March 19, 2005
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Dee Brown hit a grand slam and Drew Butera tied a career-high with three hits and three RBI to lead No. 22 UCF to a 12-5 victory over Gardner-Webb Saturday afternoon at Varsity Field in Boiling Springs, N.C. UCF exploded for 12 runs on 12 hits to win the series over Gardner-Webb. With the victory, UCF improved to 23-4 overall and 5-1 in the A-Sun.
Ray Rodriguez (5-0) pitched well in his first A-Sun start. The New York native filled in for an injured Mike Billek in the UCF weekend rotation and held GWU to just one earned run in 6.0 innings of work. Rodriguez yielded six hits and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts.
The Golden Knights used a five-run third and a six-run outburst in the fifth to take control of the game.
After scoring one run in the first when Matt Ray scampered home on a wild pitch, the Golden Knights crossed home plate five times in the third. John-Michael Howell and Marshall Bernhard each delivered RBI base hits before Drew Butera drilled a bases loaded double down the left field line to score three, giving UCF a 6-0 lead.
The Golden Knights chased Gardner-Webb starter Wes Cogdill after 3.0 innings of work. The freshman left-hander for the Bulldogs allowed six runs on seven hits and five walks.
In the fifth, Brown crushed his first career grand slam over the fence in left center to give the Golden Knights a 10-1 lead. Marshall Bernhard followed two batters later with a two-run shot of his own to increase the lead to 12-1.
The home run was Brown's sixth of the season, tops on the team and a new season-high for the senior left fielder.
UCF let Gardner-Webb back into the game in the sixth as the Bulldogs scored four unearned runs to cut the deficit to 12-5.
Derek Abriola and Jeremy Thorne provided three innings of shutout relief to secure the victory.
Seven of UCF's nine starters recorded hits, including three by Butera and two apiece by Brown, Bernhard and John-Michael Howell.
UCF returns to action Tuesday at No. 6 Florida. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. The game will air live on Sun Sports and 740-AM The Team on the UCF ISP Sports Network. The game will be joined in progress on 740 AM at 7 p.m.