March 5, 2006
ORLANDO - Freshman third baseman Vinny Cucci broke a 4-4 tie with a RBI-single in the sixth inning to drive in the game-winning run as the Golden Knights topped Monmouth 5-4 Sunday afternoon at Jay Bergman Field. The Golden Knights earned the series victory with the one-run decision over the Hawks.
"I thought our bullpen pitched really well," commented UCF head coach Jay Bergman after the 5-4 win. "We had a chance early to blow the game open and we didn't do it. That gave Monmouth the energy to stay in the game before we rallied in the sixth for the victory."
UCF (6-8) held a 3-1 lead entering the sixth inning before the Hawks scored three runs to knock UCF starting pitcher Kyle Sweat out of the game. Patrick Sullivan drove in two runs on a single and Marc Weres delivered a sacrifice fly to give Monmouth (1-5) a 4-3 lead after 5.5 innings of play.
The Golden Knights scored two runs in the sixth as Monmouth committed two errors in the frame. Freshman right fielder Dave DiNatale started the inning with a single and later scored on a throwing error by Weres at third base. Freshman designated hitter Steve Stropp advanced to second base on the throwing error by Weres on a sacrifice bunt and later scored on Cucci's game-winning RBI with a single up the middle.
The UCF bullpen made the lead stand as three UCF hurlers combined to pitch 3.2 innings of no-hit baseball. Sophomore Brett Bordwine (1-1) earned the win after pitching 1.2 innings of relief. Senior closer Dominic Petracca threw just five pitches in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
Petracca has saved three one-run victories for the Golden Knights in 2006. He now has nine career saves, which places him in a tie for fourth in UCF history with Jason Schlutt.
UCF out-hit the Hawks 7-5 as both Cucci and DiNatale each finished with two hits for the victors.
The Golden Knights return to the diamond Tuesday at rival Stetson. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. from Melching Field at Conrad Park in DeLand. Freshman left-hander Mitch Herold is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Golden Knights.
The game will air live on the UCF ISP Sports Network with Steve Egan handling the play-by-play. The pregame show begins at 6:45 p.m. on WQTM - 740 The Team.