Duffy Homers Yet Again in UCF's Loss at Marshall


April 25, 2010

Final Stats

UCF at Marshall
April 25, 2010
From Charleston, W. Va.
Team R H E
UCF 3 9 0
Marshall 5 8 0

WP: Kyle Blank (1-0), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
LP: Nick Cicio (3-3), 6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
SV: Austin Coan (7), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Game-Changing Moment
After several unsuccessful attempts by the UCF offense to get a hit with runners in scoring position, Marshall finally got to Nick Cicio in the seventh, as Victor Gomez led off with a solo homer. That set the tone for the inning as the Herd went on to score three to take the lead for good.

Three Stars
First Star: MAR C Victor Gomez, 2-for-3, HR
Second Star: Marshall bullpen, 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Third Star: UCF SP Nick Cicio, 6.2 IP, tossed just 53 pitches through 6 innings, but couldn't get run support

By Brian Ormiston

Charleston, W. Va. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF concluded its trip to Charleston, W. Va., with a 5-3 loss to Marshall Sunday. The Knights, which led 3-1 in the seventh inning, fell to 26-17 on the year and 6-9 in Conference USA.

Senior Chris Duffy motored along vs. the Thundering Herd (20-20, 9-6) Sunday. It appeared Mother Nature would not allow any player to hit one out of the park to right due to a very strong wind blowing in, but then again not many can compare to Duffy. The left-handed hitter easily defeated Mother Nature in the second inning with his 16th home run of the season, which tied for the third most in UCF history (the record is 18 set by Dee Brown in 2005).

In the career record books, Duffy sits in fourth place with 38 lifetime dingers in a Black and Gold uniform, and needs just two more to climb into third. Classmate Shane Brown, meanwhile, entered the all-time top-10 in homers over the weekend by sending two over the wall Friday and one more Saturday to place him 10th with 23 long balls.

Junior lefty Nick Cicio looked very sharp on the mound, using only 53 pitches to get through six innings carrying a 3-1 advantage. Yet as his offense struggled to hit with runners in scoring position, he could only hold off Marshall for so long and left the game trailing 4-3 in the seventh.

Marshall wasted little time in proving how much of a factor the wind could be when Kirby Pellant led off the first with a fly ball that carried all of the way to the fence for a triple, and he eventually scored the day's first run on a sac fly. That lead did not last thanks to Duffy's shot in the second, and the Knights hoped to go ahead of the Herd later in the frame but left two on base.

Following a bottom of the second that featured Cicio using just five pitches to sit down the side, including a strikeout of Thor Meeks on three of those pitches, UCF placed two more aboard in the third and once again failed to produce a run.

Cicio, who tossed just 23 pitches in the first three frames, then breezed through the third to give his offense another chance in the fourth, where Ryan Breen led off with an infield single. And this time the runner was permitted to touch home, as Jonathan Griffin hammered a no-doubter over the wall in left. It was the junior's seventh of 2010 and it gave the Knights a 3-1 lead.

Marshall's 10th-straight hitter was then retired in the fourth, however a HBP and single gave it two men on base. Cicio might have lost focus when he fell behind to Josh Valle 2-0, only he immediately regained his composure to get Valle to ground into an inning-ending double play.

The fifth inning was no different for the UCF aluminum since it peppered the infield with more baserunners. A walk to Beau Taylor and single out of Duffy produced two runners with one down, and a double play ruined the threat.

Following a sixth that witnessed Marshall strand a runner at third, a one-out free pass to Brown and a successful hit-and-run with Sweeney at the dish forced the Herd to the pen in the seventh. On Sweeney's single, he advanced to second when the throw went all of the way to third. Now with two in scoring position and one down, southpaw sidearmer Kyle Blank entered to face lefties Taylor and Duffy and Blank won the battle to keep it at 3-1.

As UCF was unable to hit in the clutch, the Herd's Victor Gomez hit his 40th-career home run in the seventh, and that gave his team plenty of momentum as it went on to score three times. That would ultimately seal the series sweep for the home team.

With finals on the horizon for the Knights, they will not be back on the field until next weekend when they host Memphis 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 - 26-17 Overall, 6-9 Conference USA
Marshall - 20-20 Overall, 9-6 Conference USA
-UCF scored 10 runs on the weekend, and six of them came on five home runs.
-The Knights left 35 on base in the three-game series. They had at least one baserunner in 21 of the 27 innings, including at least two in 16 innings.
-Chris Duffy claimed sole possession of fifth on the UCF career RBI chart Sunday. He has driven in 161 in four years as a Knight.
-With UCF trailing 5-3 in the eighth and runners at second and third with nobody out, Bryan Brown came in from the pen and left both men on base by getting three outs without allowing a run to score.