March 28, 2006
ORLANDO - Freshman left-handed pitcher Mitch Houck tossed a career-high eight innings and allowed just one hit, but it was not enough as the host Golden Knights lost to Stetson 5-2 Tuesday evening at Jay Bergman Field. Houck fanned a career-high 11 Hatters and retired 17 of the final 18 batters he faced.
"It is shame the team didn't back Mitch Houck," stated UCF head coach Jay Bergman following the game. "The guy goes out there as a freshman and punches out 11 guys and we don't have any ability or desire at the plate to help Mitch out."
Stetson (13-14) was held to just three hits on the night, but UCF (16-12) committed three costly errors leading to three unearned runs.
The Hatters started the scoring with two runs in the second on a two-run single by catcher Brad Pippa.
UCF evened the game at two in the third on a two-run single by sophomore center fielder Tyson Auer.
The Golden Knights wasted a bases loaded opportunity in the fourth with just one out as junior second baseman Matt Horwath grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Stetson finally broke the 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth when left fielder Brian Pruitt tripled to right field to start the inning. Shortstop Brian Bocock followed with a sharp single through the left side to put the Hatters back on top, 3-2.
Right fielder Adam Tindle followed with a sacrifice bunt, which UCF reliever Derek Abriola mishandled and threw the ball up the right field line allowing Bocock to score to give Stetson a 4-2 advantage. Pippa drove in his third run of the night on a suicide squeeze bunt to give Stetson a 5-2 lead.
Stetson reliever Robbie Elsemiller (1-2) pitched the final two innings to earn his first win of the season. Abriola (2-1) yielded three runs, one earned, in 0.0 innings of work for his first loss of the year.
The Golden Knights return to action this weekend with their inaugural Conference USA series at Marshall. UCF visits the Thundering Herd Friday to begin a three-game set in Charleston, W.Va. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Friday evening from Appalachian Power Park.
Game Notes: UCF is 0-5 vs. teams from the Atlantic Sun conference in 2006 ... UCF is just 2-4 on Tuesdays this season ... the Golden Knights are 59-45 all-time vs. Stetson.