Hicks, UCF too much for LIU Brooklyn, take both games of doubleheader
Knights complete opening weekend sweep with two 9-1 victories
Published: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2012 14:02
The UCF Knights (3-0) have opened their season by sweeping their series with LIU Brooklyn (0-3) after winning both games of a Saturday doubleheader.
The Knights took game two of the doubleheader by a score of 9-1. D.J. Hicks started the offense for UCF with a solo home run to right-center in the first inning and homered again to right-center in his next at-bat.
The Knights scored five runs in the second inning, creating a gap LIU Brooklyn would never overcome.
"It's all about that first one. As soon as you get that first [home run] out of the way, you can slow things down and concentrate on hitting," Hicks said.
Junior pitcher Chris Matulis was awarded the win in his UCF debut. Matulis went six innings, striking out five and allowing one earned run.
"It felt good. The defense played really well behind me, [Chris Taladay] did a great job behind the plate and coach Rooney called a great game," Matulis said.
In game one of the doubleheader, UCF won by the same 9-1 score. Hicks led the Knights again offensively, driving in three runs.
Sophomore pitcher Ben Lively recorded a win after pitching five innings, striking out four and giving up one earned run. Freshman pitchers Eric Skoglund and Garrett Nuss both made their UCF debuts in relief. Both freshmen pitched two innings and struck out three batters.
"I thought they did a great job. Eric Skoglund and Garrett Nuss are, in a lot of ways, the future of our pitching staff," head coach Terry Rooney said.
The Knights allowed a total of two runs in both games Saturday after allowing seven runs the night before.
"The challenge was we wanted to play better today than we did yesterday and we really did," Rooney said.
The Knights head to Gainesville next to play the No. 1 Florida Gators Wednesday night at 7 p.m.