Four Home Runs Lift UCF Past Bethune-Cookman, 11-8


March 30, 2010

Final Stats

UCF vs. Bethune-Cookman
March 30, 2010
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
B-CU 8 15 1
UCF 11 16 3

WP: Chase Bradford (2-2), 2.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
LP: Gabriel Hernandez (1-3), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
SV: Joe Rogers (4), 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Game-Changing Moment
After taking the lead for the first time in the sixth inning, UCF held a slim 8-7 lead going into the eighth. And in a very emotional game a one-run lead might not have been enough (it wasn't as B-CU scored one in the ninth). But Derek Luciano and Shane Brown both got aboard, setting up Jonathan Griffin, who blasted a two-out, three-run homer to right-center, ultimately wrapping up the UCF victory.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF C Chris Taladay, 3-for-5, 4 RBI, 2B, 2-run HR
Second Star: UCF 1B Jonathan Griffin, 2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR
Third Star: UCF RP Chase Bradford, WP, 2.2 IP of scoreless ball during some heated moments in the game

Notes for Wednesday's Game at B-CU
UCF Notes in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Aided by four homers, UCF erased a 7-3 deficit Tuesday, scoring eight-unanswered runs in an 11-8 home victory over Bethune-Cookman. Seven different Knights (16-10) amassed at least two hits, as they combined with the Wildcats (15-12) for 31 hits and seven home runs in the contest.

"I think it shows the determination the guys had tonight to get the job done," said head coach Terry Rooney. "Obviously it was a tough loss we had at Houston on Sunday, but we asked the guys if we can respond, get the job done and be absolutely determined to will it to happen. And that's what they did tonight."

Outhitting B-CU 16-15, the Knights were paced by freshman Chris Taladay, who went 3-for-5 with four RBI, a double and a homer. Also sending balls over the fence were freshman Austin Johnston, and juniors Derek Luciano and Jonathan Griffin. UCF now has hit 42 dingers this season. In 38 years of baseball, the Knights have hit more than 42 home runs only 10 times, and this year's squad has played just 26 games. The single-season record was set last year when the Black and Gold recorded 68 round-trippers.

On the mound, relievers Matt Manning, Chase Bradford (2-2) and Joe Rogers (fourth save) combined to pitch the final 5.0 innings, surrendering just one run with no walks and four strikeouts.

B-CU jumped on UCF starter Brian Adkins for two runs right away in the first inning. The Knights looked ready to reply in the home half but were victim of a great defensive play from pitcher Roman Lancara. With Ronnie Richardson on first and no outs, Luciano sent a sure ground-ball single up the middle only to watch Lancara make a behind-the-back no-look snag to start a double play.

Now with nobody aboard, the Black and Gold kept at it and put the next four on base, capped off with Taladay's two-run single to tie it up. However the Wildcats replied with three more in the second, while the Knights scored one as the two clubs reached the third inning with B-CU ahead, 5-3.

Continuing the trend of getting runners on base, UCF filled the bags with one down in its next trip to the plate, yet could not capitalize. Instead, the Wildcats' DJ Leonard opened the fourth with a solo homer, his second of the day, before they scored another in the fifth for a 7-3 cushion.

After not putting one over the wall in two-straight games, UCF had the answer in the bottom of the fifth. Following a walk to Griffin,, Taladay turned on a 1-2 inside pitch, pulling a two-run homer to right. It was his fourth of the season, but it would not be the Knights' last long ball of the frame as Johnston drove a 1-0 offering from Lancara over the center-field wall for back-to-back home runs.

With the B-CU lead cut to 7-6, the comeback would be completed when Luciano sent a solo shot deep over the Right-Field Deck. And the Knights were thirsty for more when Shane Brown drew a walk, giving way to Ryan Breen who laced a single to right and witnessed Justin Hoyte misplay it, allowing Brown to come all the way home.

Ahead for the first time, Griffin decided to put it away in the eighth, sending a two-out, three-run homer off the scoreboard to stretch it to 11-7. B-CU did plate one in the ninth but the UCF lead was too much to overcome.

The Knights and Wildcats will meet again Wednesday, this time in Daytona Beach with first pitch set for 6 p.m.

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
Bethune-Cookman - 15-12 Overall
UCF - 16-10 Overall
-New UCF men's basketball coach Donnie Jones had the honor of throwing out the first pitch Tuesday.
-The game was the first between UCF and B-CU since 2006.
-Shane Brown's hitting streak extended to nine games, his second nine-game streak of the year.
-Brown posted two hits Tuesday, which was the 18th time this year he had at least two hits in a game.
-Chris Duffy got a day off, only playing as a defensive replacement in the ninth, thus his 16-game hitting streak remains in tact.
-Chris Taladay and Austin Johnston's back-to-back jacks in the fifth marked the second time this season UCF had consecutive homers in a game.
-Tuesday was the third time in 2010 that the Knights pounded out four homers in a game.
-UCF used a combined four pitchers who did not walk a batter the entire game. It was the second time this year the Knights did not issue a free pass.