April 13, 2014
By Andrew Jennette
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UCFKnights.com) - An offensive explosion for the second consecutive day combined with a gem from sophomore Ryan Meyer helped push the UCF baseball team to an eight-inning, run-rule victory over Memphis, 10-0, at FedExPark on Sunday afternoon.
The Knights (22-15, 10-2 The American) remain at the top of the American Athletic Conference standings and improved to 15-4 in their last 19 games while the Tigers (19-18, 4-8) dropped to eighth place.
Leading 3-0, junior Tommy Williams (1-for-3) for broke the game wide open in the sixth with a two-out, three-run homer. The moonshot was the conference-leading 10th of the season for Williams. The North Palm Beach native is the only player in all of college baseball with double digits in home runs and stolen bases.
The last two days were a great response offensively after Friday night, acting head coach Kevin Schnall said. Friday was a tough loss, but our guys were really resilient. It was a great statement. We're really proud of our guys for the way they responded to Friday night.
After using seven pitchers on Saturday night, it was important for Meyer (3-0) to go deep in his first-career weekend start. The Oviedo native did just that as he earned the victory after allowing just a pair of hits over 6.2 shutout innings to go along with a career-high six strikeouts.
More than anything, I just wanted to constantly fill the strike zone Meyer said. Our offense got us on the board quick so I wanted to go right at them. I was able to throw my breaking ball for strikes and get a few swings and misses.
The Black and Gold got the scoring started in the third inning. After back-to-back singles and a double steal from freshman Kam Gellinger (2-for-3) and junior JoMarcos Woods (2-for-4) put two runners in scoring position, junior Dylan Moore (1-for-3) brought home the game's first run with an RBI single. Junior Derrick Salberg stepped in next and executed a perfect squeeze play to give UCF a two-run advantage.
Juniors Erik Barber (2-for-5) and James Vasquez (2-for-4) came up with clutch hits in the Knights' big sixth inning. With the bases empty and two outs, Barber ripped a double into the corner in left and Vasquez followed with an RBI double of his own into the gap in right-center. Freshman Matt Diorio (2-for-3) kept the rally alive with an infield single to set up Williams' big blast. Diorio now has eight hits in his last four starts.
Our guys competed regardless of the situation, Schnall said. Two outs and nobody on and some people might think that inning is almost over. We executed all day today. But it all came down to Ryan Meyer. He was outstanding today and he was the one who gave us a chance to win.
Comfortably ahead by six, the Black and Gold refused to take its foot off the gas and scored four more in the eighth. Gellinger drew a based-loaded walk for an RBI before junior Jordan Savinon (1-for-3) knocked in two more with a single. Moore's sacrifice fly completed the scoring for the Knights and allowed them to end the game an inning early via run rule.
UCF will get Monday off before returning to the field for midweek action against in-state rival Florida A&M. Tuesday night's matchup with the Rattlers will serve as the third "Dollar Dog Knight" of 2014. Fans in attendance can enjoy $1 hot dogs all game long. To purchase individual game tickets for Tuesday click here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/artist/1208324?brand=ucf
Ten-game 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 at our Baseball Ticket Central page, or by calling the UCFAA Sales & Service Office at (407) UCF-1000. Stay up-to-date on all the latest baseball news by following the team on Twitter @UCF_Baseball, Facebook and Instagram.