UCF Ties School Record for Hits in Victory Against Hartford


March 14, 2010

Final Stats

UCF vs. Hartford
March 14, 2010
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
Hartford 4 12 0
UCF 24 28 1

WP: Nick Cicio (1-0), 5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
LP: Cory Beahm (0-1), 3.1 IP, 15 H, 17 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
SV: None

Game-Changing Moment
Derek Luciano's first-inning grand slam may have helped provide a large chunk of UCF's 11-run inning, however it was an early hit that ensured the Knights would take a huge lead. With a 2-0 advantage, one-out and runners at the corners, Beau Taylor grounded a single through the right side that kept the scoring going. If the ball heads directly to an infielder, it could have been an inning-ending double play.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF 3B Derek Luciano, 3-for-3, 3 R, 6 RBI, 2 HR, GS in just 4 innings of work
Second Star: UCF SS Darnell Sweeney, 5-for-6, 3 RBI, 4 R, SB, first-career HR
Third Star: UCF RF Shane Brown, 3-for-3, 3 RBI, 4 R, 2B, HR, reached base all 7 times

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - A grand slam by Derek Luciano highlighted an 11-run first inning for UCF, setting the stage for a 24-4 win over Hartford Sunday in Orlando. The Knights (9-7) collected 28 hits in the victory vs. the Hawks (2-2), tying the school's single-game record set last year against UAB.

"You really can't come up in a better situation, having bases loaded and one out," said Luciano. "He jammed me on the first pitch with a fastball so I said to myself `I'm not going to get beat inside.' He came inside again and I was lucky to get it out there."

The grand slam marked the first Division I homer for Luciano, a junior transfer out of Bradenton. He quickly added to that total with a second long ball in the fourth, finishing with six RBI in a 3-for-3 afternoon. Darnell Sweeney and Shane Brown also delivered long balls, as Sweeney was 5-for-6 at the dish with four runs and Brown reached base all seven times as the leadoff hitter, recording three hits, two walks and two HBP.

UCF scored a total of 57 runs on the weekend, setting the school record for most runs in three-straight games against the same opponent. In 1985, the Knights plated 59 runs in three games against Grace College, but UCF played Delaware once during that series.

Every starter had at least one hit, one RBI and one run for the Knights. In the three-game series, Chris Taladay went 11-for-14 for a .786 average, followed by Chris Duffy's 8-for-11, three-homer performance.

And on the mound, lefty Nick Cicio (1-0) hurled 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts, limiting the Hawks to two runs for the win.

A day after setting a school record with 10 runs in the first inning, the Knights broke that record in less than 24 hours by scoring 11 in the first inning Sunday. The UCF record for most runs in any inning stands at 14 (third inning in 1998). And during Sunday's first frame, it also set a school mark by hammering out 10 hits, the most in any first inning, although it did fall one shy of tying the record for most hits in an inning overall (11 set in 1997 and 1998).

Hartford did plate a run in the first off Cicio only to see the Knights' offense put the first four on base in the bottom half vs. righty Cory Beahm en route to a 11-0 lead. UCF sent 15 hitters to the dish with all nine starters scoring at least once. Luciano and Taladay each had two hits in the stanza, including Luciano's granny.

Luciano would pick up another RBI by being plunked with the bases loaded in the second, where Taladay and Chris Duffy recorded an RBI as well for a 14-1 cushion. Brown and Luciano then went back-to-back with homers in the fourth. Austin Johnston added a RBI single in the same inning, while Sweeney went yard in the fifth, sending one the opposite way and into the UCF bullpen in right for his first-collegiate dinger.

The Black and Gold brought in six more in the eighth off seven hits, including two singles off the bat of Jonathan Griffin, to close out the series.

UCF's 13-game homestand will come to a close when it hosts South Florida Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. live on Bright House Sports Network.

Season tickets for the 2010 campaign are currently on sale. To purchase tickets, call 407-823-1000 or visit UCFAthletics.com. And for the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com and become a follower of the Knights on Twitter and Facebook.

Game Notes
Hartford - 2-2 Overall
UCF - 9-7 Overall
-Freshman Chris Taladay started his 10th game Sunday, but it was his first at first base. Taladay has now made starts at first, third, catcher and DH.
-Taladay was one of four freshmen in the starting lineup, joining Austin Johnston, Ryan Breen and Darnell Sweeney. Ronnie Richardson also has been starting in center for the Knights but sat out Sunday with an injury.
-Derek Luciano's grand slam was the first by a Knight since D.J. Hicks against Stetson last season, and the 23rd in program history.
-Shane Brown and Luciano's back-to-back jacks in the fourth was the first time UCF players went back-to-back since Beau Taylor and Kiko Vazquez accomplished the feat last year vs. Tulane.
-Chris Duffy's hitting streak stretched to seven games, but after going 3-for-3, he sat the bench for the final four innings, thus ending his streak of hitting a homer in three-straight outings.
-Freshman righty Scott Robinson made his first appearance on the mound Sunday, while catcher Keith Simon made his collegiate debut by catching in the top of the ninth. Simon was on deck in the bottom of the eighth but was unable to get to the plate as the inning ended.