Knights Suffer Loss in Game Two at Tulane

May 22, 2010

Final Stats

UCF at Tulane
May 21, 2010
From New Orleans, La.

WP: Pepitone (6-0), 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
LP: Rogers (4-2), 0.1 IP, 0 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 K
SV: Claiborne (2), 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Game-Changing Moment
Friday's crazy contest at Tulane eventually reached the eighth inning with UCF trailing just 11-10. But on a two-out, two-strike pitch, Blake Crohan drove a two-run homer to left to put the game away.

Three Stars
First Star: TLN DH Gunner Wright, 2-for-3, 5 RBI, 3 R, GS
Second Star: UCF RF Shane Brown, 4-for-6, 4 R, 4 2B (tied school record)
Third Star: TLN 3B Rob Segedin, 3-for-4, RBI, 2 R, 2B

By Brian Ormiston

New Orleans, La. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF held an 8-5 lead until Tulane (32-23, 10-13) scored six times in the seventh and three more in the eighth en route to a 14-10 Green Wave victory. The loss dropped the Knights record to 32-22 on the year and 9-14 in Conference USA, and ended their chances of earning a berth in the six-team C-USA Championship.

UCF still could finish 2010 with 10 league wins and in a tie for sixth place if it can defeat Tulane Saturday and have East Carolina and UAB both lose. That would be the highest finish as well as its most C-USA victories since joining the league in 2006. First pitch vs. the Green Wave is set for 2 p.m. ET.

Senior Shane Brown produced four doubles to tie UCF's single-game record (only the third time a Knight has ever notched four doubles in a game). With 24 two-baggers in 2010, he jumped into sole possession of fifth in UCF single-season history. Brown also has 88 hits this year, which moved him into ninth place. Classmate Chris Duffy sits one spot ahead of him in eighth with 89 hits.

Duffy finished 2-for-3 with three RBI. With 75 RBI this season, he only trails Dustin Brisson's all-time mark of 76 RBI recorded in 1999. Speaking of driving in runs, Darnell Sweeney collected three more Friday, giving him eight RBI in the first two games of the series.

Meanwhile, sophomore catcher Beau Taylor's hitting streak reached 20 games, becoming the second Knight this year (Duffy) to post a hit in 20-straight games. That streak ties for the third-longest in UCF history (Mike Myers holds the longest streak at 26 games set in 2001).

Opening the game with a leadoff double, Brown was pushed to third on a sac bunt by Sweeney and eventually scored on a two-out wild pitch from righty Robby Broach. But that 1-0 advantage was erased in the bottom half. With Tulane having runners at first and second and one out, Jeremy Schaffer grounded an easy double-play ball to third but UCF botched it. That enabled the Green Wave to go on and score two unearned runs off Owen Dew to secure its first lead of the series.

The very next inning, Tulane stretched it to 4-1, however back-to-back one-out doubles from Brown and Sweeney in the third cut UCF's deficit to 4-2. The Knights had chances to tie it up only to leave a runner at second with one out in both the third and fourth innings. By not taking advantage of those opportunities, Tulane's Gunner Wright made the visitors pay with a solo homer in the fourth.

Now trailing 5-2 in the fifth, UCF still tried to put together a rally vs. Broach. Opened by a single from Austin Johnston and Brown's third double, Sweeney worked a walk to load the bases with nobody out. That was when the Green Wave brought in closer Matt Petiton who induced a 5-2 double play with Chris Taladay at the plate. Even though there were two outs, that did not affect Duffy. With Tulane playing the senior to pull to right, Duffy drilled a two-run double the opposite way to left.

And once again the Knights loaded the bases in the sixth, this time with one out for Sweeney. Petiton appeared he would escape yet his defense also botched a potential inning-ending double play. That permitted two runs to score and just like that UCF had the lead at 6-5. Not done with the sixth, Duffy and Ronnie Richardson both connected for two-out RBI and the Knights left the top of the sixth up 8-5.

With Dew cruising through the middle innings, the Knights were in good shape. But he gave up two singles in the seventh before UCF went to the pen for Joe Rogers and Matt Manning. And the relievers could not get out of it as the Green Wave erased their three-run deficit with a six-run inning, highlighted by a grand slam from Gunner Wright after the Knights walked three-straight batters.

Seemingly deflated, Brown led off the eighth with double No. 4, and Sweeney followed him with a two-bagger of his own to make it 11-9. Eventually with two on base and two down, Taylor ripped a RBI single into center, but the Knights left the tying run at second base.

Now just a one-run margin, Tulane would answer right away, though, to ultimately sew up its victory. On a two-out, two-strike pitch, Blake Crohan blasted a two-run homer to left in the bottom of the eighth in what would be a three-run frame. Those two-out runs made the Green Wave lead too much for the Black and Gold to overcome.

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Game Notes
UCF - 32-22 Overall, 9-14 Conference USA
Tulane - 32-23 Overall, 10-13 Conference USA
-Shane Brown's season-long hitting streak stretched to 13 games.
-Brown now has 62 doubles for his career, which is already the second-most all-time by a Knight (Dustin Brisson 73 from 1997-00).
-Austin Johnston recorded his 12th sacrifice bunt of the year, which is tied for the fourth-most in UCF single-season history.
-UCF outhit Tulane, 13-12. The Knights have pounded out at least 10 hits in 11-straight games. In the first two games of the Tulane series, they have delivered 29 hits and 22 runs.