Feb. 17, 2007
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Game Notes for Sunday, Feb. 18
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Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Another big inning hurt the UCF baseball team Saturday, as Maryland scored five in the first and went on to earn a 9-7 victory at Jay Bergman Field. It was the Terrapins' (4-1) fourth-straight win, whereas the Knights fell to 2-5 for the season.
Even though UCF lost, the evening was headlined by Kiko Vazquez. The sophomore first baseman tied a career-high with four hits, set a personal best of six RBI and had two home runs, one a grand slam in the ninth inning. Vazquez' grand slam was the first by a Golden Knight since Dee Brown recorded one against Troy on May 6, 2005.
Each team mustered seven hits apiece Saturday, but Maryland was aided by five miscues by the UCF defense. Out of the Terrapins' nine runs, just three of them were earned.
For the fifth-straight game, UCF let its opponent take a comfortable lead early as Maryland forced Golden Knight starter Mitch Herold (0-1) out of the contest in the first inning. Herold walked four batters and allowed two hits, but his defense committed a throwing error with two outs. After the Terrapins put five on the board, Matt McClung came in from the pen and immediately got the third out on an attempted double steal with Steve Braun being tagged at home.
Maryland stretched it to 6-0 on a close call at home in the third. Wink Nolan and Gerry Spessard tried another double steal and this time it worked as Spessard slid underneath the tag of Brandon Romans. The next time the Terrapins came to the plate, Chad Durakis connected for a two-out, two-run homer to left. Both runs were unearned thanks to Mike Murphy reaching on an error to leadoff the frame.
Vazquez provided UCF with its first run in the fourth, blasting a 3-2 pitch over the fence in right. It was his first of the season and it came after he fell behind in the count, 0-2. Tyson Auer added one more in the fifth, recording a sacrifice fly to right to plate Ryan Richardson.
Carmine Giardina came on in relief in the sixth, but the UCF defense was unable to help him out as Maryland scored another unearned run to go up 9-2. The Knights attempted a late rally when they put the first two runners on base in the eighth. Facing Brad Taylor, Vazquez placed a 2-2 pitch into left field for his third hit of the day, driving in Romans from second. But Taylor settled down and sat down the next three hitters on strikes.
In the bottom of the ninth, though, he loaded the bases with one out and was forced to take a seat in favor of Brett Cecil. The right-handed reliever came in and struck out Steve Stropp for the second out, only to succumb to Vazquez in the next at-bat. With the count 3-1, he sent a no-doubter well beyond the fence in left to cap off his 4-for-5 performance. Cecil did manage to retire the final batter on strikes to ruin any UCF momentum, and ultimately finish off the 9-7 win.
The series wraps up Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at Jay Bergman Field. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.
WP: Ryan Moorer (1-0), 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
LP: Mitch Herold (0-1), 0.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
- Matt McClung set a career-high with four strikeouts. He went 4.1 innings and allowed just three hits.
- Overall, there were 22 strikeouts in the game, nine by UCF pitchers and 13 by the Maryland staff.
- Kiko Vazquez's two homers pushed his career mark to six, and it was the first time he had a multi-home run game. The last Golden Knight to have two dingers in one game was Eric Kallstrom against Tulane on April 15, 2006.
- With Vazquez posting six RBI, Tyson Auer provided UCF with the only other RBI, a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
- Brandon Romans went 1-for-4 with a double and scored two runs.
- Five UCF hitters were hit by a pitch in Saturday's loss.
- Carmine Giardina was virtually flawless in 4.0 innings of relief, striking out three and giving up two hits. The only run he allowed was unearned.