April 22, 2012

Knights complete painful sweep of Green Wave

UCF brought out the brooms for the Sunday finale against Tulane. The Green Wave would prefer to sweep away any memory of this painful series.

A four-run seventh inning was not enough for Tulane to overcome an 8-2 deficit as the Green Wave lost 8-6 at Turchin Stadium, giving it three defeats by a combined four runs to the 15th-ranked Knights.

Tulane (26-14, 5-7 Conference USA) fell to fifth place in the league standings and is in grave danger of missing the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive year, particularly since it has zero weekend series victories against any team in the top 100 of the RPI.

UCF (34-8, 12-3) took over sole possession of first place, one game ahead of perennial league kingpin Rice, and will set a school record for C-USA wins with its next victory. The Knights never have finished above .500 in league play since joining C-USA in 2006.

"This was a disappointing day, a disappointing weekend," Tulane coach Rick Jones said. "At the end of the day, we played close every game, but if we play better, then we have a chance to win this series."
Jones singled out the uncharacteristically poor base-running. After blowing a chance to score in the first inning of the first game when Brandon Boudreaux was thrown out trying to tag up from third on a very shallow fly, the Wave had three players thrown out on the bases Sunday.
When Boudreaux led off the bottom of the first with a walk, he was promptly picked off on a throw from UCF catcher Ryan Breen, coming up short of the bag as he tried to dive back.

In Tulane's six-hit seventh, Bowen Woodson was caught off third on a ground ball to the pitcher, leading to the first out. Nick Schneeberger made the second out trying to go from first to third on a bloop single to left.

"Our base running all weekend was less than acceptable and we've been a good base running team for the majority of the year," Jones said. "This weekend we took a step backwards there and that really hurt us in all three ball games."

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