Knights tame Tigers; win 7th straight game

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Mary Stevens / Valencia Voice

Ryan Breen at-bat during tonight's UCF 4-3 win over Memphis. Breen is sporting the UCF camouflage jersey to honor those serving in the military.

The Knights won their seventh consecutive game Friday night, with a 4-3 win over Memphis.

RHP Ben Lively completely shut down the Tigers offense, as the sophomore picked up his seventh win, in just his second start since returning to the weekend rotation. Lively allowed three hits over six strong innings of work.

“The only reason I got bumped out of the rotation was because of my own attitude,” said Lively. “Even though I didn’t get my strikes, my attitude kept me in there, locked in the entire time.”

Memphis was able to get to UCF set-up man Roman Madrid, something most opponents have not been able to do this season. Madrid, who entered the game with a 0.30 era, allowed three runs on four singles, leaving closer Joe Rogers with runners on. Rogers picked up a five out save – his ninth of the season.

“I think as a team we lost focus,” said head coach Terry Rooney. “We need to be mature and understand that, and that’s what I told them.”

Memphis starter Dan Langfield rung up 11 UCF batters in the game, including a very rare four strike outs in the second inning.

In a game filled with many oddities, the second inning may have been the oddest of all. Ryan Breen reached base after a swinging strikeout that got a way from Memphis catcher, Keaton Aldridge. After stealing second base, and taking third on a pass ball, Breen eventually scored on a Langfield wild pitch.

“The dirt ball read, we stress that a lot,” said Breen. “You always have to put your head down and run – just hustle.”

These two teams will square off for game two, tomorrow evening, as Chris Matulis and Sam Moll are projected to start. Matullis is a perfect 5-0 on the season, and boasts a 2.76 era. Moll leads all Memphis starters with a 2.32 era and has made eight quality starts this season.

“We have to take it one pitch at a time, tomrrow,” said Rooney. “[Moll] is a good pitcher, but we have to take it one pitch at a time.