Taladay keys Central Florida over Tulane, 7-3

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Tulane's Cameron Burns is safe at home as UNO catcher Brian Dixon loses the ball in a fifth-inning collision at the plate Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013, at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Tulane's Cameron Burns is safe at home as UNO catcher Brian Dixon loses the ball in a fifth-inning collision at the plate Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013, at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Chris Taladay had three hits and four RBIs to help lift Central Florida to a 7-3 Conference USA baseball win over Tulane on Sunday afternoon at Jay Bergman Field.

The Knights’ James Vasquez drew a lead-off walk in the second and later scored on Austin Johnston’s sacrifice fly after an infield error allowed him to advance to third.

Central Florida padded its lead in the third, keyed by a two-run single by Taladay. The hit took a bounce over Tulane shortstop Garrett Cannizaro on what might have been a double-play ball.

“This is the second time we’ve had bad hops on a Sunday game here,” Tulane coach Rick Jones said. “I thought our effort was good. We just walked seven, and that hurts. We won the series, and I really liked our effort today. I liked our effort in the ninth inning. Sean (Potkay) had a real good at-bat there to give us a chance. It was great to see Andrew Reeves throw the clean bottom of the eighth. But you just can’t walk seven. I think we are playing pretty good baseball right now, though.”

Tulane (27-25, 10-11) cut into the Knights’ lead in the top of the fourth. Andrew Garner extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single and scored on Sean Potkay’s third homer of the season.

Erik Hempe’s fifth-inning homer gave Central Florida a two-run lead again.

After the Green Wave answered with a run in the top of the sixth on Tucker Oakley’s RBI double, the Knights took charge with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and another in the seventh. Taladay hit a two-run double in the sixth, and Johsnton had an RBI single in the seventh.

Brian Adkins (4-6) earned the win for Central Florida (28-24, 12-9). He allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings, striking out five and walking none.

Tulane sophomore Randy LeBlanc (4-4) took the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and four walks.

Cannizaro, Garner, Potkay and Bowen Woodson each had two hits for the Green Wave. Nick DiMaggio’s 10-game hitting streak came to an end.

Tulane hosts Alabama-Birmingham in its final regular-season series Thursday through Saturday.