April 13, 2013
By Eric DeSalvo
HOUSTON, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - Staying composed after a three-run ninth-inning lead evaporated and forced extra innings, the UCF baseball team outlasted No. 14 Rice on Saturday afternoon, 11-7, from Reckling Park with a four-run 12th to clinch the series.
It marks the second time in their last two visits to Rice that the Knights (20-16, 6-5) have clinched a series win over the nationally ranked Owls (24-13, 6-5).
With the bases loaded for the third time on the day, shortstop Tommy Williams (2-for-4, 2 RBI) saw a passed ball bring home Parker Webster (2-for-5, 2 RBI) prior to ripping a curve ball to left field to score two more to break open the 7-all tie. Danny Davis would finish his third inning of scoreless work by stranding the bases loaded to earn his fourth victory of 2013.
In all, the Knights notched their second-straight game with 11 hits, and their fifth contest of 2013 with double-digit runs.
UCF will go for the series sweep on Sunday against Rice with all of the action from Reckling Park available free of charge on Stretch Internet radio. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT.
Making his first Saturday start of the year, RHP Ben Lively, who had given up four earned runs all year, saw the Owls put up four on him through the first three innings. The Gulf Breeze native would buckle down, however, and throw up zeros for the last four innings, including his retiring of eight-straight batters at one point.
He finished the afternoon by going seven innings, allowing six hits, four earned runs, one walk and three strikeouts while his ERA moved to 1.09 on the year.
The run support came early from first baseman James Vasquez who teed off on a ball up in the zone with two strikes and two outs and one on in the second inning for his first home run since March 2, and fifth of the year.
After Rice took a 4-2 lead in the third, the Knights answered back with four runs of their own in the sixth, taking advantage of a bases-loaded situation with Webster driving two home on a double over the left-fielder's head followed by an Austin Johnston (1-for-5, 1 RBI) two-out RBI single to make it 6-4.
In the ninth, RF Erik Hempe (2-for-6) smashed an RBI double to score an important insurance run that came into play as Rice scored three in the bottom of the frame, taking advantage of a UCF miscue in the field, to send the game to extras.
UCF had a chance to do some damage in the 10th with the bases loaded and one out, but 6-4-3 double play ended that threat prior to UCF breaking out for four in the 12th.
In the win, infielder Chris Taladay, who caught all 12 innings, extended his hit streak to 14 games with a single to right field in the sixth.
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.