June 1, 2012
Around the Regionals
Scores & Schedules
Richardson, Knights Squeak Past
GABLES, Fla. –
It took five hours, but No. 2 seed UCF was able to squeak past
No. 3 Missouri State 2-1 Friday in the opening game of the Coral
two-hour, 14-minute rain delay, which began when the Knights
took the field in the ninth looking to record the final three
outs, did not deter UCF from finishing off the Bears to advance
to face the winner of Miami and Stony Brook in the winners’
usual closer Joe Rogers already burnt after the delay, UCF coach
Terry Rooney (pictured) opted to go to reliever and spot starter
Chris Matulis in the ninth. Matulis induced a harmless Keenen
Maddox ground ball to short to end the game.
Knights leadoff man Ronnie Richardson went 2 for 4 and scored
both UCF runs.
“Ronnie Richardson is one of the best players in the country,”
Rooney said. “Ronnie Richardson is one of the most clutch
players in college baseball, and he rose up. Your best players
rise up in the clutch situations, and Ronnie did that.”
Three-hole hitter Chris Taladay drove in Richardson from second
to deliver the game-winning hit in the bottom of the eighth on a
flare to right-center. Richardson, who also hit a leadoff homer
in the first, doubled to start off the inning.
previous half inning, the Bears stranded three runners. Rogers
loaded the bases with no outs, but a groundout with the infield
in, a popout to short and a fielder’s choice got Rogers out of
the Missouri State threat.
ask the Knights, getting out of that jam propelled the offense
with the momentum to provide the decisive strike in the bottom
of the frame.
really gets us going,” Taladay said. “We always live for that
momentum, and everything gets you going at that point where you
have to get that win. That was huge.”
Rooney: “That inning has the potential to go down as one of the
greatest innings in the history of UCF baseball. For Joe Rogers
to work out of that was incredible, and then to come back and
get the go-ahead run…that had everything you want in college
the long delay, the storyline of the game was the pitchers’ duel
developing between Missouri State’s Nick Petree (left) and UCF’s
who with a 10-3 record and a miniscule 0.92 ERA was named
Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger Division I National
Player of the Year Thursday, was stellar on the hill for the
Bears, but it wasn’t enough to outlast the Knights’ bullpen.
pitched an eight-inning complete game giving up just two earned
runs for the loss.
“[Petree] threw great,” said Missouri State designated hitter
Luke Voit, who usually catches for the Bears but was inserted at
DH due to injury. “He threw well. We just didn’t score enough
runs behind him.”
earned a no-decision, pitching 5.2 scoreless innings with three
hits, six strikeouts and four walks.
Lively, while effective, did have to labor, and made his exit
after tossing 113 pitches in the sixth. He said he was dealing
with leg cramps going into his final inning of work.
was pulled for Roman Madrid in the sixth. Although Madrid was
able to get through that inning, he gave up the tying run in the
seventh when Bears leadoff man Kevin Medrano drove home
pinch-hitter Dylan Becker, who hit a one-out double to left.
inning then ended when Medrano ran through a stop sign trying to
score from second on a base hit, but right fielder Alex
Friedrich threw him out at the plate.
Knights got the scoring going right away. Richardson belted his
ninth home run, and fourth leadoff homer, of the year. The blast
past the left field scoreboard marked the first home run hit off
Petree all season.
Missouri State had the bases loaded and two out in the top of
the first but came out without a run due to a wacky play. First
baseman Brock Chaffin checked his swing on a 1-2 pitch that was
called a ball. Assuming it was a dropped strike three, runners
took off, and lead runner Spiker Helms was tagged out between
third and home.
had a big missed opportunity in the fourth. After getting the
first two hitters on, a failed sacrifice bunt attempt and a
strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play ended the threat.
Lively showed signs of fatigue early in the sixth before he was
ultimately pulled. UCF coach Terry Rooney and his trainer met
with Lively on the mound and gave him a drink before leaving him
in to face the next two Bears batters.
Missouri State loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth,
but came out of it without a run. Usual UCF closer Joe Rogers
retired the bottom of the order to get out of the jam. First, he
induced a grounder to second with the infield in to get a force
at second. He then got Eric Cheray to pop out to short, and got
Joey Hawkins to ground into a 4-6 fielder’s choice. UCF
shortstop Darnell Sweeney spiked the ball after receiving the
feed from Travis Shreve on the play, and that got the team
pumped up for the bottom of the eighth.
Missouri State left 12 men on base Friday.
(photos courtesy of
UCF & MSU Media Relations Office)