March 9, 2007
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Game Notes for Saturday, March 10
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Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The pieces may be falling into place for UCF, as it continued to play solid baseball Friday in a 6-1 victory over Massachusetts at Jay Bergman Field. Freshman and Boone High School product Austin Hudson pitched 6.0 scoreless innings to notch his first-career victory, while Sebring native Kiko Vazquez went 2-for-3 with four RBI, including his fourth homer of the year for the Golden Knights (9-9).
"I think Austin pitched very well, and Derek Abriola had two solid innings and Kyle Sweat finished it up and that was good," said head coach Jay Bergman. "That was the third game we did not make any errors and that is the big thing. We keep telling the players to get in the seventh inning with our starters, make no errors and get timely hits. We didn't hit a lot of hits tonight, but we got them at the right time."
Making his first collegiate appearance in the starting lineup, Hudson posted UCF's third-straight quality start Friday evening. He did not giving up a run on four hits and struck out six in the win over the Minutemen (0-1). Vazquez's three-run job in the third was his eighth-career dinger, and he ended his night with four RBI to give him 22 on the campaign. As a freshman last season, the first baseman finished with 21 RBI for the entire year.
Hudson looked strong in the opening inning, needing just 10 pitches to go through the top three batters of the UMass lineup, then used only seven to retire the side in the second. UCF, after going down in order in the first two frames, finally put something together in the third against UMass starter Chris Lloyd. Ryan Richardson began the inning with a base hit through the left side, and Eric Kallstrom reached by getting hit by a pitch. Dwayne Bailey somehow managed to sacrifice the runners over even though the pitch was high and inside. Following a walk to Tyson Auer, Chadd Hartman hit a fly out deep enough to left that allowed Richardson to touch home.
Now up 1-0 and two down, the Knights' leading home run hitter, Vazquez, confidently entered the batter's box and on a 2-2 pitch, sent a no-doubter over the fence in left field to boost the lead to 4-0.
Hudson continued to breeze through Massachusetts, but worked into some trouble in the fourth after retiring 11 of the first 12 hitters he faced. Two two-out singles put a couple of runners aboard, however Hudson worked out of his first jam by forcing Bryan Garrity to ground out to second to end the threat. The right-hander kept the Minutemen scoreless again in the fifth. With a runner at second and one out, Travis Munsey sent a grounder over to Bailey at second base, who sprinted to his left, reached down to snag the ball, twirled around and fired to first for the second out. Hudson escaped the stanza unharmed by striking out Jim Cassidy.
Abriola came on for Hudson in the seventh and was able to strand a runner at third with only one out, keeping the Knights up by four. Vazquez added to the lead in the bottom of the seventh, lacing a two-out double to the gap in right center, scoring Auer who had reached on a fielder's choice earlier in the inning. Kyle Maulbetsch, who was a defensive replacement in the top of the seventh, then made it 6-0 on a RBI single to right field.
Massachusetts did tack on a run with two outs in the ninth to ruin the UCF pitching staff's bid for the first shutout of the year. But the victory was already in the Golden Knights' hands.
The three-game series between UCF and Massachusetts continues with a 6:30 p.m. showdown Saturday at Jay Bergman Field. The series finale is set for 1 p.m. Sunday. 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: Austin Hudson (1-0), 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
LP: Chris Lloyd (0-1), 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
- The victory was UCF's first in a weekend-series opener this season. It also pushed the Knights to the .500 mark for the first time since Feb. 4 when they went 1-1 against Florida International to begin the year.
- Chadd Hartman had his eight-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-3 vs. UMass.
- With a single in the third inning, Chris Duffy extended his hitting streak to six games.
- This week, freshmen pitchers Carmine Giardina (vs. Michigan State) and Austin Hudson (vs. Massachusetts) both recorded their first-career wins.
- Friday marked the second time in as many games that a UCF opponent ruined a shutout bid with two outs in the ninth inning.
- UCF's last three-game winning streak came early last year when it won four-straight March 17-21.