March 18, 2006
ORLANDO - Senior catcher Ryan Bono crushed a walk-off home run to right field in the bottom of the 10th inning to lead host UCF to a 3-2 victory over Siena Saturday evening at Jay Bergman Field. The home run was Bono's third of the season and his second career walk-off homer. The last time Bono hit a walk-off shot was in NCAA regional play in 2004 in an extra-inning victory over Oklahoma State.
"There were a lot of key factors in tonight's game and the bench really did a good job," said UCF head coach Jay Bergman. "We just needed a lift out there and I was glad I could do the job for us," added Bono.
The win marked the first time this season UCF (12-10) has won in extra innings. The Golden Knights were 0-9 on the season when trailing after eight innings of play before tonight's comeback victory.
Both starting pitchers threw well but were not involved in the decisions. Siena (2-12) starter James Pacifico tossed a career-high nine innings and fanned a career-high seven for the Saints while UCF freshman Mitch Houck equaled a career-best with seven strikeouts in six-plus innings of work. Houck allowed just one earned run on the night.
UCF reliever Dominic Petracca pitched four shutout innings to pick up his first win of the season. Petracca (1-0) finished with three strikeouts as UCF's bullpen yielded just two hits in four innings of work.
Siena's John Wilkes tripled to start the third inning and scored on a single by Billy Lazio to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
Siena looked to have a big inning going in the seventh as the Saints loaded the bases with no outs, but could only manage one run on a RBI-single by Michael Ambury to extend the lead to 2-0. On the single by Ambury, UCF freshman right fielder Dave DiNatale threw a strike from right field to throw out Eric Hildenbrand for the first out of the frame. On the same play, UCF catcher Ryan Bono fired down to first to catch Ambury in a run down for a critical double play. UCF escaped without any other damage as Wilkes popped out to shortstop to end the inning.
UCF went to its bench in the bottom of the eighth to score one run. Senior pinch hitter Dave Lambert
started the comeback with a single. After another single by freshman DH Steve Stropp
, sophomore pinch hitter Matt Lambert
drilled a line-drive single off the pitcher's foot to score UCF's first run of the night.
The Golden Knights tied the contest at two in the ninth as center fielder Tyson Auer ripped a single up the middle to score junior second baseman Matt Horwath. Horwath started the inning with a double down the line in right and later advanced to third on a wild pitch before coming home on Auer's single.
Bono's blast in the 10th was UCF's 13th hit of the night. Three Golden Knights finished with multi-hit games, including three hits from freshman right fielder Dave DiNatale and two each from Bono and Horwath.
UCF looks to close out a three-game sweep Sunday vs. Siena. First pitch is scheduled for 12 noon.
Game Notes: UCF is 4-5 in one-run games ... the Golden Knights are 1-1 in extra-inning contests ... UCF is 1-9 when trailing after eight innings of play ... the Golden Knights are 11-2 when they outhit the opposition.