Jaguars' Sims-Walker Provides UCF Baseball with Some Motivation in Win at UNF


April 20, 2010

Final Stats

UCF at North Florida
April 20, 2010
From Jacksonville, Fla.
Team R H E
UCF 15 19 2
North Florida 7 13 4

WP: Alex Besaw (2-2), 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
LP: Kyle Westwood (0-3), 3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
SV: None

Game-Changing Moment
The entire fourth inning was controlled by UCF, but the first clutch hit ensured that the Knights were about to touch home plate several times Tuesday. With two runners in scoring position and no outs, Chris Duffy lined a 1-1 offering the opposite way and into left for UCF's first run. It would be the first of five runs in the inning for the Black and Gold.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF 3B Chris Taladay, 4-for-6, 3 RBI, 3 R, HR, SB
Second Star: UCF LF Chris Duffy, 3-for-5, 3 RBI, 3 R, HR, SB
Third Star: UCF DH Beau Taylor, 2-for-5, RBI, 2 R, HR, 2B

By Brian Ormiston

Jacksonville, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Backed behind Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver and UCF alum Mike Sims-Walker's pregame pep talk, the Knights busted out for 19 hits in a 15-7 victory at North Florida Tuesday. It was UCF's (25-14) seventh-straight win in midweek play, as well as its second-consecutive game with at least 17 hits.

Leading the hit parade against the Ospreys (22-18), freshman Chris Taladay completed his evening 4-for-6 with a homer, three RBI and three runs. His performance was part of the 14th game this season that the Knights amassed at least 15 hits. The 19 hits Tuesday also enabled UCF's team batting average to climb to .341.

A total of seven players collected at least two hits for a UCF squad that put three over the fence. Chris Duffy was 3-for-5 and went yard for the 37th time in his career and the 15th time this year, tying for the fourth most in UCF single-season history. Beau Taylor delivered the other long ball for the Knights.

"In the beginning of the game we weren't hitting that well, but we came back around later in the game, really focused in and got the job done. The past couple weeks we have been hitting the ball hard, playing the game well and moving guys over," said Taladay. "We have really been looking forward to this week (five games in six days), but it's going to be tough. As a team we know we've got to give it all we've got."

Defense was shaky early for the Knights, where a slow roller just inside the third-base bag in the first should have been kept on the infield but got through for a double. That helped UNF take a 1-0 lead, yet UCF starter Alex Besaw (2-2) was able to work around a two-out error to keep the deficit to one run. Another misplayed ball, though, this time by the UCF outfield in the second allowed T.J. Thompson to leadoff the Ospreys' half with a double. He would later get to third and score on a balk.

That trend continued in the third inning where an error kept the frame alive for UNF only to see Besaw able to escape yet again, leaving runners at the corners. With Besaw's effort, the UCF bats attempted another rally in the fourth and it all started up with Darnell Sweeney digging out an infield single. Following a double from Taylor, Duffy lined a RBI single to left and Ryan Breen was walked to load the bases.

UNF starter Kyle Westwood allowed just one baserunner before the beginning of the fourth, but after the first four Knights reached reliever Tommy Organ was called from the pen. He was rudely greeted with a bloop single by Taladay to tie the game, while a throwing error on the play permitted the third run to score. Still with two on and no outs, Organ retired the next two Knights before Kevin Vasquez singled in another. An infield base hit by Ronnie Richardson filled the bags and kept the inning moving, and Sweeney fouled off several pitches before working a walk to make it 5-2.

One inning later and the Knights put up another five-spot. The fifth featured RBI produced by Taladay, Austin Johnston, Vasquez, Richardson and Sweeney, giving the Knights a 10-2 cushion. Eventually in the sixth, Taladay crushed a two-out solo homer halfway up the trees that tower over the right-field fence, pushing it to 11-2.

Nick Cicio cruised in relief until giving up three two-out runs in the sixth. UCF did get one of those back in the seventh by way of Taylor crushing his fifth homer of the year, then added two more in the ninth on Duffy's monster blast than landed virtually on top of a tree in left-center. The Knights' final run touched home on a single from Taladay and two UNF errors.

UCF continues its five-game week by returning home for a Wednesday clash with Bethune-Cookman at 6:30 p.m. It then will head up to West Virginia to battle Marshall at Charleston's Appalachian Power Park Friday-Sunday.

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 - 25-14 Overall
North Florida - 22-18 Overall
-Mike Sims-Walker was a member of the Knights from 2003-06, and ranks third all-time in a Black and Gold uniform in career receiving yards (2,561) and fourth in receptions (184). He has followed that up with a stellar NFL career, including leading Jacksonville in receptions, yards and touchdowns in 2009.
-Senior right fielder Shane Brown took a day off Tuesday, his first of the season. UCF's starting 10 including the pitcher featured eight newcomers.
-Senior Chris Duffy added three RBI, giving him 58 for the season and 159 for his career. That allowed Duffy to climb into sole possession of sixth on the UCF all-time RBI list.
-Senior Matt Manning tossed 2.0 scoreless innings of relief, while Nick Cicio struck out five in 3.0 frames. Alex Besaw got the win in his 3.0-inning start (was on a pitch count).
-After losing to North Florida, Miami and South Florida at home in midweek play early in the season, the Knights have bounced back to defeat all three teams on the road.