Knights hold on against Missouri State in regional opener, 2-1
Chris Matulis gets save after weather delay, UCF to play Saturday at 7 p.m.
Published: Friday, June 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, June 1, 2012 20:06
When Joe Rogers, the best closer in UCF baseball’s history, allowed Missouri State to load up the bases with no outs in the top of eighth inning in the opening game of the Coral Gables Regional, the score tied 1-1; things looked bleak for the Knights.
Not only did it seem a certainty that the Bears were about to do some damage, but outside of Ronnie Richardson’s leadoff home run in the bottom of the first, the Knights had largely been unable to figure out Missouri State starter Nick Petree, one of the nation’s best pitchers.
Roger demonstrated that he had ice water in his veins, though, with a little help from his fielders, escaping the top of the eighth and setting the stage for Chris Taladay to single in Richardson in the bottom of the eighth. The RBI single gave the Knights (44-15) a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish, en route to a victory to open up the NCAA Tournament regional.
Following the eighth inning the game was delayed as lightning struck near Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, followed by a string of storms rolling through. When played resumed around roughly 7 p.m., Chris Matulis came in for UCF and picked up his first save of the year, giving the Knights a crucial opening win.
UCF will now play the winner of Stony Brook and host-Miami Saturday at 7 p.m.