Hicks' grand slam puts Knights on top of Memphis, 11-9
Published: Sunday, April 24, 2011
Updated: Sunday, April 24, 2011 15:04
With the bases loaded in the seventh inning of a back-and-forth battle, D.J. Hicks delivered.
The designated hitter's grand slam put the Knights (26-14, 6-8) back on top to win 11-9 and clinch the series against Memphis (23-17, 6-5) on Saturday.
"Starting off in the first inning I kind of let the team down when the first two guys got on and I hit into a double play," Hicks said in a release. "But (in the seventh) I came up with the bases loaded against a soft-throwing lefty so I was as close to the top of the box as I could be, and got to a full count. He left one high enough where I put a good piece of the bat on it."
The grand slam gave UCF the boost it needed. After trailing 6-0 at the end of the first, the Knights slowly came back. By the middle of the fourth, the game was tied at 7. The Tigers pulled ahead in the bottom of the sixth with one run but Hicks' four RBI in the next inning won the game for the Knights.
UCF starter Ben Lively walked his first batter, who was caught stealing, but proceeded to give up three hits and walk a batter before he was pulled after just 1/3-inning of work. Reliever Johnny Sedlock gave up a hit and hit a batter before he got the Knights out of the first inning.
Erik Hempe was the first Knight to score after he hit his first of two doubles with one out in the second. Travis Shreve picked up the RBI with an infield groundout.
UCF picked up three more in the third. Ronnie Richardson, who hit the single that got the Knights started, was the first to score in the third. Hempe, who went 3-for-5 with four RBI, doubled in Hicks and Ryan Breen to bring the score within two.
In the bottom half of the inning, Sedlock gave up three-straight singles to help cushion the Tigers' lead by giving up a run.
The Knights scored three more in the fourth to tie the game at seven. Beau Taylor bunted for a single, reached second on an error and scored on Hicks' single. Hempe picked up a few more RBI with a two-run single to score Richardson, who was hit by a pitch, and Hicks.
Chase Bradford replaced Sedlock, who pitched 4-2/3 innings of relief, in the sixth and gave up two hits and a run to give Memphis a brief lead. Bradford earned his second win in three games in Saturday's contest; he got the win as the starter in the midweek game against No. 5 Florida.
Travis Shreve, Darnell Sweeney and Richardson all singled in the seventh, Richardson with a bunt, to set up Hicks' 3-2 pitch grand slam.
Nick Cicio hit the hill in the bottom of the seventh and gave up a hit before striking out one. After he retired the side in the eighth, he gave up a solo home run to T.J. Rich and loaded the bases before inducing a groundout and earning his fourth save of the season.
"Offensively we have an outstanding team and I think it shows a lot of character for us to hang in there and battle throughout the entire day," head coach Terry Rooney said in a release. "Today is the epitome of a team effort because our hitters erased the deficit and our bullpen guys came in and did a terrific job to give us an opportunity to win late."