Adkins Sparks UCF to a 3-2 Win at East Carolina


April 16, 2011

Final Stats

UCF vs. East Carolina
April 16, 2011
From Greenville, N.C.
Team R H E
UCF 3 7 1
ECU 2 10 0

WP: Adkins (5-2), 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K
LP: Wright (4-1), 6.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
SV: Rogers (6), 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Game-Changing Moment
Taking a 3-1 lead in the seventh off Darnell Sweeney's two-out RBI infield single, UCF watched as East Carolina scored once in the eighth and load the bases with just one out. But Joe Rogers shut it down the rest of the way, retiring the next five ECU hitters in the game to get his sixth save of 2011.

Three Stars
First: UCF SP Brian Adkins, WP, 7.0 IP, 2 R
Second: UCF RP Joe Rogers, SV, 2.0 IP, 0 R, 3 K
Third: UCF 1B Jonathan Griffin, HR in 5 of his last 6 games

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

GREENVILLE, N.C. (UCFAthletics.com) - Sophomore lefty Brian Adkins (Orlando, Fla.) matched a career-high with 7.0 innings to guide UCF to a 3-2 victory on a very windy day at East Carolina Saturday. Adkins improved to 5-2 in 2011 while the Knights stretched their record to 22-13 and 4-7 in Conference USA.

The win was the first for the Knights on ECU's home field (previously 0-10), dropping the Pirates' record to 23-12 on the year and 5-6 in league play.

"Brian Adkins pitched his heart out," said head coach Terry Rooney. "I told the pitching staff last night that the best way to stop a losing streak is to have a dominant pitching performance, and Brian certainly did that. What made it better was how he pitched under the conditions we experienced today. He and closer Joe Rogers did a great job today.

"We had another bounce-back win as well. Last night we gave up 12 runs and today we gave up just two. So it shows the resiliency of this team and the ability of our pitching staff to make adjustments. It was a great win today and we put ourselves in position tomorrow to try and win the series."

It was the third time in Adkins' career he went 7.0 innings, and left in the eighth after giving up a leadoff single with a 3-1 advantage. He would finish by allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks, not striking out a batter. His outing also included a fourth inning where he needed just four pitches to retire the side.

With Adkins at 5-2 and freshman Ben Lively holding a 5-1 record, it marks the first time since 2005 that the Knights had at least two pitchers post five wins or more in the same season (Tim Bascom was 10-2, Darren Newlin went 9-4 and Ray Rodriguez finished 2005 at 6-1).

"I knew coming in that it was going to be a windy day so it was important to keep the ball down and induce as many ground balls as you can," said Adkins, who faced a strong wind blowing out to right field. "I was lucky enough to fill up the zone and the defense made a lot of great plays."

Senior Jonathan Griffin continued to torch opposing pitchers, recording his ninth homer of the season and the 22nd in his two-year career as a Knight. Also producing at the plate, Chris Taladay doubled in a two-hit day and also scored a run.

East Carolina attempted to strike right away by loading the bases with two outs in the first against Adkins. Yet the sophomore forced Trent Whitehead to ground the first ball he saw to first base for the final out.

The Knights then dug in for the second where Taladay singled, touched second on a wild pitch, reached third on a groundout to the right side by Erik Hempe and scored on a two-strike sac fly from Derek Luciano. Only UCF gave it right back in the home half thanks to a Chase McDonald double and a Tim Younger RBI groundout.

Following a scoreless third for each team, Griffin destroyed a 2-1 offering from Mike Wright deep over the left-field wall in the fourth to hand UCF another one-run lead.

And it stayed that way for awhile as Adkins and Wright kept dealing. Wright would reach the 100-pitch plateau in the seventh when he issued a leadoff walk to Luciano and Travis Shreve came through with a perfect sacrifice bunt. In came reliever Brad Mincey who quickly produced the second out. With Luciano now at third, Darnell Sweeney's legs gave UCF a 3-1 advantage when he beat out an infield single that scored the Knights' third baseman.

Adkins went back out for the eighth however surrendered an infield single, giving way to fellow southpaw Rogers who witnessed Whitehead single as well. Now with nobody out and two men on, McDonald's bunt was popped up to Luciano before Philip Clark made it 3-2 on a RBI single to left. Eventually with one down and the bases juiced, Rogers struck out Ben Fultz on a 3-2 pitch and induced Jack Reinheimer to ground to short, leaving the tying run 90 feet away.

Surviving a dangerous eighth inning, Rogers had little trouble in the ninth, striking out the first two and earning the third and final out when John Wooten flied out to center. That gave Rogers his sixth save of the season and the 14th of his career to move him into a tie for fourth with Zach Sutton on UCF's all-time list.

The series finale with the Pirates is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m.

Game Notes
UCF - 22-13 Overall, 4-7 C-USA
East Carolina - 23-12 Overall, 5-6 C-USA
-Jonathan Griffin has homered in five of his last six games.
-East Carolina entered the week ranked second in the nation with a 1.91 team ERA, but the Pirates' staff has given up nine earned runs in the first two games of the weekend.
-ECU led in hits 10-7, but nine of them were singles.
-UCF will be trying to win its first series all-time against East Carolina Sunday.