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UCF scrapes by in battle of southpaws

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Limited to four singles through the first seven innings, No. 19 Central Florida got to East Carolina ace Kevin Brandt for a single and a run-scoring double in the eighth to scratch out a 2-1 Conference USA victory over the 25th-ranked Pirates Friday evening at Jay Bergman Field.

With one out and the score tied 1-1 in the UCF half of the eighth, senior second baseman Travis Shreve reached on an infield single. Junior centerfielder Ronnie Richardson followed with a two-bagger to left center to drive in Shreve for what proved to be the decisive run.

Junior lefthander Joe Rogers (2-0) came on in relief for starter Brian Adkins and earned the win with two hitless, scoreless innings. Rogers allowed two base runners, on a hit batsman in the eighth and a walk in the final frame.

Adkins, also a junior lefty, surrendered one run, parceled out five hits and walked none during his seven-inning stint on the mound.

Brandt (3-2), a senior lefthander, went the distance for East Carolina and took the loss. Brandt scattered six hits and walked two.

The Pirates (15-6, 0-1 C-USA) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when senior catcher Zack Wright and sophomore centerfielder Ben Fultz hit back-to-back doubles.

Central Florida (18-5, 1-0) knotted the score with an unearned run one inning later. Shreve singled to right field, advanced to second on a passed ball and moved to third on an infield single by Richardson. Shreve then came in on junior shortstop Darnell Sweeney's sacrifice fly to center.

The weekend series between the teams continues with games on Saturday (4 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).

PAGE UPDATED 03/24/12 03:14 AM.

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