April 7, 2007
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Game Notes for Sunday, April 8
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Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - A second-straight comeback was not on tap Saturday at Jay Bergman Field, where the UCF baseball team dropped an 8-3 decision to Southern Miss in Conference USA action. The win for the Golden Eagles (19-13, 2-6) kept them ahead of the Knights in the C-USA standings as the Black and Gold dropped to 1-7 in league play and 17-18 for the season.
Tyson Auer banged out three singles in his first three at-bats to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest by a Golden Knight since the 2005 campaign when three players had a string of at least 10-straight outings with a hit.
UCF starter Carmine Giardina (1-2) reached the seventh inning before being pulled. He completed his outing with seven strikeouts and five runs allowed on eight hits. Southern Miss' Barry Bowden (2-3) went 7.0 solid innings and struck out 10 while walking five to get the win.
Giardina pitched a perfect first for the Knights, but his counterpart could not do the same for the Golden Eagles. Bowden gave up a leadoff single to Matt Horwath, who swiped his first base of the season to reach second. Although Eric Kallstrom struck out, an infield single by Auer put runners at the corners, but he was picked off first. Bowden did load the bases on two walks, yet still got out of it by sitting Ryan Richardson down on strikes.
While Southern Miss went quietly in the second, Brian Dozier provided it with a 1-0 lead in the third by lacing a two-out, two-strike RBI single up the middle to score Chance Harst. UCF struck back in the bottom half. With runners at first and second and one out, Kiko Vazquez sent a soft grounder to short and the Golden Eagles started the double play. The throw from second baseman Bailey Hartel to first, though, was in the dirt and it allowed Kallstrom to come all the way around to tie the game.
Bo Davis returned the favor in the fifth, drilling a solo homer to right field to retake the lead, 2-1. Once again it did not last long. For the third-straight time, Horwath led off an inning by reaching base, this time on a walk to get the bottom of the fifth going. A hit by pitch and Auer's third single of the game filled the bases for Vazquez. The first baseman did tie it up, but it came on a 6-3 double play and that was all UCF could put on the board.
A fielder's choice with runners at the corners and nobody away in the top of the sixth gave Southern Miss another one-run advantage, 3-2. It came back in the seventh with two more to make it 5-2. Giardina was able to get the first two outs then surrendered a base hit and a walk. He left for the dugout as Derek Abriola entered, and gave up a RBI single on the first pitch to Dozier. Now facing runners at the corners, a balk provided the Golden Eagles with the second run of the frame.
With Bowden still in the game in the eighth, he had already thrown 117 pitches before serving up Vazquez on the first pitch of the frame. UCF's leading home run hitter belted his fifth of the season over the left-center fence to help the Knights inch closer, 5-3. Vazquez's dinger was the team's first since Chris Duffy's shot against Massachusetts March 11. Shane Brown forced Southern Miss to the pen when he ripped the next pitch for a single into right center. Reliever Tyler Conn picked up the first out, then gave up a single to pinch-hitter Brandon Romans to help UCF put the tying runner aboard. Conn settled in and kept the lead at two runs, inducing D.J. Bissell and Kyle Mills to fly out to end the threat.
The Golden Eagles made sure that Saturday's game would not get away from them, as they plated three unearned runs in the top of the ninth, aided by three UCF errors, to secure the victory.
UCF and Southern Miss wrap up the three-game set Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. at Jay Bergman Field. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.
WP: Barry Bowden (2-3), 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 10 K
LP: Carmine Giardina (1-2), 6.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
- A day after notching the game-winning hit in the 10th inning, freshman D.J. Bissell earned his first career start, batting eighth and playing left field.
- Carmine Giardina finished with 117 pitches, tied for most by a UCF starter this year (Brett Bordwine at Stetson March 27).
- Bo Davis' homer in the fifth was the first home run given up by UCF since March 25 against Houston, as the Knights went seven-straight games without allowing a dinger.
- Since moving to the three hole in game one at UAB March 31, Tyson Auer has gone 11-for-24. Meanwhile, Matt Horwath, who took over for Auer in the leadoff spot, is 8-for-18 after the switch.
- UCF will close the series by sending junior righty Brett Bordwine (2-1, 5.16 ERA) to the hill. Southern Miss is set to go with junior right-hander David Clark (3-2, 5.58 ERA).