May 5, 2013
By Eric DeSalvo
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Erasing a 2-0 deficit for the second time in three games at No. 8 Florida State, the No. 30 UCF baseball team was unable to hang on for the series-finale victory Sunday afternoon as the Seminoles scored three in the bottom of the ninth for the 5-4 win.
The Knights (26-22), leading 4-2 after a pair of two-out RBI in the top of the ninth, were looking to end the Seminoles' (38-9) 19-game home win streak on Sundays.
"We didn't make the pitches we needed to at the end of the game. I am proud of our guys. They battled and competed all day, in particular Brian Adkins who was fantastic," head coach Terry Rooney said to the media following the game.
In his third, and perhaps final start in his career against the Seminoles, Adkins saved his best for last, limiting the home team to just two first-inning runs while scattering six hits, two walks and striking out one in a season-best 7 1/3 frames.
"Brian Adkins is a guy who stays around the zone and is a crafty lefty. He did a great job staying down in the zone and keeping them off balance," Rooney added about the Orlando native.
UCF will look to get back to its winning ways at the friendly confines of the baseball complex as it hosts Bethune-Cookman in the third and final game against the Wildcats this year. Wednesday night will also be the final "Dollar Knight" of 2013 with $1 hot dogs and 12oz. Coke products all game long.
On Sunday, Florida State became the first team in the series to break through in the first inning as Marcus Davis singled to right field to drive in a pair after a ground-rule double by catcher Stephen McGee put runners at second and third.
Adkins would settle in nicely, piling up zeros from the second inning on to keep his team in the game. Playing third base, Chris Taladay (1-for-4, 1 HR) would pick up Adkins in the seventh, working the count full before blasting the payoff pitch well over the right-field fence for his third homer of the year. Taladay also became the first batter to leave the yard against FSU starter Scott Sitz this year.
UCF would come through offensively again in the eighth, this time, getting a pair of pinch hits to tie the game at 2-all. Bret Gordon (2-for-2, RBI) led off the frame with a single through the left side and was moved over on a successful sacrifice bunt by Tommy Williams. Jeramy Matos (1-for-1, RBI) would pinch hit as well, ripping the first pitch he saw to the wall in right field to score Gordon.
After Adkins got the first out in the eighth, he was relieved by rookie RHP Zac Favre who got the final two outs to keep the game knotted up before heading to the ninth in his 27th appearance this year.
With two outs in the top of the final frame, Erik Barber (1-for-4, 1 R) sent a routine ground ball to third baseman Jose Brizuela who made an errant throw for the second time of the day to allow Barber to reach second. After James Vasquez was intentionally walked, Gordon came through in the clutch with the go-ahead RBI single through the middle to score Barber. UCF would get one more in the frame as Dale Irving (1-for-1, RBI) came through with his first-career RBI on an infield single to make it a 4-2 advantage.
Looking to secure his third win of the year, Favre walked the first two batters in the frame and saw pinch hitter Casey Smit smack a ball of the top of the right-field fence to bring in one and put runners at second and third. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, the Seminoles tied the game on a sacrifice fly into foul territory down the right-field line prior to McGee sending a deep single to center to end the game.
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