Baseball opens season with win
Knights defeat Long Island, 13-7, in debut of renovated stadium
Published: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2012 15:02
UCF (1-0) opened up the 2012 season with a 13-7 marathon-win over Long Island (0-1).
On a night that featured the unveiling of stadium renovations and free admission, the Knights scored 13 runs on nine hits and drew a school-record 19 walks. Senior pitcher Bryan Brown picked up the win after pitching two innings in relief for starter Brian Adkins.
"I think it was our first game of the year and I think in a lot of ways you could see it," head coach Terry Rooney said. "I'm proud of our guys and I'm pleased with their effort because of their confidence and our talent showed through there. But fundamentally-wise we did not play a very good game and we need to get better."
The Knights took a 7-2 lead in the fourth inning after junior catcher Ryan Breen hit a two-run triple down the first base line. UCF managed to lose the lead in the sixth when Brown walked four batters in the inning and Long Island singled in two runners to tie the game at seven.
The Knights responded by scoring two in the seventh and four in the eighth, giving themselves a 13-7 advantage.
"Everyday I tell our guys this: ‘No matter what, win the last three [innings]'," Rooney said. "They did a good job and we battled back. The reason we did that is because of our confidence. However, we have to play much, much better fundamental baseball."
The Knights failed to capitalize on several chances to score runs, leaving a total of 13 runners on base.
"They're not going to give us that many opportunities, so we have to capitalize every single time we have a chance," junior outfielder Ronnie Richardson said.
Richardson brought in three runs in the eighth with a bases clearing double.
Adkins opened the season as the Knights starter by throwing five innings, striking out five and allowing four earned runs. Adkins was given a no decision in a game he left with a 7-4 lead.
"I certainly didn't throw as well as I wanted to," Adkins said. "My ball was up in the zone and they're a good team so they hit me around when it was. My focus this week is going to be getting the ball down and competing like I was."
UCF looks to wrap up the series with Long Island tomorrow with a double-header. The first game will be at 1 p.m. and the second game will begin one hour after game one's ending.