UCF Tops ECU, 3-2, To Even Series

UABSPORTS.COM Junior Corey Thompson was 2-for-4 against the Knights
Junior Corey Thompson was 2-for-4 against the Knights

April 16, 2011

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Darnell Sweeney's RBI infield single in the seventh inning proved to be the game-winning hit as UCF (22-13, 4-7) topped East Carolina (23-12, 5-6) 3-2 Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium in Conference USA action.

Brian Adkins (5-2) picked up the win after holding the Pirates to just a pair of runs on seven hits in seven innings. Left-hander Joe Rogers recorded his sixth save of the season tossing two scoreless innings of relief where he allowed three hits and struck out three.

Mike Wright (4-2) was saddled with the loss allowing three runs (all earned) on four hits with three walks and a pair of punch outs in 6.1 innings. Brad Mincey made his team-leading 18th appearance working 2.2 scoreless innings giving up three hits and striking out two.

With the score tied at one in the fourth inning, Jonathan Griffin hit a one-out solo home run to left field that gave UCF a 2-1 advantage. UCF added another run in the seventh pushing its lead to two, 3-1, when Sweeney reached on an infield single to short that scored Derek Luciano from third. Luciano walked to start the frame, took second on a Travis Shreve sac bunt and landed on third on Beau Taylor's ground out to short.

In the eighth, ECU scored a run on Philip Clark single through the left side to pull within one, 3-2. John Wooten reached on an infield single and after UCF made a pitching change bringing in Rogers, Trent Whitehead singled up the middle to put runners on first and second with no outs. Chase McDonald followed by popping up to third on a bunt attempt for the first out of the stanza. Clark platted Wooten from second on his lone hit of the afternoon and Mike Ussery loaded the bases with the second infield single of the inning. Rogers promptly struck out Ben Fultz on a 3-2 pitch and induced Jack Reinheimer to ground to short, leaving the tying run 90 feet away.

UCF struck first in the top of the second on Luciano's sac fly to center scoring Chris Taladay for a 1-0 lead. ECU responded in the bottom half of the second when Tim Younger grounded out to short scoring McDonald, who doubled down the left field line to start the frame and moved to second on Clark's sac bunt.

For the second-straight game the Pirates edged the Knights in hitting, 10-7, with nine of them coming as singles. ECU stranded a staggering 12 runners on base, while Corey Thompson and Whitehead led the team with two hits each.

ECU and UCF will play the series finale on Sunday, April 17 with an 11 a.m. (EST) scheduled start.