May 14, 2005
ORLANDO - Georgia State (25-26, 15-11) senior left-hander Ben Rulon pitched a five-hit complete game to lead the visiting Panthers to a 3-2 victory over UCF (38-14, 17-9) Saturday evening at Jay Bergman Field. Rulon yielded two unearned runs with three strikeouts and four walks to stymie the UCF lineup all night long. The Golden Knights left seven runners on base and had a player thrown out at the plate in the one-run loss.
"We had opportunities, but I think when you get in a close game like tonight and you are not scoring a lot of runs and when you don't take advantage of one or two situations in a ball game that is what happens," commented UCF head coach Jay Bergman.
The Panthers scored one run in the third and two in the sixth to take a 3-0 lead. The Golden Knights got one run back in the sixth on a Dee Brown RBI groundout to cut the lead to 3-1.
In the seventh with Ryan Bono on first and one out, Matt Ray doubled down the left field line and Georgia State executed a perfect relay to nail Bono at the plate for the second out of the inning. Kevin Richmond followed with a groundout to shortstop to end the threat.
The Golden Knights started the ninth with a leadoff walk by Drew Butera. Butera advanced to second on a throwing error by GSU first baseman Rusty Bennett and later made it to third with two outs. The game looked to be over on a routine grounder to third baseman Adam Caldwell, but he misplayed the ball and allowed Butera to score to cut the lead to 3-2 with two outs. Rulon would recover from the shaky defense to strikeout Courtney Propst to end the game.
Both teams combined for just 11 hits as Georgia State committed four errors in the loss.
UCF starter Darren Newlin was the tough-luck loser for the Golden Knights. In his final home start of his career, Newlin yielded three runs on five hits in 6.0 innings. The UCF bullpen for the second straight game did not allow a run as four relievers combined to throw 3.0 innings of one-hit relief.
The rubber game of the series is on tap Sunday at 1 p.m. UCF will honor its seven seniors prior to the game on Senior Day. Live radio coverage on 740-AM The Team begins at 12:45 as Taylor Cobb takes to the hill for the Golden Knights.
Game Notes: Drew Butera finished 0-for-2 with two walks to snap his 14-game hitting streak ... UCF lost just its fourth game ever vs. Georgia State (19-4).