March 12, 2006
ORLANDO - Freshman catcher Steve Stropp collected a career-high four hits, including a three-run home run to propel host UCF past Wagner 5-2 Sunday afternoon at Jay Bergman Field. Stropp tied a career-best with four RBI and scored two runs as UCF evened its record at 9-9 while Wagner remained winless at 0-5.
"Steve had a big day for us with the bat," said UCF head coach Jay Bergman. "Derek (Abriola) came in and settled the whole game down out of the bullpen. He has done a good job this spring for us."
For the second time in the series, Stropp drilled a three-run homer to give the Golden Knights a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Stropp ripped a fastball from Wagner starter Mike D'Angelis over the fence in left.
Wagner closed the gap to 3-2 in the fourth with a pair of runs. Nick Papa singled through the right side to score Matt Mastrianni and Ed Sudol also came home to score on the play when UCF right fielder Shane Ynclan mishandled the ball in right.
The UCF bullpen made the 3-2 lead stand as sophomore pitcher Jeremy Thorne won his first career start. Thorne (2-2) pitched 5.1 innings and allowed two runs on six hits with three strikeouts for the victors.
Stropp continued his big day at the plate with a RBI-double to right-center in the sixth to drive in UCF's fourth run of the game. The Golden Knights loaded the bases with just one out in the sixth, but could only manage one additional run as Stropp scored on a wild pitch to give UCF a 5-2 lead.
Senior closer Dominic Petracca pitched a perfect ninth inning for his sixth save of the season. Junior Derek Abriola tossed 2.2 innings of shutout baseball with four strikeouts as UCF's bullpen logged 3.2 innings of hitless baseball.
Game three of the series is on tap Monday at 6:30 p.m. Freshman right-hander Kyle Sweat
is scheduled to start on the mound for UCF.
Game Notes: UCF was without the services of three starters Sunday vs. Wagner. Sophomore CF Tyson Auer, senior C Ryan Bono and junior 3B Matt Ray missed the game due to illness. UCF assistant coach Derek Wolfe also missed the game due to illness ... UCF is 8-0 all-time vs. Wagner ... Freshman 1B Kiko Vazquez was hit by a pitch twice in Sunday's game. In the first two games of the series, Vazquez has been hit by a pitch five times ... Dominic Petracca moved into sole possession of fourth place in UCF history with 10 career saves.