Larry Balkwill and the Saints nearly pulled the upset Saturday
March 3, 2012
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No. 19 UCF used a three-run sixth to rally past stubborn Siena 6-4 in Orlando Saturday. The Saints led the game 4-2 entering the decisive frame, and got strong pitching from Ryan Poplawski and Neil Fryer.
Larry Balkwill had two hits and an RBI to pace Siena's offense. Chris Taladay went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI for the Knights.
Balkwill singled to lead off the second and came around to score the game's first run on a bases loaded walk. William Cardona's sacrifice fly later in the frame made it a 2-0 Siena lead. Balkwill doubled home the game's third run in the third before UCF broke through for a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame off Poplawski.
Freshman Ryan Metzler led off the fifth with a double to right, and Siena had a 4-2 lead when he crossed the plate on Kyle Baldani's RBI groundout.
The decisive sixth started innocently enough, as UCF had two outs and a runner on first before stringing together three straight hits to chase Poplawski. Alex Friedrich doubled, Nick Carrillo singled and Travis Shreve doubled. When the dust settled, UCF had a 5-4 lead. They tacked on an insurance run in the seventh, and Siena didn't get a base runner the rest of the way.
The two teams finish the series Sunday at 1 p.m. Central Florida has won 16 straight games against Siena.