Duffy's Two Homers Not Enough in 10-Inning Loss to FGCU


April 15, 2009

Final Stats

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF held a 6-5 lead with two outs in the ninth but could hold on as Florida Gulf Coast tied it up and eventually won it in the 10th, 7-6, Wednesday in Orlando. Junior Chris Duffy (Orlando, Fla.) pounded out two homers and senior Colin Arnold (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) stretched his hitting streak to 20 games as the Knights moved to 12-25 on the season.

Arnold's streak continued on the very first pitch in the first inning vs. the Eagles (19-14), and he went on to have a 2-for-5 performance with a double and two runs. The outfielder took over sole possession of third place for the longest hitting streak in UCF history, becoming just the third Knight to have a streak of 20 games or better.

Also going 2-for-5, Duffy muscled two balls over the fence for the fourth time in his career. They were the fourth and fifth dingers of his 2009 campaign, while it pushed his collegiate total to 21, which is just one shy of tying Butch Vinson for 10th on the UCF all-time list.

Freshman D.J. Hicks pitched a beautiful outing in relief, tossing 6.2 innings with two runs, four strikeouts and no walks. He got one out in the ninth before leaving with 93 pitches to his credit.

With the Knights not in action this weekend, their typical Friday night starter received the nod Wednesday vs. the Eagles. But FGCU still got on the board immediately in the first against senior Caleb Graham when Tim Roberson blasted a two-out solo homer off the scoreboard in right-center.

That did not stop UCF from getting into the act as well in its half vs. FGCU right Richie Erath. After Arnold's base hit to leadoff the frame, senior Eric Kallstrom laid down a sac bunt to get him to second. Two batters later, senior Brandon Romans slapped a two-out, two-strike pitch the opposite way into right field, scoring Arnold. A wild pitch advanced Romans to second and freshman Beau Taylor duplicated the senior when he also placed a two-strike pitch into the right-center grass, giving the Knights a 2-1 advantage.

It would not last long. The Eagles came back in the second with a run on a sac fly by Joe Guarnaccia where Romans made a sensational leaping catch at the fence for the second out of the inning. Although UCF needed just one more out, FGCU plated two more runs to force the Black and Gold to its bullpen.

While FGCU appeared to steal momentum, the Knights replied again the next time it dug in. On the first pitch of the second, Duffy hammered a solo dinger to straight-away center to cut it to 4-3. Eventually with two down and nobody aboard, Arnold placed a double just inside the third-base bag and quickly scored when Kallstrom dropped a single into left.

A Steven Wickens RBI single in the third put FGCU on top, 5-4, yet senior Kiko Vazquez added a RBI base hit of his own in the UCF version of the inning as the game evened up at 5-5.

One swing of the bat changed that in the fifth, where Duffy took reliever CJ Stallings deep to right for his second four-bagger of the night.

It would stay 6-5 all the way to the top of the ninth. Hicks attempted to finish off his victory only to give up a one-out base single. That was when junior Cory Weech entered and struck out Roberson, but walked Zach Maxfield. Closer Justin Weiss was then summoned from the pen, however Josh Chester ripped a 2-1 offering into center field to drive in the tying run with two outs. Weiss, though, did leave the bases loaded to give UCF a chance in the last half of the ninth.

And it looked like the Knights were primed at notching the victory. Facing Jason Forjet, they loaded the bases with one out for Taylor, who struck out. Now with two away, Vazquez lined a grounder to short for the inning-ending fielder's choice.

Keeping UCF off the board, FGCU's Robert Greene greeted freshman Bryan Brown with a leadoff homer in the 10th inning, and that was all it needed to complete the comeback.

The Knights now will get a little rest as they will not be back in action until April 21 when they host Stetson at 6:30 p.m.

Baseball flex pack voucher packages as well as single game tickets are on sale for the 2009 campaign. Call the UCF Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000 for more information. Fans may also visit UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, and is the home of UCF's online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Game Notes
Florida Gulf Coast - 19-14 Overall
UCF - 12-25 Overall
WP: Jason Forjet (2-0), 2.2 IP, 1H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
LP: Bryan Brown (0-5), 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- The Knights fell to 56-36-1 all-time in extra-inning games. It was their first extra-inning contest since a 13-12 10-inning win over UAB May 9, 2008.
- Colin Arnold's 20-game hitting streak trails current teammate Shane Brown for second place on the UCF all-time chart. Brown had a 22-game streak earlier this year. Mike Myers holds the Knights' record with a 26-game stretch during the 2001 season.
- Chris Duffy became the second player to hit two home runs in a game this year, as Kiko Vazquez also has accomplished the feat twice.
- Along with Arnold and Duffy, Eric Kallstrom also collected two hits while batting second.
- Freshman Jordan Rasinski relieved Bryan Brown in the 10th and struck out both batters he faced.
- Brandon Romans swiped his first base of 2009 and the third of his career. He finished 1-for-2 with two walks, a HBP, a RBI and two runs.