UCF Unable to Hold On to Late Lead in Loss to Tulane


April 8, 2011

Final Stats

UCF vs. Tulane
April 8, 2011
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
Tulane 10 13 1
UCF 8 13 0

WP: Facundus (6-1), 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
LP: Richardson (0-1), 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
SV: None

Game-Changing Moment
After watching Tulane score three in the eighth, UCF gave up its 8-7 lead in the ninth when Jeremy Schaffer crushed a three-run homer to left for the late victory.

Three Stars
First: TLN DH Jeremy Schaffer, 2-for-5, GW 3-run HR
Second: TLN SS Garrett Cannizaro, 2-for-4, 3 RBI
Third: UCF 1B Jonathan Griffin, 3-for-4, 2 RBI, 3 R, HR

Saturday Preview in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Leading 8-4 in the eighth and 8-7 in the ninth, UCF gave up six runs in the final two innings to fall in the series opener with Tulane, 10-8. The Green Wave (19-11, 2-5) took their first lead of the game on a three-run homer from Jeremy Schaffer in the ninth and they held on to drop the Knights' record to 20-10 on the year and 2-5 in Conference USA.

UCF starting pitcher Brian Adkins came out strong on the hill, retiring the first 10 batters he faced before allowing a bloop single with one out in the fourth. In his first Friday-night start, Adkins finished with 6.0 innings without walking a batter, striking out one and allowing four runs on six hits.

The Knights and Green Wave tied in hits at 13, with Jonathan Griffin and Travis Shreve each leading the way with three hits apiece.

Facing Tulane righty Conrad Flynn, Griffin recorded the first hit of the ballgame with a one-out double in the second and proceeded to take third on a wild pitch. Beau Taylor then strode to the plate and delivered with a sac fly to center field.

UCF had a perfect opportunity to stretch its lead in the third, placing runners at the corners with one down only Flynn managed to escape.

When UCF failed to convert its chance, Tulane finally got to Adkins in the fourth. After a soft single to right-center and an infield base hit, Nick Schneeberger lined a two-out, two-run double to right field to provide the Green Wave with a 2-1 advantage.

And that did not last long. After Chris Taladay legged out an infield single, Griffin destroyed a two-run homer to left-center to retake the lead. Two batters later, Erik Hempe sent a no-doubter to left on an 0-2 pitch as his solo shot pushed it to 4-2. Eventually with the bases clear and two outs, Shreve kept the inning going with a double and Ronnie Richardson gave UCF its fifth run on a RBI single to center.

Through six innings, Adkins' only flaw was the two runs in the fourth until Tulane greeted him with back-to-back singles in the seventh. The Knights then went to the pen for Matt Collins and the Green Wave would score twice to inch closer at 5-4 before putting runners at the corners with one away. In stepped closer Joe Rogers who struck out pinch-hitter Cody Robinson on three pitches and forced Nick Boullosa to hit into an inning-ending fielder's choice to strand the tying run at third.

Staying up by a run, a leadoff walk to Darnell Sweeney and base hit to right from Richardson opened up the bottom of the seventh for the Knights. Tulane then went to the pen for right-handed sidearmer Alex Facundus who surrendered a sac fly to D.J. Hicks. Later in the frame, Richardson and Griffin were waiting patiently in scoring position with two outs when Taylor grounded a two-run single through the middle to double up Tulane at 8-4.

Those runs would be crucial in the eighth where the Green Wave filled the bags with no outs. Even though Rogers struck out the next two batters, he hit one and gave up a two-run single to Garrett Cannizaro. However on the base hit, right fielder Hempe fielded it cleanly and fired a strike to third baseman Derek Luciano who put the tag down on Quinn Pippin who tried to travel from first to third on the play to become the third out.

But Tulane put the pressure on again in the top of the ninth. Following a one-out single by Boullosa, Richardson entered from center field to try and get the final two outs, but walked Matt Ryan and witnessed Schaffer launch a three-run homer to left. In UCF's final at-bat, it would get the tying run on base only to have Facundus hold on to improve his record to 6-1 on the year from the bullpen.

The Knights and Green Wave get back to work with game two Saturday at 4 p.m.

Game Notes
Tulane - 19-11 Overall, 2-5 C-USA
UCF - 20-10 Overall, 2-5 C-USA
-Jonathan Griffin and Erik Hempe each hit homers, marking the second-straight game the Knights had two home runs.
-Griffin finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs.
-Travis Shreve went 3-for-4 as well in his first time batting in the No. 9 hole.