March 23, 2013
By Eric DeSalvo
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UCFAthletics.com)- Game two against UAB for the UCF baseball team featured more dominant pitching a timely hitting as the Knights ran their record to 16-9 overall, and 2-0 in Conference USA, with a decisive 6-1 victory to clinch the series on Saturday at Young Memorial Field.
The Knights have now won six-straight contests in Birmingham as redshirt senior LHP Chris Matulis made it two-straight eight-inning starts by UCF pitchers by scattering five hits, allowing an unearned run while walking three and striking out five for his second win of the year.
It was a big win, said Matulis, who went a career-long eight frames. I wanted to go out there and do the same thing that Ben (Lively) did and match him. It was a little bit of here-and-there guessing game with what I was going to do out there.
The defense was making plays left and right, and it's a lot easier pitching with a lead. The offense did a great job making feel comfortable out there.
Sunday's series finale is still set for 1:30 p.m. EDT as the Knights will send senior LHP Brian Adkins to the mound fresh off his 5 2/3 inning performance for his first win of the year last week against Columbia. The game can be heard free of charge on Stretch Internet radio with pregame starting at 1:15.
Trailing 1-0 after the first inning, senior Austin Johnston (1-for-4, 2 RBI), who was making his second start at third base in 2013, got a hold of one and skied it left field just inside the foul pole for his second home run of the year, and fifth of his career.
It was deja vu for LF Parker Webster (2-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI) in the top of the fifth as he came through for the second-straight game with a two-run, two-out double to extend UCF's lead to 4-1.
Working with the early lead, Matulis was able to settle in, and also maneuver around any UAB threats, stranding Blazers (9-13, 0-2) in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth innings to preserve the win.
In the seventh, senior Chris Taladay (1-for-3, 1 RBI), who was catching, registered hit No. 232 of his career on an RBI double to the right-field wall to score the hustling Erik Hempe all the way from first base. Sophomore centerfielder JoMarcos Woods (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI) padded the UCF lead in the eighth with a two-out pure-hustle double to score freshman Bo Decker (1-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB) who got the nod at DH.
Conference USA Pitcher of the Week five days ago, RHP Zac Favre, finished off the Blazers in his 14th appearance of 2013 with grounder and two strikeouts swinging in a perfect ninth inning.
Ten Voucher packages are now on sale for only $50. Select the games that you want to attend for a discounted price. Voucher packages and single-game tickets can be purchased by calling 407-UCF-1000 or visit the baseball tickets page. Stay up-to-date on all the latest news by visiting UCFAthletics.com and following the team on Twitter (@UCF_Baseball) and Facebook.