March 30, 2013
By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon on Easter weekend, the UCF baseball team was unable to secure the set against Southern Miss, dropping the rubber match, 4-3. It was the fifth highest-attended series in program history as 5,210 fans packed the UCF baseball complex over the three-game set.
Despite eight hits on the day, and a pair of runs in the ninth thanks to a Chris Taladay (2-for-4 3 RBI) two-run homer, the Knights (18-11, 4-2) couldn't string together consecutive rallies. Starter Brian Adkins saw his record drop to 1-4 while rookie Zac Favre closed out the game in his 16th appearance of the year with 4 1/3 scoreless frames with just two hits allowed and three strikeouts.
UCF will have two days before its embarks on the longest road trip of the season, an eight-game slate that starts Tuesday night at 7 p.m. against Florida. The Knights and Gators battled on Feb. 19 in Orlando with the visitors earning a 5-3 win.
After Southern Miss' Travis Creel left the yard with a two-run homer in the top of the fourth, the Knights answered back with four hits in the bottom-half of the frame, including an RBI single up the middle by Taladay to score Erik Hempe (2-for-3, 2 R).
On the weekend, the duo of Taladay and Hempe both hit .500 while combining for seven of the eight RBI the Knights had in the three-game set.
The Golden Eagles (11-16, 3-3) would strike again with the longball in the top of the fifth, riding the wind blowing out to left field on a Blake Brown two-run homer to make it 4-1.
UCF had an opportunity with runners at the corners in the bottom of the sixth, but popup to third base ended the threat. The Knights also put the lead-off man on in the seventh, but were unable to get anything going.
Looking for another dramatic comeback, the ninth inning started just as the eighth did last night with a hit-by-pitch. After Hempe was plunked and took first base, Taladay ripped a 2-1 pitch the opposite way to left field for his third homer of 2013 and his second and third RBIs of the day.
Southern Miss righty Bradley Roney would squelch the Knights' rally, however, inducing a popup, grounder and strikeout looking to end the game. Golden Eagles' starting pitcher Conor Fisk earned his second win of the year by tossing six innings while scattering six hits.
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.