UCF Pulls Out a Memorable 11-10 Extra-Inning Win at Southern Miss


April 10, 2010

Final Stats

UCF at Southern Miss
April 10, 2010
From Hattiesburg, Miss.
Team R H E
UCF 11 18 1
Southern Miss 10 12 2

WP: Brian Adkins (2-3), 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
LP: Collin Cargill (3-2), 2.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
SV: None

Game-Changing Moment
There were several. But a UCF freshman produced the biggest blow. With USM seemingly in control of all of the momentum late in the game, including earning a double-play in the top of the 10th, Chris Taladay strode to the plate with a runner on second and two outs. After taking a ball, the Windermere native sent a grounder through the right side, scoring Beau Taylor for the game-winning run.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF RP Brian Adkins, WP, held USM scoreless in the final 2.1 innings and struck out the side in the 10th
Second Star: UCF 3B Chris Taladay, 2-for-6, GW-RBI hit in the 10th
Third Star: UCF SS Darnell Sweeney, 4-for-4, 3 R, 2 2B, diving snag on a grounder in the 8th to keep the game tied

UCF Notes for Game Three Sunday
Game Notes in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF held a 10-3 lead in the eighth, watched Southern Miss tie it up, then the Knights won it in the 10th inning for an 11-10 victory in Hattiesburg Saturday. Combined with Friday's 7-3 performance, UCF (21-12, 4-4 Conference USA) claimed its first all-time series win over the Golden Eagles (16-13, 1-4).

"This was a tremendous team effort," said head coach Terry Rooney. "Owen Dew went out there and took total control of that game for his entire outing, we hit a little bump in middle relief, but the bottom line is that it was a complete team effort in every single aspect. They picked each other up offensively, defensively and on the mound, and at the end of the day we hit in the clutch and we pitched in the clutch."

Witnessing USM pull even at 10-10 in the eighth thanks to six walks, three hits and a HBP in the inning, it could have been ever worse if it were not for a dazzling play from shortstop Darnell Sweeney. With the bases loaded and two outs, freshman Brian Adkins came in from the pen and on a 0-2 pitch, Tyler Koelling sent a possible two-run single into center. That was when Sweeney dove to his left, gloved it and flipped to second baseman Austin Johnston for the force out, keeping it tied at 10.

Both teams had perfect scoring opportunities in the ninth as they loaded the bases with two outs. After the Knights failed to score, Adkins fell behind to Ellis 3-1 before the USM first baseman took a strike. With the home crowd enthusiastically cheering for a walk-off walk or a base hit, Ellis could only send the next pitch to right for a fly ball out as the Knights breathed a sigh of relief.

"It was definitely not the situation you want to be in," admitted Adkins, who grabbed the win Saturday. "You want to try and jump ahead of hitters as much as you can, but I put myself in the hole and it was my job to dig out of it. I just wanted to catch the white part of the plate so I could give my offense the chance to get back in it."

He certainly did just that. Going to extras, the first two UCF batters reached base as Sweeney singled, and beat the throw to second when Beau Taylor attempted a sac bunt. Closer Collin Cargill did earn a double-play ball only to observe Chris Taladay bounce a two-out RBI single through the right-side on a 1-0 count, permitting Taylor to touch home in what would prove to be the winning run.

"We actually work on these situations in batting practice every day," said Taladay, who finished with two hits. "On the first pitch I was really trying to relax in the box, and saw it down and it wasn't what I wanted. Then the second pitch I was nice and relaxed, just trying to sit back on a ball and hit it solid. Even though I didn't hit it that hard I got the job done."

But the game was far from over, especially after USM had put together a seven-run inning in the eighth. Adkins went back out for the 10th and immediately struck out Joey Archer on a nasty 0-2 breaking ball. Dillon Day would bang out a double, yet Adkins dazzled again, striking out Travis Graves on a 2-2 offering and closing it out by getting a called third strike on an inside pitch against Kameron Brunty.

UCF received an impressive outing from Dew, who went 6.2 innings giving up three runs on eight hits, striking out four and not issuing a walk. Sitting down eight-straight at one point, he was in line for his fifth win until the Golden Eagles fought back.

Sweeney pounded USM pitching all day, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and three runs from the No. 2 hole to lead a Knights offense that amassed 18 hits.

A day after entering UCF's top-10 in career hits, senior Shane Brown tied the school's all-time mark in hit by pitches. The Winter Park native now has been plunked 50 times, matching the career-record set by Ryan Bono from 2003-06. Meanwhile, it was Brown's 17th HBP of 2010, tying for third on the single-season chart.

Ryan Breen put the Knights on the board with a two-out, two-run single in the first in a three-run inning. They would score three more in the third, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and another in the eighth to reach double-digits.

Breen completed his afternoon with three hits and three RBI, while Jonathan Griffin and Ronnie Richardson all collected three hits as well.

UCF will look ahead to the series finale and a shot at posting its first-ever C-USA road sweep Sunday, which is set for 12 p.m. ET.

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Game Notes
UCF - 21-12 Overall, 4-4 Conference USA
Southern Miss - 16-13 Overall, 1-4 Conference USA
-At 4-4, the Knights have recorded their best Conference USA start since 2006.
-With 21 victories in 33 games, UCF is already one shy of matching its entire win total from 2009.
-Saturday marked just the second time UCF had gone to extra innings in a C-USA road game. The other occurrence was also at Southern Miss, a 4-3 loss in 2006.
-The Knights won the first two games of a C-USA series for the first time since 2008 at home vs. UAB. It is also just the second time since joining the league in 2006 that they won the first two outings of a road series (the other was the first-ever C-USA series at Marshall in 2006).
-UCF faced USM starter Scott Copeland Saturday, who entered the game with five starts, all lasting longer than 5.2 innings. But the Knights got to him early and Copeland finished with just 2.1 innings in his appearance.