Duffy's Five RBI Propels UCF Past Memphis, 12-7


April 4, 2009

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

Sunday's Notes in PDF Format

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UCFAthletics.com) - Junior Chris Duffy's (Orlando, Fla.) three-run double in the fourth capped off UCF's biggest inning of the year in a 12-7 victory at Memphis Saturday at AutoZone Park. The Knights (9-21, 1-7 Conference USA) brought in seven runs in the fourth frame and finished with a season-high 17 hits against the Tigers (11-17, 3-5).

"I think the whole tone of the game was set by the performance of Jaager Good," said head coach Terry Rooney of his starting pitcher. "I thought Jaager did a tremendous job tonight and gave us a chance early. But we just need to keep getting better from a fundamental standpoint. Although we won, the expectations are great, and my expectations are that we play well through all nine innings of the game and we need to make sure we keep doing that."

Good tossed 4.1 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and striking out three. Junior Cory Weech (3-0) picked up the win in a scoreless inning of relief and classmate Austin Hudson picked up his second collegiate save by working the final 3.0 frames, not allowing an earned run and sitting down two on strikes.

Senior Colin Arnold moved his hitting streak to 13 games, as five different Knights collected at least two hits, all nine starters grabbed a minimum of one hit and seven players scored one run or more. Junior Shane Brown, who carries a 20-game hitting streak, was scratched from the lineup Saturday due to a medical issue.

Continuing his powerful season at the plate, senior Brandon Romans recorded his ninth home run of 2009 in the seventh inning. Also cranking out the hits, Duffy went on to go 3-for-6 with a double, triple and five RBI, which equaled a career-high. Freshmen Beau Taylor and D.J. Hicks combined for a 6-for-10 performance with four RBI, five runs and two doubles.

Memphis' defense provided an early scoring opportunity for the Knights in the top of the first, as two errors permitted a pair of runners to get into scoring position. However freshman righty Heith Hatfield escaped to keep UCF off the board.

The Tigers' then stepped in for the first time and following a leadoff double and single against Good, Brett Bowen grounded into a double play with Tyler Huelsing touching home on the twin-killing.

Another error helped put two Knights back at second and third with two outs in the second, yet the Black and Gold still could not push a runner across. They attempted again in the third when UCF had the bases loaded and one out, but it remained off the board.

For the fourth-straight inning, UCF placed a man in scoring position in the fourth by way of base hits from junior Kyle Mills and Arnold. With one away, Huxtable grounded to short only to see Bowen mishandle it for Memphis' fourth error. Now with the bases juiced, Hatfield walked Vazquez, Romans and Taylor to allow the Knights to take a 3-1 lead.

Watching their starter issue three-consecutive run-scoring free-passes, the Tigers went to the pen for southpaw Ryan Holland who promptly walked Hicks. He then went to 3-1 on Duffy, and even though Memphis hurlers were struggling to find the strike zone, Duffy found a pitch right in his wheelhouse, driving a bases-clearing double to the right-center gap. The left fielder tried stretching it into his first-career triple but the tag was laid down just in time. While Duffy may have been erased from the bases, his bat completed a seven-run inning.

"My teammates did a good job of getting on and drawing walks, and it was a 3-1 pitch so I knew he was going to have to throw something over the plate," said Duffy of his bases-loaded double in the fourth. "It definitely is good to get a few hits, but the bottom line is I'm just glad to get this win. Baseball is a game of perseverance. You're going to be struggling sometimes and other times it will be going good. It all depends on how you deal with adversity."

The Knights were far from done. Their version of the fifth got underway with a single from Huxtable and walk to Vazquez. A pair of freshman then came through as both Taylor and Hicks registered RBI base hits to increase the advantage to eight runs. Although UCF seemed to have a comfortable margin, Memphis did tack on a run in the fifth, as well as three in the sixth to inch closer at 9-5.

Hoping to keep the Tigers at bay, Romans opened up the visiting half of the seventh in impressive fashion, lacing a Dane Sharp offering the opposite way to right field and into the stands. Taylor kept the inning going by crushing a double to left, and two batters later, Duffy desired that triple he came so close to getting in the fourth. With the count at 1-0 and two down, the junior out of Cypress Creek High School sent a rocket over Chris Newsom's head in center. As it bounced towards the wall, Duffy raced around the bases and this time was successful in his pursuit of third base. His RBI triple made it 11-5.

The two clubs exchanged a run in the bottom of the eighth/top of the ninth, highlighted by Duffy's fifth RBI of the evening on a single that scored Hicks. Saturday's final run sprinted across by way of two UCF errors in the bottom of the ninth.

The three-game series at Memphis concludes Sunday at 1 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 - 9-21 Overall, 1-7 Conference USA
Memphis - 11-17 Overall, 3-5 Conference USA
WP: Cory Weech (3-0), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
LP: Heith Hatfield (0-3), 3.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
SV: Austin Hudson (1), 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- On the same field UCF and Memphis battled it out, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Memphis Redbirds, 7-3, just a few hours prior to the start of the Knights' game.
- Colin Arnold's 13-game hitting streak is one shy of his career-record set last year.
- Shane Brown was expected to make his first-career start at second base Saturday before having to be scratched.
- There were a total of nine errors in the contest, five by Memphis and four by UCF.
- The 17 hits matched a season-high set March 8 vs. Monmouth and March 24 vs. Jacksonville.
- UCF's 5-8 hitters of Beau Taylor, D.J. Hicks, Chris Duffy and Kyle Mills combined for 11 hits, nine RBI and six runs.
- The Knights had seven extra-base hits compared to Memphis' one.