UCF Stuns No. 5 Missouri with Five Runs in Last At-Bat, 10-9


Feb. 25, 2008

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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - In one of the most memorable games in Jay Bergman Field history, the UCF baseball team scored five runs in the final inning to upset No. 5 Missouri, 10-9, Monday afternoon. The game was halted after seven innings because of predetermined Missouri travel plans Monday night.

UCF stayed undefeated on the year, moving to 4-0 thanks to the comeback triumph. The Tigers (3-1) served as the third-highest ranked team to visit the stadium since it opened in 2001, while the Knights' win was the first over a top-five program since a 6-5 extra-inning victory over No. 2 LSU Feb. 15, 2004, at Jay Bergman Field.

Sophomore Chris Duffy cranked out two homers for the second time in his career, including the first of back-to-back home runs along with senior Ryan Richardson which gave the Knights a 5-4 lead in the fourth. Missouri replied with one in the sixth and four in the seventh and final frame to virtually seal the game. But UCF came right back with five runs, all with nobody out, in its half of the inning, capped off by the game-winning RBI double off the bat of Richardson.

"We were confident and pretty sure we were going to comeback and win," said Richardson. "(The mobbing by teammates at second base) felt good. It always feels good when that happens. It's the best thing in the world.

"We definitely have a lot more confidence this year. It's a completely different team."

In the first three games of the year, UCF committed just one error. However, two errors in the first inning Monday helped the Tigers load the bases with two down. Sophomore Mitch Houck did not back down, getting Dan Pietroburgo to swing at strike three to keep the game scoreless. Missouri threatened again in the second and this time got on the scoreboard on a Ryan Lollis RBI single, as UCF fell behind in a game for the first time this year. Jacob Priday increased the lead to 3-0 by driving in two with a two-out RBI bases-loaded single.

The three-run advantage did not last for long when the Knights returned to the plate in the bottom half against freshman Kelly Fick. After sophomore Shane Brown was hit by a pitch, Duffy sent a 3-2 pitch over the fence just to the left of center field for a two-run dinger.

The Conference USA Hitter of the Week, senior Dwayne Bailey, tied it in the third by lining a one-out 0-2 pitch into left-center, scoring junior Rob Lara from second. Missouri recovered by adding one in the fourth to retake the lead at 4-3.

Once again, the Black and Gold did not turn away, picking up back-to-back jacks from Duffy and Richardson in the bottom of the fourth to make it 5-4. It was Duffy's 10th home run of his career, while it was the second for Richardson. The game's trend continued in the top of the sixth when Aaron Senne evened the score on a RBI double.

Missouri appeared to grab the lead for good with four runs in the seventh inning. With time running short and the Knights hoping to at least tie it before the Tigers had to catch their flight, junior Josh Siebenaler ripped a single on the first pitch from Greg Folgia of the bottom half of the seventh to left, then Bailey doubled to put two aboard. Senior Tyson Auer followed by watching four-straight balls go by to fill the bases, where closer Scooter Hicks came on in relief. The momentum did not stop there.

Only a few inches kept the rally alive when junior Colin Arnold stroked a liner just off Lee Fischer's glove at short for the RBI single and the inning's first run. Brown then cranked a single to left field for two more runs, and Duffy delivered the tying marker with a single to right. Finally, on a 2-1 pitch, Richardson put it away with a double to left center, plating pinch-runner Nick Choto and forcing a massive celebration in the ballpark.

Junior closer Justin Weiss picked up the win by hurling the final two outs of the top of the seventh. Siebenaler, Duffy and Richardson each collected three hits to pace the offense.

UCF will have three-straight days without a game before hosting Central Michigan Friday-Sunday. Game one's first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Jay Bergman Field.

Season tickets as well as single-game tickets to check out UCF baseball this year are currently available by contacting the UCF Ticket Office at 407-823-1000, or by going online at www.ucfathletics.com, the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Game Notes
Missouri - 3-1 Overall, 0-0 Big 12
UCF - 4-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
WP: Justin Weiss (1-0), 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
LP: Scooter Hicks (0-1), 0.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- Missouri was ranked No. 6 last weekend, but moved up to No. 5 in the Baseball America poll released just before game time Monday.
- Even though it was a 3 p.m. start time on a Monday afternoon, 1,053 still made their way to Jay Bergman Field, the 24th largest crowd in stadium history.
- Monday was the fourth-straight game UCF plated at least 10 runs in a game, the first time since Feb. 9-13, 2001, that it had accomplished the feat.
- The last time UCF hit back-to-back homers was May 4, 2007, at Memphis when Kiko Vazquez and Chris Duffy went yard.
- Duffy racked up four RBI and scored two runs in the win. Richardson and Brown also had two RBI on the day.
- Knight pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts, marking the fourth-straight game UCF hurlers recorded at least 10 Ks.
- UCF left only four runners on base compared to Missouri's 11.