March 1, 2005
DAYTONA BEACH - Junior right-handed pitcher Ray Rodriguez allowed just one earned run over 7.2 innings and juniors Ryan Bono and John-Michael Howell hit back-to-back home runs to power No. 26 UCF past Bethune-Cookman 9-2 Tuesday evening at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach. The Golden Knights won their fifth consecutive game to improve to 12-2 on the season with the win while Bethune-Cookman dropped to 3-13 overall.
Rodriguez was in command all night long as he retired 11 straight batters at one point to improve to 3-0 on the season. The New York native tossed a career-high 7.2 innings, allowed two runs, one earned, with four strikeouts and two walks for the win.
The UCF offense scored nine runs on nine hits, including two, two-out RBI by Ryan Bono. Bono got things started in the first with a RBI-single through the left side to score Matt Ray, giving UCF a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats evened the game at one in the third before UCF scored two in the fourth and two in the fifth to blow the game open.
With a 3-1 lead in the fifth, Bono and Howell drilled back-to-back home runs to give the Golden Knights a 5-1 lead. The first multi-home run game of the season for UCF came with two outs in the inning.
Bethune-Cookman got one run back in the seventh, but the Golden Knights finished strong with two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth to close out the win.
Bono had a big night with the bat, leading UCF with a 2-for-3 performance including two RBI and two runs scored. Marshall Bernhard had two hits and two stolen bases as well and a RBI for the victors while right fielder Justin Mahon was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
The Golden Knights return to Jay Bergman
Field this Friday to begin a four-game series vs. Siena. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Friday evening.
Game Notes: UCF improved to 58-13 all-time vs. Bethune-Cookman with the win ... the Golden Knights have won seven straight games vs. B-CC, including six straight at Jackie Robinson Ballpark ... With Bono and Howell's back-to-back home runs in the fifth, it marked the first time since May 8, 2004 since UCF hit back-to-back jacks ... Drake Wade and Jon Cooper hit the consecutive home runs at Clemson ... UCF is 9-0 when scoring first in 2005 and 5-0 when scoring in the first inning ... the Golden Knights are 11-0 when leading after six innings ... UCF is 6-1 in 2005 when out-hitting its opponent ... the Golden Knights are 5-0 at night in 2005 and 6-0 vs. Florida schools.