Four Homers Erase a 7-0 Deficit in UCF's 11-8 Victory Over Memphis


April 30, 2010

Final Stats

UCF vs. Memphis
April 30, 2010
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
Memphis 8 14 1
UCF 11 12 3

WP: Matt Manning (1-0), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
LP: Dane Sharp (0-3), 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
SV: Joe Rogers (8), 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Game-Changing Moment
With UCF leaving five on base in the first four innings, the Knights were searching for a big hit. And when the bases were juiced with no outs in the fifth and Memphis ahead 7-0, they got it from Ronnie Richardson. The freshman drove a 2-1 offering from Brennon Martin over the left-center wall for a grand slam. Even though UCF still trailed, the rest of the team got a shot in the arm from the long ball and it went on to score six in the inning en route to the come-from-behind win.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF CF Ronnie Richardson, 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, grand slam sparked UCF's comeback
Second Star: UCF 3B Chris Taladay, 3-for-5, 2 RBI, R, HR in the 7th gave UCF the lead at 9-8
Third Star: UCF C Beau Taylor, 3-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 2B, HR

Notes for Game Two Saturday
UCF Notes in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Trailing 7-0 in the fifth, freshman Ronnie Richardson started a huge comeback with a grand slam and senior Chris Duffy followed him with his 17th dinger of the year to set the stage for UCF's 11-8 win vs. Memphis Friday in Orlando. Those back-to-back jacks were part of a six-run inning for the Knights (27-17, 7-9 Conference USA), who rapped out four home runs including freshman Chris Taladay's solo effort in the seventh that gave his team the lead for good.

"I tried to get a ball up and drive it into the outfield to at least score a couple runs, but I guess the wind just carried it. I don't hit many home runs but I got lucky," said Richardson, whose tater was his second of the season. "(The only other time I hit a grand slam) was when I was 12 in Cooperstown, N.Y. That might have been the last time, and that was on a 200-foot fence."

Batting in the No. 3 hole for the first time all season, Richardson finished 1-for-3 with his four RBI, two runs and a pair of walks against the Tigers (20-22, 8-8). His grand slam made it 7-4 in the fifth, then Duffy, who entered Friday ranked sixth in the nation in home runs, strode to the plate and connected for his 17th of 2010. That moved him into a tie for second on the UCF single-season chart, as he trails only Dee Brown's mark of 18 set in 2005. Meanwhile, it was Duffy's 39th of his career, inching him closer to the No. 3 spot on the all-time list (Vince Zawaski sits in third with 40 HR).

The four-baggers continued when Taladay delivered his seventh of the year in the seventh inning, giving UCF a 9-8 advantage. That was one of three hits on the night for the third baseman. To cap off the long-ball barrage, Beau Taylor hammered a two-run blast in the eighth in a 3-for-5 evening. It was his sixth of the season and home run No. 10 in his two campaigns as a Knight, while all three hits were of the extra-base variety.

After both teams left two on base in their respective halves of the first inning, Memphis returned in the second with two men on and this time grabbed the lead on a two-out, two-strike RBI single from Drew Martinez. UCF starter Owen Dew then surrendered two more two-out runs in the Tigers' three-run inning. When the Knights strode to the dish for the bottom half, lefty Brennon Martin shut down the home team as it stranded two runners with one out.

UCF decided to go to the pen for the start of the third, where Brian Adkins was greeted with three more runs. Trailing 6-0 in the fourth, Taylor hoped to get another rally going with a one-out double yet his team could not bring him home.

Memphis added another run in the fifth before UCF threatened again in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with nobody out. Although the Knights were unable to get the clutch hit in the previous four frames, it was one of the freshmen that broke the trend. On a 2-1 count, Richardson cleared the bases with his second homer of the year, a grand slam to left-center. Only two pitches later, and Duffy went back-to-back, sending home run No. 17 the opposite way to left to make it 7-5. And that would prove to be enough for Martin on the mound.

Right-hander Dane Sharp entered for the Tigers and proceeded to give up a double to Taylor, his second of the night. Even though there were two outs when Taladay dug in, the freshman dropped a RBI single into right field to close the gap to 7-6. That one-run margin did not hold up, though, and Jacob Wilson's solo shot in the sixth pushed Memphis back up to 8-6. Reliever Bryan Brown was able to keep it there by working out of a bases loaded jam later in the stanza.

That would be crucial since Ryan Breen brought in Richardson on a two-out double in the sixth to once again make it a one-run deficit. Representing the tying run, Breen advanced to third on a wild pitch from Sharp, who then balked in the freshman and just like that it was 8-8. The scoring was certainly not over, as for the third-straight inning UCF got on the board, this time on a solo blast from Taladay in the seventh to push his team in front, 9-8.

Holding a slim lead certainly was not comfortable for the Knights in a game like this, so Taylor decided to take matters into his own hands by driving a two-run long ball over the center-field fence in the eighth. And that would definitely be plenty of runs for the bullpen. Along with Bryan Brown, Matt Manning (1-0) and Joe Rogers combined to pitch the final 6.1 innings, allowing just five hits and striking out six. They each inherited a runner when they took the mound, and all three hurlers did not permit Memphis to score in each situation.

For Rogers, he earned his eighth save in his rookie campaign, tying him for the third-most saves in a season by a Knight.

Game two of the three-game series is set for Saturday at 4 p.m.

Single-game tickets are currently on sale for the 2010 season. 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
Memphis - 20-22 Overall, 8-8 Conference USA
UCF - 27-17 Overall, 7-9 Conference USA
-Beau Taylor stretched his hitting streak to 10 games Friday.
-Chris Duffy has now homered in two-straight games.
-Friday was the fourth time this season UCF pounded out four homers in a game.
-With Ronnie Richardson and Duffy hitting consecutive home runs in the fifth, that marked the third time in 2010 that UCF launched back-to-back homers.
-Freshman Joe Rogers now has eight saves, which is already tied for seventh on the UCF career chart.
-The Knights have hit 61 home runs in 2010. The record is 68 which was set last year.