UCF Pitchers Combine for 17 Strikeouts in 13-4 Victory


March 11, 2011

Final Stats

UCF vs. Wagner
March 11, 2011
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
Wagner 4 7 6
UCF 13 16 2

WP: Winkler (3-0), 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K
LP: Holmes (1-2), 5.2 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
SV: None

Game-Changing Moment
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, UCF plated a pair of one-out runs to tie it up before D.J. Hicks sent a RBI single to left to take the lead for good. Danny Winkler then pitched a perfect sixth to keep momentum with the Knights the rest of the evening.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF 1B Jonathan Griffin, 3-for-4, 3 RBI, BB, R
Second Star: UCF 2B Travis Shreve, 2-for-4, 4 R, 3 SB, 2B
Third Star: UCF Pitchers, 9.0 IP, 7 H, 0 BB, 17 K

Saturday Preview in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Starting pitcher Danny Winkler struck out 10 in 6.0 innings and the offense provided 16 hits in UCF's 13-4 victory against Wagner Friday. Reliever Nick Cicio added five strikeouts in 2.0 innings, and center fielder Ronnie Richardson made his pitching debut in the ninth, striking out a pair in a scoreless inning of work for the Knights (11-3).

Richardson also produced a base hit vs. the Seahawks (1-8), scored two runs and swiped his fifth base of the season.

"We talked about pitching my freshman year but I didn't think (head coach Terry Rooney) was serious," said Richardson. "But I was really excited because I did it in high school, and I was pumped today since I had warmed up in the outfield like six times. All I have been throwing are flat grounds and pens, and that was getting old. I finally got my opportunity tonight."

Winkler improved to 3-0 on the year, giving up just two earned runs on four hits and no walks. In all, he combined with Cicio and Richardson for no walks and 17 strikeouts on the hill.

"I'm proud that we battled back," said Rooney, whose team trailed 3-1 in the fifth. "But I expect to play a lot better. It's such a fine line to be confident in your abilities. But you still have to go out and execute. So we have to keep getting better every single day that we play. I'm pleased with the end result, we just have to put together nine full innings."

Keeping it alive, D.J. Hicks extended his hitting streak to 12 games with two hits and a RBI Friday. Meanwhile, Jonathan Griffin went 3-for-4 with three RBI, Beau Taylor was 2-for-3 with three RBI and Travis Shreve added two hits, three stolen bases and four runs.

Witnessing Winkler strike out two in the top of the first, the offense then dug in and scored a run with out a hit in the home half. Facing righty Mark Holmes, Shreve was plunked to get on first, stole second, traveled to third on a groundout and touched home on a groundout off the bat of Darnell Sweeney.

That 1-0 lead did not last for long due to a pair of errors by the Knights defense in the fourth, allowing the Seahawks to grab momentum and a 3-1 cushion.

However UCF answered in the fifth, scoring three runs as Griffin, Chris Taladay and Hicks each drove in one, capitalizing on a crucial Wagner error in the inning. Now with a 4-3 advantage, the Knights chased Holmes from the game in the bottom of the sixth. Sparked by a leadoff double from Shreve, Richardson was hit by a pitch and the duo both moved into scoring position with a double-steal with one out. Following a sac fly out of Taylor, Griffin delivered a RBI single into left to bring it to 6-3.

Even though Wagner added a run in the seventh, the Black and Gold finally put it away in its half. With the help of two more Seahawks fielding miscues, UCF batted around in the seventh and it all began on a double by Erik Hempe. Picking up RBI from Sweeney, Taylor and Griffin, UCF racked up five runs and quickly boasted an 11-4 lead.

With Cicio and Richardson closing the door on the mound, the offense finished its performance with two more runs in the eighth.

The three-game series with Wagner continues Saturday at 4 p.m. while the finale is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m.

Game Notes
Wagner - 1-8 Overall
UCF - 11-3 Overall
-Every UCF starter posted at least one base hit.
-The Knights have scored at least 10 runs in seven games this season.
-With three Friday, Travis Shreve now has a team-high 12 stolen bases in 2011.
-Wagner completed its night with seven hits and six errors.
-UCF starting pitchers are 8-0 this year with 16 walks and 69 strikeouts in 71.2 innings.
-Eight consistent starters are now hitting at least .339 this year.