UCF Wins Sixth-Straight with 7-4 Triumph at Houston


March 26, 2010

Final Stats

UCF at Houston
March 26, 2010
From Houston, Texas
Team R H E
UCF 7 8 0
Houston 4 11 0

WP: Brian Adkins (1-3), 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K
LP: Chase Dempsay (1-1), 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
SV: Joe Rogers (3), 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Game-Changing Moment
The game was tight throughout the evening and it appeared Houston would come up to bat in the bottom of the ninth trailing by just a run. With nobody on and two outs, Derek Luciano drew his fourth walk of the game, giving way to pinch-hitter Ryan Breen. The free pass seemed harmless, until Breen crushed his fourth homer of 2010 over the left-field fence. That all but wrapped up the victory as Joe Rogers closed the door in the ninth.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF PH Ryan Breen, 2-run HR in the 9th sealed the win
Second Star: UCF CF Ronnie Richardson, GW RBI with two outs in the 8th
Third Star: UCF 3B Derek Luciano, Drew four walks and scored three times

Notes for Game Two Saturday
UCF Notes in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

HOUSTON, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF scored three in the eighth and two in the ninth to knock off Houston in the Conference USA opener Friday night, 7-4. It was the Knights' (15-8, 1-0) sixth-consecutive win and their first victory on the Cougars' home field since 1998.

Clinging to a 5-4 lead in the ninth vs. UH (10-10, 0-1), freshman Ryan Breen provided UCF with the big blow by driving a pinch-hit, two-out, two-run homer to left. That would stretch his hitting streak to nine games.

"I knew I was going up there if Derek Luciano got on," admitted Breen. "So I was just trying to get my mind ready, and when I got up there they started me off with a pretty good curve ball. Luciano then stole second and I just wanted to do whatever I could to drive him in. I ended up seeing a good pitch, a fastball kind of down in the zone, and I hit it well."

Chris Duffy extended his personal-best hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI single in the eighth. He finished with two RBI on the night to give him 143 for his career, moving him into a tie for ninth on the all-time list. Also at the plate, Darnell Sweeney collected a pair of hits and Derek Luciano walked four times (UCF record is five), scoring runs on three trips to the basepaths.

Originally scheduled to start Saturday, Owen Dew struck out four in 5.2 innings on the mound. Brian Adkins would pitch 1.1 innings of scoreless ball while Joe Rogers secured his third save in 2.0 frames.

Facing the righty Michael Goodnight, UCF went to work in the second where Jonathan Griffin opened the frame by pulling a double inside the left-field line. The first baseman would travel to third on a wild pitch and scored the game's first run thanks to Ronnie Richardson's sac fly to right.

Dew cruised through the first four innings to keep the Knights ahead 1-0, but the Cougars finally struck in the fifth for a pair of runs. Their lead was quickly erased in UCF's next trip to the dish, tying it on a walk, HBP, wild pitch and RBI groundout from Duffy. However, Houston took it right back in the home half of the sixth to make it 3-2.

Houston was poised to add more in the seventh only to see reliever Adkins induce Caleb Ramsey to hit into an inning-ending double play with runners at first and third.

The Black and Gold hoped to take advantage in the eighth when Chase Dempsay walked the first two batters and Chris Taladay moved them over on a sacrifice bunt. Even though he fell behind 0-2, Duffy still reached on an infield single, allowing Shane Brown to race across home. The Knights still had runners at the corners, and with two down, Beau Taylor and Richardson delivered clutch RBI singles.

Now holding a 5-3 cushion, UCF saw Houston retaliate with a two-out run of its own in the bottom half. As the game reached the ninth and the outcome far from decided, Luciano drew a two-out walk, setting up Breen's fourth homer of 2010.

The C-USA series with Houston continues Saturday with game two at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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
UCF - 15-8 Overall, 1-0 Conference USA
Houston - 10-10 Overall, 0-1 Conference USA
-UCF was hoping to start Nick Cicio on the mound but the lefty was sick Friday, moving Owen Dew up one day in the rotation.
-Freshman center fielder Ronnie Richardson returned to the lineup after missing the last eight games with an injury.
-The Knights won their C-USA opener for the first time since joining the league in 2006.
-Senior Shane Brown recorded career hit No. 200 in the third inning. The right fielder is approaching UCF's top-10 as Ryan Bono sits in 10th with 217 hits in a Knights uniform.
-With Derek Luciano's steal in the ninth inning, UCF has posted at least one stolen base in the last six games.
-And with Ryan Breen's homer in the ninth, the Knights have put one over the wall in 21 of 23 games.