Memphis Takes Series from UCF Baseball With a 10-9 Win


May 6, 2007

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Memphis, Tenn. (www.ucfathletics.com) - In a game that could end up affecting each team's postseason situations, Memphis broke out for five first-inning runs and held off a late comeback by the UCF baseball team in a 10-9 Tiger victory Sunday. The win in the Conference USA series finale allowed the Tigers (29-18, 11-7) to take the three-game series after claiming the final two outings over the Knights (23-26, 5-13).

Kiko Vazquez extended his hitting streak to 11-games thanks to a RBI single in the eighth inning, and finished with three RBI. Meanwhile, Matt Horwath and Ryan Richardson moved their season-long hitting streaks to eight games, and Dwayne Bailey tied season-highs with three hits and three runs scored.

Memphis hurler Will Hudgens (4-0), who had not made a collegiate start before Sunday, got the victory by going 5.0 innings and allowing four earned runs. Michael Murray led the Tiger offense with three hits.

Hudgens recorded the first out in the top of the first, but dropped a throw from first baseman Adam Amar when Hudgens was trying to cover the bag on a slow grounder by Bailey. Tyson Auer then extended his hitting streak to six games by placing a single down the right-field line, and with runners at the corners, Vazquez connected for a sacrifice fly to score Bailey.

The Tigers threatened in their first trip to the plate when K.K. Chalmers was hit by a pitch to get it going. They were then the recipients of numerous favorable breaks and bounces. Murray ripped a hard liner to Chris Duffy at third, who saw it pop out of his glove and roll far enough to give Murray the infield hit. UCF starter Eric English (2-3) did strike out Bill Moss, but Memphis attempted a double steal and Steve Stropp fired to second as Murray was not running well. However, the throw went into center and Memphis tied it up. Following a pop up on the infield, a passed ball made it 2-1. A Joey Lieberman double kept the inning going, and Kyle Norrid singled to left center for another run. Josh Irvin concluded the scoring by driving a ball about 362 feet, and it hit the top of the wall in right-center and bounced over for a two-run homer.

An unearned run in the bottom of the second pushed the lead to 6-1. The Black and Gold did pressure Hudgens again in the fourth, loading the bases with two outs. On a 2-2 pitch, Chadd Hartman lined a two-run single into left to cut the lead in half, 6-3, as Duffy and Eric Kallstrom came across. Memphis replied with three in its half, where Chalmers greeted reliever Brian Brooks with a three-run home run on the first pitch to push the advantage to 9-3.

Vazquez's second sacrifice fly of the game scored Bailey from third in the fifth frame as UCF would not go away quietly. Tyler Huelsing got the run right back with a RBI single in the home half for a 10-4 cushion.

The scoreboard continued to light up in the top of the sixth, where Richardson led off with a single through the left side and Kallstrom belted a double to the gap in left center to plate his teammate from first base. A hit by pitch to Stropp brought in Neil Schenk from the pen, and the Knights eventually filled the bases with nobody out. Horwath's fielder's choice gave UCF its sixth run, and a bloop single into right by Bailey trimmed the deficit to 10-7. Schenk managed to keep the lead to three by retiring the next two batters to escape without any more damage.

Even though they went quietly in the seventh, the Knights had another opportunity against Schenk when the eighth rolled around. Two singles and an error filled them up with no outs on the board, however Auer hit into a 5-3 double play for two quick outs. Hartman did score on the play to help UCF inch closer, and it became a one-run game when Vazquez notched a RBI single. The first baseman's base hit would be the Knights' last, as Matt Yokley came on to pitch a perfect ninth to ruin UCF's rally.

UCF stays on the road when it wraps up the non-conference portion of its schedule at Stetson Tuesday at 7 p.m. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.

Game Notes
WP: Will Hudgens (4-0), 5.0 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
LP: Eric English (2-3), 3.1 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
SV: Matt Yokley (8), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- Ryan Richardson moved his hitting streak to a personal-best eight games.
- Kiko Vazquez now has 45 RBI this season. As a freshman last year, the first baseman had just 21.
- Steve Stropp's first-inning error ending a stretch of 34-straight games, dating back to last year, that he did not have a miscue.
- Matt Horwath had his streak of multi-hit games snapped at seven, which was the longest such streak since Dee Brown had at least two hits in eight-straight outings in 2002. Horwath also saw his streak of seven-straight games with a run scored halted as well.
- Eric Kallstrom tied a career-high with two runs scored.
- Austin Hudson retired the only two batters he faced in the eighth out of the UCF pen.
- Tyson Auer stole an extra-base hit away from Joey Lieberman to lead off the third. At the center-field wall, Auer leapt up at the 379-foot sign and snagged it out of the air for the first out of the inning.
- Senior Brian Brooks made his 81st-career appearance Sunday, giving him sole possession of second on UCF's all-time list (Jason Arnold, 98). It also marked his 76th relief appearance in a Black and Gold uniform, and three more will tie the Knights' career record of 79 set by Arnold.
- The one-run loss was only UCF's third of the season. It is now 8-3 in one-run games this season.
- Memphis edged UCF in the hit column, 12-11.