 19-24 on the season and 7-10 in Conference USA.
Junior Chris Matulis kept the Memphis bats at bay for the majority of the game in his longest outing as a Knight. The Boynton Beach native went 6 2/3 innings and allowed six hits, three runs and four walks while striking out four.
UCF took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Third baseman Chris Taladay smashed an 0-2 pitch over the right-field wall straight into the wind. His third homer of the year sparked the rest of the lineup, as Alex Friedrich and Ryan Breen both singled and were driven in by rookie JoMarcos Woods' chopper up the middle.
The Tigers got one run back in the top of the fourth, but the Knights matched it in the bottom half on a two-out RBI single through the right side by Jeramy Matos.
After Memphis scored two runs in the top of the seventh with two outs, UCF responded with one run in the bottom half of the inning. Travis Shreve singled through the left side to conclude a nine-pitch at bat. Richardson then reached on a four-pitch walk, and Darnell Sweeney singled into left center to score Shreve and extend the lead to 5-3.
The Tigers tied the game in the top of the eighth with a pair of unearned runs off of Roman Madrid, who was making his second appearance in the series and his 23rd of the year.
In the ninth, Memphis' Derrick Thomas singled through the middle to give the Tigers a 6-5 lead. Tigers closer Jonathan Van Eaton then prevented the Knights from pulling out their third walk-off home win of the season.