Cicio Strikes Out 11 in UCF's 6-1 Win vs. Presbyterian


March 20, 2010

Final Stats

UCF vs. Presbyterian
March 20, 2010
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
Presbyterian 1 4 1
UCF 6 14 2

WP: Nick Cicio (2-0), 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K
LP: Steven Richardson (1-4), 6.0 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
SV: None

Game-Changing Moment
Starting pitcher Nick Cicio faced his first test in a 0-0 ballgame in the third inning. With two aboard and two away, the lefty did not back down and struck out Mack Hite, one of his 11 Ks on the day. UCF would go on to score two in the home half and it was on its way.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF SP Nick Cicio, WP, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 11 K
Second Star: UCF SS Darnell Sweeney, 3-for-4, RBI, R, 2B, 2 SB
Third Star: UCF LF Chris Duffy 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, R

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Junior lefty Nick Cicio struck out 11 in 7.0 scoreless innings to lift UCF over Presbyterian College, 6-1, on a beautiful Orlando afternoon Saturday. The Baltimore, Md., native became the first pitcher since 2008 to post double-digit strikeouts, surrendering only three hits to stretch the Knights record to 12-8 on the year.

Cicio (2-0) retired the first seven batters of the game en route to his 11 Ks vs. the Blue Hose (5-12), the most since Mitch Houck sat down 12 on strikes vs. Pittsburgh March 11, 2008.

"It was fun. The goal was just to get ahead and let the defense play behind me," said Cicio. "(My control) was crucial and coach Terry Rooney is always on the pitchers about pounding the strike zone. And that's important because it keeps the defense on their toes. The whole goal is to make your pitches and get ahead in the count."

Providing some of Cicio's run-support, senior Chris Duffy extended his career-long hitting streak to 11 games with his 2-for-3 performance. The left fielder hammered out his 12th homer of the year and drove in a pair to give him 39 RBI in 2010. And freshman Darnell Sweeney went 3-for-4 with a RBI, run scored, double and two stolen bases.

Each school went scoreless in the first two innings until the Knights strode to the dish in the third, where Sweeney and Shane Brown collected singles. Derek Luciano followed with a RBI double to the left-center gap, and starting pitcher Steven Richardson issued a walk to Jonathan Griffin to load the bases for Duffy. Although the senior fell behind 0-2, he still sent a ball to deep center for the sacrifice fly and a 2-0 UCF lead.

The Black and Gold returned for the fourth and hoped to capitalize with the bases juiced and only one out, however Richardson retired the next two to escape unharmed. That would not happen in the fifth when Griffin led off by placing the first pitch of the inning over the wall in left for his third of the year. Later in the stanza, Ryan Breen and Alex Friedrich reached on base hits and the Knights would score two more, capped off by a RBI double from Sweeney.

While Cicio was motoring past the Blue Hose offense, Duffy opened up the bottom of the seventh by crushing a no-doubter over the Right-Field Deck to make it 6-0. PC's Kenny Bryant did ruin in the shutout with solo blast in the ninth, but UCF already had the win in hand.

UCF will wrap up its stretch of playing 19 of its first 21 games at home when it takes on Presbyterian Sunday at 1 p.m. The Knights will not be home again until they host Bethune-Cookman March 30 and UAB April 2-3.

Ticket plans 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
Presbyterian College - 5-12 Overall
UCF - 12-8 Overall
-Chris Duffy has posted at least two hits in each of his last seven games.
-UCF held Presbyterian to four overall hits, the lowest output by an opponent since four vs. UAB May 10, 2008.
-With two on Saturday, Darnell Sweeney pushed his stolen base total to nine in 2010.
-After not having a sacrifice fly in his first three years as a Knight, Chris Duffy has three in his last two games.
-Game time was 2:18, UCF's shortest game since the series finale at Memphis a year ago (2:14).