March 23, 2008
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Looking to win a three-game series in one of the toughest parks in Conference USA, the No. 16 UCF baseball team dropped a 10-6 decision at Southern Miss Sunday to open the C-USA schedule with a 1-2 mark. The Knights also saw their overall record move to 20-3 on the year.
Junior Eric Kallstrom was able to stretch his hitting streak to 13 games in the loss to the Golden Eagles (15-6, 2-1), while senior Ryan Richardson went 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
Richardson and Tim Russell combined to give UCF the first run of the game in the second inning against Todd McInnis. On a 2-1 pitch, Richardson blasted his third triple of the year to right, and Russell successfully took a pitch to the right side for a groundout to second, allowing his teammate to touch home easily.
The lead would not hold up in the bottom half, where Southern Miss loaded them up with no outs vs. junior Mitch Herold. Although the lefty picked up a 1-2-3 double play for the first two outs, Corey Stevens tied it with a RBI single to left and Bo Davis hammered a two-run double to left for a 3-1 USM lead. UCF cut that in half in the fourth on an unearned run, but a two-out RBI double in the fifth from Brian Dozier gave the run right back to the Golden Eagles, and Keith Winstead made it 6-2 on a two-run homer to right later in the stanza.
Down by four, UCF tried to go to work on McInnis and forced him out of the game in the sixth. Richardson opened the inning with a walk, and Russell and Kallstrom followed with singles to fill them up with nobody out. Junior Robert Lara was issued a walk after he fell behind 1-2, which forced USM to go to sidearmer Collin Cargill, who got out No. 1 on a fielder's choice off the bat of junior Josh Siebenaler as Russell scored. Cargill then quickly got the next two outs to keep UCF at bay.
USM put it away in the sixth, scoring its first run without putting a ball in play on two walks and two hit by pitches. The Golden Eagles completed the inning with two more runs for a 9-4 advantage. The Knights did load the bags again with no one out in the seventh and came away with two runs on a pair of groundouts. USM eventually tallied one more in the eighth to close out the victory.
With the first conference weekend completed, UCF heads home to tangle with North Florida Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Season tickets as well as single-game tickets to check out UCF baseball this year are currently available by contacting the UCF Ticket Office at 407-823-1000, or by going online at www.ucfathletics.com, the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.
No. 16 UCF - 20-3 Overall, 1-2 Conference USA
Southern Miss - 15-6 Overall, 2-1 Conference USA
WP: Todd McInnis (5-1), 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 K
LP: Mitch Herold (2-1), 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 0K
- Sophomore hurler Austin Hudson entered the game without giving up a hit in his last 10.0 innings of relief. The righty pitched 2.1 hitless innings from the pen Sunday before allowing a single to leadoff the bottom of the fifth, ultimately ending his streak at 12.1 frames.
- Mitch Houck made his first appearance since tossing seven no-hit innings vs. Wagner March 17, coming on in relief in the sixth and picked up one out without giving up a hit, but walked two and hit two batters in his outing.
- Dwayne Bailey remained perfect on the bases at 13-for-13 with a steal of second in the first inning.
- With Richardson's three-bagger in the second inning, the Knights now have 10 triples on the year. Last season, UCF amassed just 13 triples.
- Southern Miss assistant coach Graham Martin was ejected in the top of the fourth for arguing balls and strikes.