Memphis Downs UCF in Game One, 10-5


April 3, 2009

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UCFAthletics.com) - Playing at AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis, the UCF baseball team suffered a 10-5 loss Friday to the University of Memphis in game one of a Conference USA series. The Knights (8-21, 0-7 C-USA) only trailed 4-3 heading to the bottom of the fifth before the Tigers (11-16, 3-4) broke away.

Keeping their hitting streaks alive, junior Shane Brown became just the second player in UCF history (Mike Myers, 26 games in 2001) to record a base hit in at least 20-straight games when he singled in the fifth inning. Brown went 2-for-5 with two RBI Friday, and his current 20-game streak dates back to March 4 at Florida International. Meanwhile, senior Colin Arnold also had two hits to push his to 12 games, which is just two shy of matching his career-high of 14 set last year.

Memphis jumped on UCF starter Caleb Graham for a pair of runs in the bottom of the first by way of a two-out triple off the bat of Shawn Ablett. The Tigers later had two runners in scoring position but saw Graham strike out Heith Hatfield to end the inning. Responding right away, UCF struck for a run in the second after two men were out. Freshman D.J. Hicks started it up with a double to left-center before senior Eric Kallstrom stroked a 0-1 offering from lefty Brennon Martin to right for the RBI single.

Stretching its lead back to two runs, Memphis kicked off the home half of the second with a single and a double to put runners at second and third with no outs. It could only drive in one as Graham earned a ground out and two Ks to keep the Tigers within range.

The Black and Gold hoped to answer again in the fourth when senior Kiko Vazquez was hit by a pitch and freshman Beau Taylor doubled to place two more in scoring position with one down. However Martin fanned both Hicks and Kallstrom to leave the runners stranded.

Still clinging to a two-run advantage, Memphis plated a two-out run on a stolen base and throwing error the next time it came to the dish.

Continuing the trend of putting the pressure on pitchers, UCF's two longest hitting streaks both survived in the fifth. With one down, Arnold ripped a single over the second-base bag and freshman Jake Huxtable followed suit with a single of his own to left. Stepping in with runners at the corners, Brown connected on a 1-0 pitch for a RBI base hit to left-center. Senior Brandon Romans brought in the second run of the frame on a ground ball to short.

Now with UCF trailing 4-3, two walks from Anthony Figliolia sparked a three-run inning from Memphis in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman Bryan Brown took over with one out and saw Jacob Wilson crush his first pitch off the left-center wall for a two-run double. The Tigers went on to score one more on a sac fly. They eventually put it away with three in the seventh for a 10-3 cushion.

Hicks did provide the Knights with their fourth run, sending a two-out RBI single to right in the top of the eighth. The final run of the afternoon came across on a two-out, two-strike base hit delivered by Brown in the ninth.

The C-USA series resumes Saturday when UCF and Memphis clash at 7 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 - 8-21 Overall, 0-7 Conference USA
Memphis - 11-16 Overall, 3-4 Conference USA
WP: Brennon Martin (4-1), 8.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
LP: Caleb Graham (1-2), 3.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3K
- Following the UCF-Memphis game, the St. Louis Cardinals and their Triple-A affiliate Memphis Redbirds will be playing their first of two exhibition games at AutoZone Park. They will do battle again Saturday afternoon before UCF and Memphis continue their series.
- Shane Brown moved closer to tying UCF's all-time best hitting streak, as he now trails Mike Myers by six games. The former Knight had a record 26-game stretch during the 2001 campaign.
- The Knights and Tigers both finished with 11 hits.
- Freshmen Beau Taylor and D.J. Hicks each rapped out two hits.