Knights sweep Saints, prepare for FSU

Knights sweep Saints, prepare for FSU

Bryan Levine / Valencia Voice

It's all smiles for the Knights, as Darnell Sweeney and Chris Taladay celebrate with Ronnie Richardson following a D.J. Hicks three-run bomb.

D.J. Hicks’ fifth career multi-home run game was more than enough for UCF, as they completed the series sweep over Siena with a 15-2 win, Sunday afternoon at Jay Bergman Field.

“I think he has found his groove offensively. He’s getting his pitch, and adapting to what they throw at him,” said head coach Terry Rooney, of D.J. Hicks who is now batting .395 on the season with five home runs and 23 RBI.

Eric Skoglund, who entered the game with a 1.80 ERA and 15 strikeouts in four relief appearances, made his first career start. The freshman threw five strong innings, and allowed just one earned run on five hits.

“From day one my goal has to been to be a starter, I want to be that Friday night guy, and I’m two steps away,” said Skoglund.

Skoglund was able to hand the ball over to the bullpen needing just four innings of relief work. This was important for the Knights, as starter Chris Matulis went just 2.2 innings in Yesterday’s 6-4 win.

“It was huge not having to throw more pitchers. That’s really the game within the game,” said head coach Terry Rooney, who was able to give players like Ray Hanson, Roman Madrid and Joe Rogers an additional day off as the Knights prepare for a mid-week series against Florida State.

UCF shortstop Darnell Sweeney continued his recent tear, as he extended his hit streak to nine games, with a triple off the top of the wall in right field. Sweeney squeaked a shot over the fence in his next at-bat, for his first home run of the season.

Center fielder Ronnie Richardson had an impressive day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Richardson entered last week’s South Florida game hitting a dismal .053, but has managed to get it all the way up to a respectable .256.

“He’s worked so hard, but he was struggling a little bit. He wanted to be able to see the ball consistently and just hit from the right side,” said Rooney of Richardson, who normally is a switch hitter, but hit from just the right side of the plate today.

UCF drew nine walks in the game, which extended their nation-leading total to 88 on the season.

The Knights will have a day off Monday before welcoming Florida State to Orlando for a two-game set Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rooney will be sending junior Brian Adkins out to the start Tuesday night’s game. Adkins struggled in his first two starts of the season, but bounced back last week to get his first win against Bethune-Cookman.

“I feel extremely confident throwing Brian Adkins against Florida State, and the whole team feels confident with Brian Adkins,” said Rooney.