Griffin Sends it to Extras, Duffy Wins it in the 10th vs. Jacksonville


May 11, 2010

Final Stats

UCF vs. Jacksonville
May 11, 2010
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
Jacksonville 5 8 1
UCF 6 10 1

WP: Rogers (4-1), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
LP: Chapman (0-1), 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
SV: None

Game-Changing Moment
It was UCF's game when Jonathan Griffin tied it up with one out in the ninth on his 10th homer of the year. And with Joe Rogers keeping momentum with the Knights with his perfect 10th inning on the mound, Darnell Sweeney opened the bottom half with a single and eventually scored the winning run on Chris Duffy's base hit.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF 1B Jonathan Griffin, 2-for-4, 2B, game-tying HR in 9th
Second Star: UCF Pitching Staff, after Matt Goodyear's longest-career outing, Bryan Brown, Matt Manning and Rogers were virtually unhittable in relief
Third Star: The trio of UCF's Darnell Sweeney, Beau Taylor and Chris Duffy, who all helped produced the winning run in the 10th

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Welcomed by a stunning HH-60G Blackhawk flyover prior to the game, the UCF fans were then treated to a fantastic finish as the Knights defeated Jacksonville 6-5 in 10 innings Tuesday in Orlando. Coming back from a 5-0 deficit, UCF scored four in the fifth, Jonathan Griffin tied it on a solo homer in the ninth and Chris Duffy wrapped it up on a walk-off single in the 10th.

"It was a curveball off the plate and I just tried to stay with it and make contact," said Duffy, who fell behind 0-2 before dropping a 3-2 offering into left-center to score Darnell Sweeney for the winning run. "This was awesome, and I haven't had a walk-off hit here before. We had a good comeback today, but we've got to be ready (to play JU again tomorrow)."

It was the Knights' (29-19) 13th-straight non-conference victory, their longest such streak since a 14-game stretch in 2001.

Griffin continued his torrid pace at the plate lately. He went 2-for-4 while his ninth-inning blast was his 10th of the season, and the first baseman has now homered in three-straight games.

Keeping his streak alive, sophomore Beau Taylor stretched his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games in the outing vs. the Dolphins (22-22). Also having a good night at the dish, freshman Darnell Sweeney not only scored the deciding run but went 3-for-5 from the No. 2 hole and stole his 15th base.

Senior starting pitcher Matt Goodyear made his third-career start and set a personal-high with 4.2 innings on the mound. He looked very sharp until JU was able to get to him with two outs in the fifth. That was when Bryan Brown, Matt Manning and Joe Rogers picked him right up by tossing the final 5.1 innings, giving up just two hits, no runs and no walks.

Goodyear sat down the Dolphins in order in the top of the first, giving way to the offense which put the first two aboard vs. righty Clay Kollenbaum in the home half. Yet with no outs, the Knights were unable to bring in a run.

The second and third innings witnessed the aluminum for both sides go quiet, but JU finally capitalized in the fourth by taking advantage of an error to jump ahead 1-0. And one inning later, Alex Martinez drilled a two-out, three-run homer to left, making it 4-0. Another two-out run by the Dolphins and they owned a 5-0 cushion.

With Sweeney having both of UCF's hits through four innings, the bats needed to get something going. And in the fifth against southpaw Brian Gilroy, the Black and Gold tried to erase its deficit. Thanks to a double from Griffin and a base hit out of Ryan Breen, the Knights had runners at first and third with nobody out. Although Gilroy retired the next batter, Shane Brown pounded a RBI double to left to finally get UCF on the board.

Still trailing by four, the Knights received a huge gift. Having two men in scoring position, Sweeney sent a groundball to second only to witness Glen Johnson throw it into the UCF dugout to permit two runs to score. Taylor then helped his club inch closer with a RBI double into the right-center gap.

As Bryan Brown kept Jacksonville at bay from innings six to eight, and Manning sat down both hitters he faced in the ninth to strand a runner at third, the JU bullpen was doing much of the same vs. the Knights. After the fifth inning, they produced just one baserunner.

Then came the ninth. Kyle Kriech did manage to get out No. 1 before facing Griffin. The right-handed hitting first baseman wasted little time in making it a brand new ballgame, sending a solo homer the opposite way and into the wind in right to tie it up at 5-5.UCF would eventually push the winning run to third with one out and even though the victory sat 90 feet away, the game went into extras.

Yet that did not matter. Following Rogers' perfect inning on the hill in the top of the 10th, Sweeney ripped a single up the middle vs. Baker Chapman and was easily pushed over on a sac bunt by Taylor when Sean Kennedy took over on the hill for Jacksonville. Looking for the clutch hit, Duffy fell behind 0-2 only to battle back to fill up the count. That was when the senior sent everyone home happy, placing the RBI single into left-center, ultimately starting the UCF celebration at first base.

The two clubs will immediately prepare for a rematch when they meet in Jacksonville Wednesday at 6:30 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
Jacksonville - 22-22 Overall
UCF - 29-19 Overall
-Col. Philip Manning, father of senior pitcher Matt Manning, conducted the flyover Tuesday out of nearby Patrick Air Force Base. Matt Manning would enter the game with a runner at third and one out in the top of the ninth and proceeded to strand him there by retiring both batters he faced.
-On Community Heroes Night, Senior Airman Lauren Campbell, the first female gunner in the Air Force reserve and a UCF student, joined Master Sergeant Stephan Schwarz of the 301st Rescue Squadron in throwing out Tuesday's first pitches.
-Senior Shane Brown connected for his 56th career double to claim sole possession of second on the all-time list.
-Jonathan Griffin became the second Knight this year to homer in three-straight games, joining Chris Duffy who accomplished the feat from March 9-13.
-With Chris Duffy at 17 and Griffin at 10, that marks the second-straight year UCF has had two players with at least 10 homers (Brandon Romans with 14 and Kiko Vazquez with 13 in 2009).
-The walk-off by UCF was its second of the year, as Beau Taylor connected for a walk-off single against Siena Feb. 27.