Sweeney's walk-off single gives Knights series win over Boston College
Published: Sunday, February 26, 2012
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2012 16:02
Junior Darnell Sweeney clinched Game Three and the series vs. Boston College with a two-run walk-off single Sunday to beat the Eagles, 5-4.
UCF (5-2) took the rubber match with Boston College (4-2), winning a weekend series that featured three close, one-run games.
Sweeney came up to bat with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning and responded with a line drive past the third baseman that brought Ryan Breen and Alex Friedrich home.
Junior closer Joe Rogers earned the win after originally coming into the game to close. Rogers blew the save in the ninth inning by allowing two runs, both coming after a controversial hit-by-pitch call that the umpires discussed for several minutes and a single up the middle.
Rogers pitched two innings, gave up two runs and struck out three. Starter Chris Matulis pitched 4-1/3 innings, allowed two runs and struck out three.
The series-clinching win was the first walk-off victory for the Knights so far this season.
UCF lost its first home game of the season by a score of 8-7 to Boston College in Game Two of the series on Saturday.
The Knights struggled closing out innings, giving up six runs to the Eagles with two outs. UCF also left a total of 12 runners on base and left the bases loaded three times.
The Knights took a lead temporarily in the sixth inning after scoring four runs. Freshman James Vasquez had a two-run single up the middle, which accounted for two of his three RBIs on the night.
Boston College regained the lead in the seventh, scoring three runs with two outs, all of which were brought in by walks.
"College baseball is so much about momentum," head coach Terry Rooney said. "At the end of the day, when you put four runs up, you can't give up three."
UCF took the first of the three-game series and handed Boston College its first loss of the season with a 6-5 victory Friday night.
Sophomore pitcher Ben Lively struck out a career-high 11 batters over six innings, and junior Nick Carrillo hit a two-run home run to right for the Knights in a game that saw four lead changes. Junior reliever Roman Madrid earned the win after pitching one inning and allowing no earned runs.
"We needed to win that kind of game, a tight game," Rooney said. "That's kind of the resiliency you need in a club."
The last two hitters in UCF's lineup, Carrillo and senior Travis Shreve, led the charge for the team offensively, accounting for five hits and three runs scored.
"The great part about our team is it doesn't matter if it's the top or the bottom [of the order] — someone's going to get the job done," Shreve said. "We don't try to rely on one person, we all try to chip in and do our part."
UCF will play in-state rival USF Tuseday at Jay Bergman Field starting at 6:30 p.m.