Knights score another weekend sweep
Published: Sunday, March 18, 2012
Updated: Monday, March 19, 2012 11:03
The UCF Knights (16-5) completed their fourth series sweep of the season with a 6-5 win over Harvard (1-12) on Sunday.
“We found a way to win three games this weekend,” head coach Terry Rooney said. “There’s a lot to be said for that, when you have that confidence level as a team.”
The Knights took the lead in the seventh inning on a couple of Harvard miscues. Harvard walked the leadoff batter, James Vasquez, committed a fielding error to move Vasquez to third base, hit Ronnie Richardson to load the bases and walked in the go-ahead run.
Chris Taladay made it back-to-back walks, bringing in a run and giving the Knights a 6-4 lead.
Junior Brian Adkins started out on the mound for the Knights. Adkins threw five innings, giving up all four of his earned runs in the first two innings.
Relief pitcher Matt Collins earned the win, shutting Harvard out over two innings of work. Joe Rogers picked up his sixth save of the season.
In Game Two of the series on Saturday, freshman duo Eric Skoglund and Garrett Nuss outpitched Harvard, leading the Knights to a 4-2 victory.
The southpaw Skoglund pitched five innings, allowed no earned runs and struck out seven. Skoglund started the game by striking out the first four batters he faced and was awarded his third win of the season for his effort on the mound.
Nuss pitched four innings in relief of Skoglund, allowing only one hit and striking out five. Nuss was awarded his first career save.
“It’s great to see those two young pitchers continuing to keep getting better right before everyone’s eyes there,” Rooney said. “I thought Eric was better than he was last week, and he’s worked really hard these last couple of days to get better.”
The Knights struggled offensively but were able to capitalize on Harvard miscues early in the game, scoring four runs in the first three innings on one hit.
Taladay’s towering home run in the eighth inning Friday night helped the Knights take Game One of the series, 4-3.
Taladay’s first home run of the season went to right field and tied the game in the eighth.
“Chris Taladay is one of the clutchest players in the entire country,” Rooney said. “When you’ve got a guy on base, that’s the guy you want up there.”
Junior Chris Matulis came into the game in relief of starter Ben Lively in the sixth, and he allowed zero runs over three innings on the mound and struck out four. Matulis earned the win for the Knights, his second of the season.
The Knights’ next scheduled game is Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when they face USF in Tampa.