Five Home Runs Spark UCF to a 12-6 Win at Tulane


May 20, 2010

Final Stats

UCF at Tulane
May 20, 2010
From New Orleans, La.
Team R H E
UCF 12 16 1
Tulane 6 9 4

WP: Sedlock (3-4), 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 K
LP: Flynn (3-7), 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
SV: None

Game-Changing Moment
Even with all of the hits, it was a defensive play that stood out Thursday. Holding a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth, UCF's Johnny Sedlock walked three hitters to load the bases with one out. A base hit would certainly have changed the dynamic of the game, but instead, Sedlock induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play with Brennan Middleton in the box. The Knights offense then dug in and scored two in the sixth and four in the seventh to put the win away.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF SS Darnell Sweeney, 4-for-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, HR, 2B
Second Star: UCF RF Shane Brown, 2-for-5, RBI, 3 R, HR, 2B
Third Star: UCF C Beau Taylor, 2-for-5, RBI, 2 R, HR, 2B, 19-game hit streak

Notes for Game Two Friday
UCF Notes in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

New Orleans, La. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF's first three hits of the game were home runs as it belted five homers overall in a 12-6 victory at Tulane Thursday. Senior Chris Duffy became the outright single-season home run leader at UCF by connecting for No. 19, which also was the 41st of his career to allow the Orlando native to move into a tie for second on the Knights' career HR chart.

"Overall we played a very good game," said head coach Terry Rooney. "We had 16 hits and 12 runs, and I felt like offensively we had a lot more opportunities to get a few more runs early in the game, but we just kept coming at them in a positive way. Our guys had a lot of quality at-bats and that was the most important thing. We also pitched in the clutch and made some nice plays in the field. It was a tremendous effort."

With a 32-21 overall record, UCF has its most wins since it joined Conference USA in 2006. Meanwhile, it stands at 9-13 in league play, tying for its most C-USA victories in a season. And with the win as well as a loss by UAB, the Knights are still in the hunt for a berth in the six-team C-USA Championship. They will have to win the final two games vs. the Green Wave, and hope UAB loses two more to Rice. Also, East Carolina has to beat Houston twice or vice versa in order for the Black and Gold to qualify.

"This team knew what we had to do going into the weekend," said Rooney. "So to play the way we played and get a win on Thursday night gives us a lot of confidence going into Friday and Saturday. But we are playing a very good Tulane team and we have to be ready to go tomorrow. (Starting pitcher) Owen Dew will have to be at his best for us to prevail."

In a game in which they scored in each of the first eight innings, all five of the Knights homers vs. Tulane (31-23, 9-13) were of the solo variety, marking the first time since April 15, 2005, vs. Belmont that they cranked out five homers. In the field, the Black and Gold defense turned three double plays, giving them 60 turns in 2010.

Darnell Sweeney produced his second home run of the season right away in the first inning in a 4-for-5, five-RBI day at the dish. And Jonathan Griffin launched his 13th of 2010 in the second inning. Griffin, who homered on Tuesday vs. Florida Atlantic only to see it not count as rain cancelled the contest in the fourth inning, has now banged out a home run in six of his last eight outings. It also was the third-straight game the junior went yard.

Shane Brown got into the act as well, delivering his personal-high 10th tater on Thursday. It also was the senior's 25th of his career, moving him one closer to tying for eighth on the all-time list. The Knights' fourth dinger came from Beau Taylor, whose seventh blast extended his hitting streak to 19 games.

After appearing in 22 games out of the bullpen this year, sophomore Bryan Brown (Winter Springs, Fla.) made his first start of 2010 on Thursday. He would go 3.1 innings with three strikeouts.

Facing righty Conrad Flynn, the Knights used the long ball immediately in the first inning when Sweeney delivered a mammoth solo homer to right. That early 1-0 lead did not hold up when Tulane scored one of its own in the first, however Brown stranded a runner at third with one out. Following Griffin's blast to center in the second, the UCF right-hander gave up a leadoff double in the second only to retire the next three batters.

With Bryan Brown keeping UCF ahead 2-1, Shane Brown greeted Flynn with a solo home run to left in the third. Moments later the Knights filled the bags with no outs yet they were unable to capitalize. They tried again by placing two in scoring position with nobody away in the fourth, and this time got a sac fly from Sweeney to score Ryan Breen.

UCF's 4-1 lead was cut to 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth as it went to the pen. And even though the Green Wave seemed to grab momentum, Taylor ripped a solo job to right in the fifth to help the Knights post one run in each of the first five innings. But Tulane tried to come back thanks to three walks out of reliever Johnny Sedlock in the home half. With the tying run at second and just one out, the southpaw induced Brennan Middleton to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

The Knights then lit up the scoreboard when Shane Brown doubled and Sweeney drove him in on a single in the sixth. Following a double play to clear the bases, Duffy sent a no-doubter deep into the parking lot in right.

And for the seventh-straight frame they scored again, as Taylor notched a two-bagger and touched home on a sacrifice fly from Austin Johnston. Now with two down and two aboard, Sweeney placed his fourth hit into the left-field corner for a two-run double, pushing the UCF advantage to 10-4. It stretched to 11-4 when Chris Taladay rapped a RBI single to left-center. One inning later, it added one more on its third sacrifice fly, this time off the bat of Griffin as Ronnie Richardson slid across home, and that would be more than enough to secure the win.

The two teams will now look ahead to game two Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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 - 32-21 Overall, 9-13 Conference USA
Tulane - 31-23 Overall, 9-13 Conference USA
-With five, UCF has hit at least three homers in a game nine times this year. It also has 75 dingers in 2010, which is already a school record.
-Those five home runs Thursday were two shy of matching the school's single-game record of seven (set two times).
-The Knights finished with 16 hits, marking the 17th time it delivered at least 15 hits in a game.
-Shane Brown doubled for the 20th time of 2010, which is tied for the 10th most in single-season history. He also registered career-RBI No. 148 to tie for eighth all-time.
-Chris Duffy has 41 career homers to sit in a tie for second on the UCF career list with Dustin Brisson (1997-00). Bobby Kiser (1987-90) holds the all-time lead with 43.
-Duffy also jumped into a tie for second on the single-season chart with his 72nd RBI of the season (record is 76 by Brisson in 1999). Meanwhile, he now owns sole possession of second in total bases with 162 this year (record is 190 by Tim Barker in 1985).
-Before the game, Duffy was named one of 25 semifinalists for the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy, which is awarded to the nation's top collegiate baseball player.