UCF Sets Numerous School Records in 29-9 Win at UAB


April 24, 2009

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

Notes for April 25 Game in PDF Format

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UCFAthletics.com) - Setting school records with 29 runs and 28 hits, UCF demolished the baseball all night long in a 29-9 thumping of UAB in game one of their Conference USA series Friday in Birmingham, Ala. It was the largest margin of victory in a conference game for the Knights (14-25, 4-9), who were led by freshman D.J. Hicks' UCF single-game record of six runs scored.

Along with their 13 runs in a win over Stetson April 21, the Knights combined to score 42 in consecutive outings, marking the most runs in back-to-back games all-time.

UCF, which scored in every inning except the second vs. the Blazers (23-19, 5-8), crushed four homers in a game for the first-time this season, picking up four-baggers from senior Brandon Romans (11th of 2009), junior Shane Brown (fifth) and freshmen Beau Taylor (fourth) and Hicks (first). It was Hicks' first collegiate home run and he became the 13th different Knight to register a long ball.

Both Hicks and Brown had a chance to match a record of their own by amassing five hits before their final at-bats in the ninth inning. Looking to tie Eric Riggs' mark of six hits in a single game (vs. Stetson April 10, 1998), Hicks drew a five-pitch walk and Brown was plunked as each fell one short of the all-time single-game mark. Brown went on to reach base all eight times by going 5-for-5 with two doubles, two HBP and a walk. Hicks was 5-for-6 with six runs and four RBI.

A total of eight Knights posted at least two hits while the squad racked up nine doubles, missing the UCF record of 10 set vs. Monmouth in Oct. 3, 2006. Meanwhile, the 26 RBI on the night did tie the school record which took place vs. Florida Memorial April 14, 1979.

Senior Caleb Graham (2-2) matched his career-high with 6.0 innings in his start on the hill, fanning four, not walking a batter and giving up just one run on five hits.

After watching his 20-game hitting streak come to an end April 21, senior Colin Arnold hoped to get a new one started by leading off Friday night's contest with a single off righty Beau Pender. That quickly sparked the offense, as senior Josh Siebenaler laid down a perfect sac bunt and Brown was plunked by a pitch for the 11th time this year. Now with two aboard, Romans cleared the bases by driving a 1-1 offering deep over the left-center wall.

Another ball left the yard in the third, where Brown hammered a pitch the opposite way for a solo shot. The next time the Knights stepped in, junior left-handed hitter Chris Duffy opened the fourth by sending an outside pitch down the left-field line for a double. Hicks then made sure to not try too much with a ball on the outside part of the strikezone, grounding a ball up the middle to allow Duffy to touch home.

The inning did not stop there. With one away, Arnold and Siebenaler both singled to load the bases and Brown came through again, sending a double to the base of the fence in right-center. Hicks and Arnold scored, but Siebenaler was thrown out just before sliding a hand over the plate. Brown attempted to reach third on the play and a wild throw from catcher Digger Towe permitted the UCF second baseman to also sprint across, making it 8-0.

A pitching change by the Blazers did not affect the UCF aluminum, as Taylor and senior Kiko Vazquez kicked off the fifth with back-to-back doubles against Robert Brewster. A hard single from Duffy placed runners at the corners and Hicks crushed a single off the right-field wall, bringing it to 10-0. The inning's scoring wrapped up with a RBI groundout off the bat of freshman Jake Huxtable, a run-scoring triple to the right-center gap from Arnold and a sac fly thanks to Siebenaler.

While UAB struggled for just one hit through the first four frames vs. Graham, Luke Stewart put his team on the board in the home half of the fifth with a solo homer. That was quickly answered in the sixth by way of a leadoff no-doubter by Taylor. Later in the stanza, Vazquez doubled, Duffy walked and Hicks pushed it to 15-1 on a RBI single. Eventually the bases were jammed for Arnold, who delivered a single to right. However, Brint Hardy witnessed the ball scoot under his glove and all four Knights scored. For the second time in the inning, UCF loaded the bags and recorded run No. 20 when Taylor lined a sac fly to left.

The onslaught continued in the beginning of the seventh when Hicks blasted his first Division I home run deep to the power alley in right-center. The Black and Gold stretched it to 26-3 in the eighth with hits from freshman Alex Friedrich, Hicks, Huxtable and Siebenaler in a five-run inning. It finally broke the school records in the ninth when freshman Austin Smith brought in two runs on a double down the left-field line.

Game two of the C-USA set against UAB gets underway Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.

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
UCF - 14-25 Overall, 4-9 Conference USA
UAB - 23-19 Overall, 5-8 Conference USA
WP: Caleb Graham (2-2), 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
LP: Beau Pender (3-4), 4.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
- Freshman catcher Beau Taylor threw out a runner on the bases for the third-straight game when he nabbed Nick Crawford in the first inning. It also was the 15th time he removed someone from the basepaths, which leads all C-USA backstops.
- With four more homers Friday, UCF has 48 on the season, which is already the eighth-most in a single-season in Knight history (first year of UCF baseball was in 1973).
- The Knights had six hits in both the fifth and sixth frames, which were one hit shy of tying the UCF record for most hits in those respective innings.
- Third baseman Jake Huxtable made the best defensive play of the night, taking a double away from Brint Hardy in the sixth by spearing a line drive destined for the corner then tossing over to first to double-up Nick Crawford.
- The most combined runs in a UCF game is 42, which was set in a 21-21 seven-inning tie vs. Yale in 1981.
- Brandon Romans set a career-high with four RBI, while Colin Arnold reached a personal-best with four runs scored.
- The 29 runs were the second-most given up by UAB in its history. It surrendered 30 vs. Alabama April 14, 1999.
- The 20-run victory margin tied for the ninth-largest overall win in UCF history.