Duffy Ties UCF Home Run Record in 14-1 Rout of East Carolina


May 16, 2010

Final Stats

UCF vs. East Carolina
May 16, 2010
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
East Carolina 1 3 4
UCF 14 14 0

WP: Cicio (4-3), 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
LP: Brandt (3-7), 3.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
SV: None

Game-Changing Moment
After not scoring with the bases loaded and one out in the third, UCF only led 1-0. The same situation occurred in the fourth, but this time Shane Brown drilled a two-run single into left-center. That set the stage for a seven-run inning including homers from Chris Duffy and Jonathan Griffin.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF SP Nick Cicio, WP, UCF's first CG and three-hitter since 2008
Second Star: UCF LF Chris Duffy, 2-for-2, 5 RBI, HR, SF
Third Star: UCF RF Shane Brown, 2-for-2, 3 RBI, 4 R, 2 HBP

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior Chris Duffy (Orlando, Fla.) tied UCF's single-season home run record with his 18th of 2010 in the Knights' 14-1 seven-inning win over East Carolina Sunday. His three-run blast in a seven-run fourth was one of three homers by UCF, which set the school record for most round-trippers as it now has 70 this year. And lefty Nick Cicio barely needed any of those runs since he tossed a complete-game three-hitter.

The win over the Pirates (30-22, 10-11), which was the first time UCF run-ruled a Conference USA school since a 12-1 seven-inning win at Tulane in 2008, kept its hopes of a berth in the C-USA Tournament alive as it improved its record to 31-21 overall and 8-13 in league action. Those 31 overall victories are tied for the most by UCF since its last year in the Atlantic Sun when it went 42-18 in 2005.

Duffy matched Dee Brown's total of 18 set in 2005, and it also was the left fielder's 40th of his career. That moved him into a tie for third with Vince Zawaski (1985-88) on the all-time list. Duffy finished the day by going 2-for-2 with five RBI. And those RBI helped him climb yet another chart, placing him in a tie for fourth with 71 on the single-season list.

"That was awesome. I try not to think about it, but I'm hoping to get one or two more. Every time I go up to the plate I just try to hit it hard," said Duffy. "I talk to (Dee Brown) all of the time, and sometimes he's up in the cages. He was a draft pick and played in the minors so we talk about that a lot. But we've never really talked about hitting home runs. He did tell me he hit 18 once but I never really thought about it."

Duffy's long ball in the fourth was UCF's 68th of the year to pull the 2010 squad even with the 2009 club which set the previous school record for most taters in a single-season. But one batter later, Jonathan Griffin gave this year's squad the record as his 12th of the season landed somewhere in Oviedo. To close out the four-baggers, Shane Brown hit his ninth of 2010 and his 24th in a Black and Gold uniform, enabling him to move into ninth all-time.

"Griffin's strong and has a lot of power," admitted Duffy. "Next year he will probably go and break the record because he has so much power. Once he's on, he's on."

Another record went down Sunday when Brown was hit twice, giving him 22 HBP this year to break Kiko Vazquez's mark of 21 in 2009. Brown was 2-for-2 Sunday with four runs scored and three RBI. While Brown extended his hitting streak to 11 games in the process, Beau Taylor pushed his to 18 games in a two-hit day at the dish.

And finally on the mound, Cicio was masterful for the Knights. Facing one of the top hitting schools in C-USA, the southpaw limited the Pirates to just three hits and struck out four. It was the first complete game by a Knight since Mitch Houck tossed a seven-inning victory at Tulane May 4, 2008. It also was the first three-hitter dating back to Mitch Herold's nine-inning victory vs. Stetson April 9, 2008.

Earning a nine-pitch walk to leadoff the bottom of the first, Brown eventually moved over to third with two outs where Duffy brought him in on a single to right. Two innings later the Knights got two aboard to open the third and then loaded the bases with one out vs. lefty Kevin Brandt. However Griffin grounded into an inning-ending double play.

UCF's leadoff hitter got on base for the fourth-straight inning in the fourth when Chris Taladay and Ryan Breen put together consecutive singles. Taylor then tried a sac bunt only to place it perfectly in a gap on the infield between the pitcher's mound and third for the bunt single.

Now with the bases juiced yet again, reliever Brad Mincey got ahead of Brown 0-2 before the right fielder laced a 2-2 offering into left-center to plate two runs with one out. Ronnie Richardson followed suit by way of a sacrifice fly to center to make it 4-0. And the inning was far from over. With two away, Duffy finally got home run No. 18, drilling a three-run job the opposite way to left. Hoping to one-up the senior, Griffin launched a solo shot that had no trouble finding the forest beyond the left-field wall.

Those back-to-back homers pushed UCF's lead to 8-0, giving Cicio a lot of breathing room. The lefty faced just one batter over the minimum through four frames, only to have Jared Avchen bang out a solo dinger in the fifth. That would not affect the Knights when they dug in for the home half of the fifth.

UCF batted around for the second-straight inning, and it was aided by three ECU errors. The theme of loading the bases continued, which set the stage for a fielder's choice where two runs scored thanks to an error. Duffy provided the third run of the inning on a sac fly and another ECU miscue on the relay throw in from the outfield allowed another run to score. Griffin would close out the stanza when he singled in Richardson.

And capping off the scoring for the Knights, Brown put a two-out solo homer over the wall in left in the sixth for the 14-1 margin.

The final home game of the 2010 season is set for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. vs. Florida Atlantic. It will be the last time fans will be able to check out seniors Brown, Duffy, Matt Goodyear, Matt Manning and Cory Weech in a Black and Gold uniform.

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
East Carolina - 30-22 Overall, 10-11 Conference USA
UCF - 31-21 Overall, 8-13 Conference USA
- UCF got the leadoff man aboard, as well as a player to third base, in each of the first five innings.
-With Chris Duffy and Jonathan Griffin going back-to-back in the fourth, it was the fourth time this year UCF delivered back-to-back home runs.
-Freshman Austin Johnston laid down his 11th sac bunt of the year, which is tied for the fifth most in a single-season by a Knight.
-Freshman Chris Taladay added three hits and a double to raise his batting average back up to .369.