UCF Wins Wild, Windy Affair Over Duquesne, 12-11


March 2, 2010

Final Stats

UCF vs. Duquesne
March 2, 2010
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
Duquesne 11 17 2
UCF 12 12 1

WP: Bryan Brown (2-0), 3.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
LP: Ryan Balbierz (0-1), 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
SV: Joe Rogers (2), 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Game-Changing Moment
Trailing 10-2 going into the bottom of the second, UCF had a lot of work to do. But patience remained a strong point for the hitters as Stephen Branca and Ronnie Richardson walked to start the frame. Shane Brown would single in one run, but the Knights still had a 10-3 deficit. Enter Chris Duffy. The senior hammered his fourth homer of the year towards the UCF soccer practice field, moving the Knights closer at 10-6. Even though they were behind by four, Duffy's at-bat proved UCF would not go away as it scored two more in that inning, two in the third and a pair in the fifth to lock down the win.

Three Stars
First Star: Chris Duffy, gave UCF momentum with his three-run homer in the second, finished 4-for-6 with 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R
Second Star: Alex Besaw, stopped Duquesne's attack in the second inning by escaping a huge jam, pitched 2.2 innings with four strikeouts
Third Star: Bryan Brown, winning pitcher, picked up where Besaw left off allowing UCF to take the lead, hurled 3.0 innings of scoreless ball

UCF Notes for the UNF Game Wednesday
Complete Release in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Hitters loved the conditions in Orlando Tuesday where a strong wind blew out to center, and after Duquesne held a 10-2 lead through the top of the second, UCF stormed back for a 12-11 victory. It was the Knights' eighth-straight win at home dating back to 2009 as they stretched their record this year to 7-1.

Chris Duffy cranked out four hits, all of the extra-base variety, highlighted by a three-run job in the second that sparked the rally. It was the third time the senior amassed four hits in a game this year, which tied his career-high. Not to be outdone, Shane Brown also posted four hits and scored a pair of runs.

While the offense was busy with the comeback, relievers Alex Besaw, Bryan Brown and Joe Rogers kept the Dukes (0-7) scoreless for the final six innings. It was Besaw's first outing as a Knight and he struck out four in 2.2 innings. He entered with the bases juiced and one out in the second, and escaped the jam. Brown (2-0) would get the win by going 3.0 innings, and Rogers produced the 2.0-inning save with four more strikeouts.

"I felt pretty good and I've been working really hard. I was just locked in," said Besaw. "I knew we were in a jam and had to come in and get two crucial outs. I had to keep the ball down and throw lots of strikes. It was a tough situation, but my slurve felt great and that was one of the big pitches I threw in that first inning I came in. I didn't care if the bases were loaded, I knew I was going to come in and get the outs."

UCF starting pitcher Brian Adkins could not make it out of the first inning, as the Dukes plated five runs on four hits. But Duquesne's Grant Gillespie had to start his outing by facing Conference USA's leader in walks in Ronnie Richardson, who promptly drew a four-pitch walk. Although the righty got the next two outs, Duffy took a two-strike pitch the opposite way for a RBI double. He would then touch home on a throwing error on a grounder off the bat of D.J. Hicks.

Those runs would not affect Duquesne when it returned to the dish, and it stretched its lead to 10-2 vs. Jordan Rasinski before Besaw made his UCF debut and struck out Matt Carson for the second out and induced Andrew Heck to foul out to the catcher to end the inning.

The scoring continued when Gillespie walked the first two batters, setting up a one-out RBI single from Shane Brown. Still with two runners aboard, Duffy demolished the first pitch he saw and when it landed, the ball rested over Victory Way and near the soccer practice field.

Now trailing 10-6, the Knights kept at it. Two free passes sandwiched a double from Hicks, and Chris Taladay also walked to bring in the seventh run. Ryan Balbierz was brought in from the pen and witnessed Stephen Branca drop a single into center to end a six-run inning.

Duquesne would add an unearned run in the third, but it could have recorded a big inning. With two runners on, Chris Happ lined a sure extra-base hit into the left-center gap, however Richardson sprinted over, laid out and made a sensational diving catch to force the Dukes to strand the runners. The center fielder's effort enabled the Knights to keep it close, and Jonathan Griffin and Hicks would notch an RBI each in the third to make it 11-10.

Finally each team would not score in the fourth, yet that trend quickly changed on a two-run Taladay single in the fifth, giving UCF its first lead at 12-11.

Bryan Brown and Rogers provided strong outings as the game reached the ninth with the Knights clinging to that one-run advantage. However a leadoff double off the wall in right by Heck put the tying run in scoring position, and Rick Devereaux was plunked. A flyout to center allowed the Dukes to get runners at the corners, only Rogers buckled down to strike out Chris Kimmeth and Jared Bowser on breaking balls for his second save of 2010.

The five-game week continues Wednesday when the Black and Gold hosts North Florida at 6:30 p.m. If you can't make it out to the park, listen in to Marc Daniels on play-by-play on 740-AM.

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
Duquesne - 0-7 Overall
UCF - 7-1 Overall
-UCF erased an eight-run deficit in the win, but last year at Stetson the Knights took down the Hatters 13-12 after trailing 10-0 through four innings.
-The Knights were outhit, 17-12, against the Dukes.
-Three Knights made their 2010 debuts after starting the year with injuries: designated hitter D.J. Hicks, second baseman Stephen Branca and pitcher Alex Besaw. Hicks went 1-for-4 with a double and sac fly, Branca was 2-for-4 with a RBI and Besaw played a huge role in stopping the Duquesne offense.
-Ronnie Richardson added two more walks to his total. He now paces the Conference USA with 13 free passes.
-UCF scored at least one run in the first inning for the sixth time this year.