April 28, 2013
By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With a chance to sweep a Conference USA opponent at home for the first time since 2007, the UCF baseball team rose to the occasion Sunday by finishing off No. 30 Houston, 7-3, for its second straight sweep of the Cougars.
Senior LHP Brian Adkins, who was making his 45th-career start to tie him for fourth all-time with Brian Ahern (1987-89), pitched a strong six innings in which he scattered five hits and struck out five while allowing two unearned runs for his 16th-career win, and fourth over the Cougars (27-17, 7-8).
"It's not that often you have an opportunity to sweep, and to go out there and do that was great," head coach Terry Rooney said after the win. "The guys are really committed to it and their work ethic and attitude has been great.
"Brian Adkins set the tone and went out there and did what we needed him to do on a Sunday. Zac Favre finished up, and we got some clutch hits when we needed it. The last couple of weeks they have certainly been playing better."
Offensively, the Knights (25-19, 11-7) registered 11 hits, with the 5-8 batters in the lineup notching seven. Junior Bret Gordon (2-for-4, 2 R) and sophomores Erik Barber (2-for-3, 1 RBI) and Tommy Williams (2-for-2, 2 RBI) all collected multiple-hit games.
In the weekend sweep, UCF hit .301 while the pitching staff sported a paltry 1.00 ERA in the 27 innings played. The complete team effort ensured a weekend sweep of a ranked opponent at home for the first time since it topped No. 11 Alabama in three straight in Feb. 2001.
UCF will look to continue its winning ways when it welcomes Bethune-Cookman to the baseball complex on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The contest with the Wildcats will be the second-to-last "Dollar Knight" in 2013.
The Knights didn't waste any time getting on the scoreboard in the first inning with James Vasquez (1-for-4, 1 RBI) making it four straight games with an RBI after he dumped a single into right field to score JoMarcos Woods (1-for-3, 1 RBI) after he coaxed a leadoff walk.
In the fourth, UCF exploded for four runs on five hits, including four-straight singles to begin the frame. After Gordon and Austin Johnston (1-for-4, 2 R) reached, Barber laid down a perfect bunt to third with the first baseman crashing to reach on the infield single. An errant throw on the play scored Gordon to make it 2-0.
Williams would follow that up with a 1-0 RBI single into right field to score Johnston prior to Ryan Breen bringing home Barber on an RBI fielder's choice and JoMarcos Woods pushing the lead to 5-0 with an RBI single of his own to right.
Houston would plate its first runs of the day in the sixth, ending Adkins' scoreless innings streak at 12 2/3. The Orlando native would get out of the frame with a grounded bunt attempt to Taladay to keep the lead at 5-2.
After the Knights tacked on one more with a Williams sacrifice fly in the sixth, rookie RHP Zac Favre relieved Adkins and ensured him the win as he executed for three innings, allowing two hits and an unearned run prior to closing out the game for his fourth save of 2013, and second in three days.
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.