April 30, 2006
ORLANDO - Top-ranked Rice took advantage of a costly UCF error in the top of the ninth inning as the Owls scored three unearned runs to break open a 3-3 tie en route to a 6-3 victory over the host Golden Knights Sunday afternoon at Jay Bergman Field.
UCF (22-24, 5-10 C-USA) held a 3-2 lead after seven innings of play, but Rice (39-9, 17-1 C-USA) scored one run in the eighth and three in the ninth for the come-from-behind victory.
The Golden Knights took their first lead of the series in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI-groundout by freshman first baseman Kiko Vazquez to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead.
The Owls responded in the next inning with a two-run home run by left fielder Aaron Luna to go on top, 2-1.
With the score tied at two in the bottom of the sixth inning, freshman left fielder Ryan Williams slapped a two-out single up the middle to bring home senior catcher Ryan Bono to give the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead.
Williams finished the day 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored. Sophomore center fielder Tyson Auer was 2-for-4 with a RBI and run scored as well, as the two combined for all four of UCF's hits.
Rice tied the game at three in the eighth inning on sacrifice fly by right fielder Jordan Dobson.
UCF looked to have a quick out to start the ninth on a routine pop up to second base, but UCF second baseman Danny Kash lost the ball in the sun, allowing the ball to drop in just beyond the infield for a hit. On the next play, Chad Lembeck laid down a sacrifice bunt that Vazquez misplayed into error to setup runners on first and second with no out. After a strikeout and a force out at third base, Rice shortstop Brian Friday sent a double down the left field line to drive in two unearned runs. Rice would add another unearned run to extend the lead to 6-3.
Rice reliever Cole St. Clair (5-2) tossed the final 1.2 innings, striking out three batters for his second win of the series.
UCF redshirt sophomore pitcher Brett Bordwine was solid for the Golden Knights. The Melbourne native allowed just one earned run and struck out five batters over a career-high 6.2 innings of work.
Senior closer Dominic Petracca (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season. The Sanford native tossed two innings and surrendered two hits and three unearned runs.
UCF returns to action Tuesday at Jay Bergman Field vs. Bethune-Cookman. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Game Notes: UCF dropped to 19-2 on the season when leading after seven innings of play ... UCF head coach Jay Bergman was ejected in the middle of the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes ... UCF's three-game attendance total of 2,479 was the sixth-largest series in Jay Bergman Field history.