May 10, 2008
Box Score in PDF Format
Sunday's Game Three Preview in PDF Format
ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - An early offensive attack provided Mitch Herold with all of the run support he needed as the UCF baseball team recorded a 6-1 win Saturday at Jay Bergman Field. The victory pushed the Knights' record to 8-15 in Conference USA (31-21 overall) and also permitted them to secure a spot in the eight-team C-USA Championship May 21-25.
A night after UAB (20-31, 4-16) collected 22 hits in a UCF extra-inning triumph, Herold gave up only two hits in 7.0 innings. The lefty moved to 4-3 on the year by keeping the Blazers off the scoreboard in his outing, while he did not issue a walk and struck out seven. UAB finished with just four hits against the UCF staff.
"Tonight was great, but we are more interested in continuing to play well," said interim head coach Craig Cozart. "Last year we got the first two games against Marshall and that qualified us for the conference tournament. Then the following day we didn't show up and didn't play well. We stressed to do the guys tonight that we are not going to do what we did last year, and we want to continue this momentum."
Catcher Robert Lara helped his battery mate earn the win by going 2-for-3 with three RBI, and junior Colin Arnold joined the party with two hits, his 17th double of the year and two runs scored. Seniors Tyson Auer and Dwayne Bailey added two hits apiece as well.
Not wanting to play from behind like Friday's comeback victory, UCF took the lead right away in the bottom of the first. UAB starter Beau Pender surrendered leadoff singles to Arnold and Auer, then walked junior Kiko Vazquez to fill the bases. Two batters later, Lara drilled the first pitch he saw up the middle for a pair of RBI.
The lead was pushed to 3-0 in the second on a RBI single from Auer, scoring Bailey who notched an infield single earlier in the inning. It eventually reached 4-0 thanks to a bases-loaded walk to junior Eric Kallstrom in the third. When the Blazers went to the pen in the fourth, UCF loaded them up once again with one down for sophomore Shane Brown. Facing James Oliver, the third baseman just missed a grand slam but was able to place a fly ball deep enough into left for a sac fly. Now with two down, Lara roped a single into left to allow Arnold to touch home for a 6-0 cushion.
While the Knights' bats were at work, Herold was cruising. The only trouble he worked into was in the fourth when the Blazers put runners at second and third with two only yet still could not score. That started a stretch in which the southpaw retired 12-straight batters before a fielding error in the seventh ended the streak.
UAB did manage to end UCF's shutout bid by plating a run in the eighth on a balk from reliever Evan Stobbs. However, the freshman hurler tossed a scoreless ninth to finalize the 6-1 victory.
The Knights' final C-USA regular-season game of the year is set for Sunday vs. the Blazers with first pitch at 1 p.m.
UCF baseball single-game tickets 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.
UAB - 20-31 Overall, 4-16 Conference USA
UCF - 31-21 Overall, 8-15 Conference USA
WP: Mitch Herold (4-3), 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
LP: Beau Pender (0-2), 3.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 K
- UCF needs to win on Sunday vs. UAB to close out the C-USA season in seventh place.
- Tyson Auer recorded his 16th career sacrifice bunt, moving him into a tie for seventh on the all-time list with Dwayne Bailey.
- Auer also picked up two hits to tie Chad Mottola for eighth on the career list with 222.
- UCF loaded the bases in three of the first four innings.
- Shane Brown's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning was his seventh of the season, which pushed him into a tie for fifth on the UCF single-season chart.
- Saturday marked the 21st-straight game that the Knights did not commit more than two errors. UCF finished with just one miscue on the night.
- Bailey notched his 21st stolen base of 2008. The second baseman is now 21-for-22 this year (95.5 percent).
- Interim head coach Craig Cozart kept Mitch Herold's pitch count under 90 because of the short week that lies ahead. UCF's series next weekend vs. Clemson will actually start on Thursday, forcing Herold to move his start up from Saturday to Friday of next week. That may also happen again with the C-USA Championship as that tournament kicks off on a Wednesday.