Knights take opener against Memphis, 4-3
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 13:05
The Knights went head-to-head with “one of the best pitchers in the country” and won.
UCF took a 4-3 victory over highly touted MLB prospect and Memphis starting pitcher Dan Langfield on Friday night in game one of a three-game series.
Ben Lively received the win for the Knights, throwing six scoreless innings in the matchup with Langfield.
Head coach Terry Rooney spoke highly of the Memphis junior, but also praised the Knights approach at the plate.
“We knew we were seeing one of the best pitchers in the country,” Rooney said. “I thought our hitters had a tremendous approach at the plate against one of the best pitchers in America… Our guys, offensively, were outstanding.”
Langfield struck out 11 batters over six innings on the mounds, but UCF still managed to score three runs on four hits off of him.
“The whole approach was to sit on his fastball,” said catcher Ryan Breen, who brought in two of the Knights runs on two hits.
Rooney’s go-to pitchers late in the game, Roman Madrid and Joe Rogers, nearly gave up the lead, but manage to hang on for the victory.
Madrid allowed three runs on 1-1/3 innings and Rogers allowed a runner to reach third base in the ninth, characterizing what Rooney said was a lack of focus.
“I think we lost focus and as a team we need to be mature and understand that,” Rooney said.
Rogers reeled in a strikeout for the final out of the game and earned his ninth save of the season in the process.
Two Memphis coaches were ejected from the game in a bizarre turn of events. Both head coach Daron Schoenrock and pitching coach Fred Corral were tossed for arguing separate calls.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday.