Hicks Returns to Form in UCF's 10-1 Win Over Siena


Feb. 19, 2011

Final Stats

UCF vs. Siena
Feb. 19, 2011
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
Siena 1 8 2
UCF 10 10 1

WP: Hicks (1-0), 0.2 IP, 1H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
LP: Brantley (0-1), 4.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 K
SV: Sedlock (1), 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Game-Changing Moment
Siena cut UCF's lead in half at 2-1 in the fourth, but that was as close as the Saints would get as in the bottom half, D.J. Hicks launched a three-run homer to right to put the game out of reach.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF DH/RP D.J. Hicks - 2-for-4, 4 RBI, HR, winning pitcher
Second Star: UCF RP Johnny Sedlock - SV, 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Third Star: UCF 1B Jonathan Griffin - 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2B

Preview Notes for 2/20 in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Missing most of 2010 due to an injury, sophomore two-way player D.J. Hicks drove in four and also helped UCF (2-0) escape a fifth-inning jam on the mound in a 10-1 win against Siena (0-2) Saturday. Hicks went 2-for-4 including hammering a three-run homer to right in the fourth and also picked up the victory in relief.

It was the second time in his career that Hicks earned the win while also hitting a home run in the same game (May 6, 2009, vs. Stetson where he hit two dingers).

"I love (pitching and hitting) because I get the best of both worlds," said Hicks, who saw action as a pitcher for the first time since 2009. "I had goose bumps but it was a good feeling to get back on the mound."

The win guaranteed the Knights a series victory over the Saints, and also stretched their non-conference winning streak to 16 games.

Speaking of streaking, Beau Taylor singled in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to 23 games, which stands three shy of tying Mike Myers' school record (set in 2001).

Junior righty Matt Collins made his UCF debut and went 4.1 innings with just one run allowed, no walks and six strikeouts. After Hicks recorded two outs in the fifth, Johnny Sedlock mowed down Siena for a 4.0-inning save where he surrendered one hit and struck out four. It also was the second-straight game UCF pitchers did not issue a walk.

Looking to take an early lead, Siena put runners at second and third with two outs for Larry Balkwill in the first inning. Collins got to 1-2 on the catcher before getting Balkwill to swing through a low breaking ball to strand the runners.

The sparkplug in UCF's Opening Day win, leadoff hitter Travis Shreve once again got things going in the bottom of the first by singling to center vs. Justin Brantley. After taking second on a groundout and stealing third, Shreve came around to score on a sac fly from Darnell Sweeney.

With a 1-0 lead, UCF got the leadoff batter aboard for the third-straight inning as Erik Hempe drew a walk to open the third. Following a wild pitch and a passed ball to push Hempe to third, he would score on a fielding error to bring the advantage to 2-0. Yet Siena replied with its first run of the day in the fourth on a two-out RBI single from Adam Guinn.

However UCF's sticks went right back to work in the home half of the fourth. Thanks to an opening walk to Derek Luciano and an error with Breen at the plate, the Knights had a pair of baserunners for Hicks. And the designated hitter worked the count full before demolishing a three-run homer into the UCF bullpen in right. It was Hicks' first long ball since May 20, 2009.

One inning after his three-run blast, Hicks relieved Collins on the hill with two on and one out in the fifth. And on the first pitch Dan Paolini sent a check-swing single to right. Andrew Sawyer raced around third to try and score only to have Hempe in right throw a strike to Taylor behind the plate who laid the tag down. Hicks wrapped up the scoreless inning by forcing Kevin Quaranto to ground to short to keep the lead at 5-1.

Looking to put this game away in the fifth, UCF did just that with two outs as Jonathan Griffin touched home on a wild pitch and Hicks drove in Luciano on an infield single.

As Sedlock was perfect through his first three innings of work, UCF closed the door with three more runs in the eighth. Kicked off by singles from Alex Friedrich and Shreve, Ronnie Richardson came through with a first-pitch RBI single. And Griffin completed the scoring by way of a two-out, two-strike, two-run double down the left-field line.

The Black and Gold will be searching for the sweep against Siena during the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.

Game Notes
Siena - 0-2 overall
UCF - 2-0 overall
-Dating back to last year, UCF has scored at least 10 runs in six-straight games.
-Along with Hicks' two hits, Travis Shreve and Jonathan Griffin also pounded out a pair of hits.
-In his four-inning save, Johnny Sedlock threw 33 of 44 pitches for strikes.
-UCF has allowed just two runs in its first two games of the season, which is the first time it has accomplished that feat since the start of the 1988 campaign.
-The offense has drawn 15 walks in the first two games vs. Siena.