April 29, 2006
ORLANDO - Rice first baseman Joe Savery broke a scoreless tie with a RBI-single in the seventh inning to lead the top-ranked Owls to a 2-1 victory over host UCF Saturday evening at Jay Bergman Field. The Owls scored both of their runs in the seventh as Savery later scored on a wild pitch by UCF reliever Derek Abriola in the frame.
"We battled and Mitch Houck did a great job tonight," commented UCF head coach Jay Bergman. "For the sixth time in seven games, we failed to execute a bunt situation and move runners over in a key situation. Still, we had chances to win and just could not come through in the end."
The win moved Rice to 38-9 overall and 16-1 in Conference USA while UCF dropped to 22-23 and 5-9 in league play.
UCF's pitching staff has held Rice scoreless in 16 of the 18 innings this series. The Owls scored two runs in the ninth to win 2-0 on Friday before the two-run seventh tonight in the one-run victory.
The Golden Knights managed to score their first run of the series in the eighth on a RBI-groundout by senior designated hitter Dave Lambert. Sophomore center fielder Tyson Auer was UCF's lone bright spot offensively, going 3-for-4 with a double and run scored.
Rice starter Bobby Bell held the UCF offense in check, throwing 7.2 innings of shutout baseball. Bell (6-0) yielded six hits and struck out two in the win. Rice reliever Bobby Bramhall worked 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball for his third save of the season.
UCF freshman left-hander Mitch Houck pitched well for the Golden Knights. The Weston native surrendered no runs on six hits in 5.1 innings of work with eight strikeouts.
Savery and shortstop Brian Friday each had three hits for the Owls. Rice totaled 11 hits on the night, but left 15 runners on base.
UCF and Rice close out the series Sunday at 1 p.m. from Jay Bergman Field. Sophomore right-hander Brett Bordwine is scheduled to start for the Golden Knights.