May 15, 2005
ORLANDO - Senior left fielder Dee Brown was 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI to power host UCF to a 12-5 victory over Georgia State on Senior Day at Jay Bergman Field. Brown belted two long home runs to move into a tie for seventh place in school history with 23 homers as the Golden Knights (39-14, 18-9) captured the series victory over the Panthers (25-27, 15-12).
"Big players make big plays in big games," commented UCF head coach Jay Bergman on Dee Brown's performance. "Certainly we were at a point in that game that something had to happen for our offense and Dee ignited us."
The Golden Knights were held scoreless until Brown's two-run home run in the sixth cut the deficit to 4-2. After Georgia State scored one unearned run in the seventh, UCF exploded for nine runs on seven hits as 13 batters were sent to the plate in the seventh to give the Golden Knights an 11-5 advantage. UCF established school records for runs and hits in the seventh as GSU used five pitchers in the big inning.
Senior Marshall Bernhard ripped one of his three doubles on the day to score the first two runs of the frame. Matt Horwath followed with a two-run single to give UCF its first lead of the contest, 6-5. With one runner on, Brown homered for the second time in two innings with a majestic two-run blast over the palm trees in left field to give UCF an 8-5 lead. Senior Kevin Richmond tallied a two-run double of his own as well to finish the offensive outburst to give the Golden Knights an 11-5 advantage.
After UCF scored just five runs in the first 23 innings of the series, the Golden Knights erupted for 12 runs over the game's final three innings to secure the win.
Freshman reliever Jaager Good (1-0) won his first career game in relief. The Atlanta native pitched a scoreless inning as the UCF bullpen failed to allow an earned run for the fourth straight game. Matt Rhodes pitched 2.1 innings of no-hit baseball with two strikeouts while Good and Ray Rodriguez combined to finish the Panthers.
"We need to give our bullpen credit because they pitched great all weekend," continued Bergman. "When we get down to tournament time, the bullpen is going to be the determining factor in the whole thing."
UCF's three senior starters of Brown, Bernhard and Richmond finished the afternoon 8-for-12 with two home runs, four doubles and nine RBI.
The Golden Knights close out the 2005 regular season at Mercer next week. The series begins Thursday in Macon and finishes with a doubleheader Friday.
Game Notes: Dee Brown's two home runs moved the senior into a tie for seventh place in school history in home runs with 23 ... Brown is tied with Chad Mottola for seventh in the UCF annals ... Brown has 15 home runs in 2005, tied for third in single-season history at UCF with Greg Pacitti (1997) ... Brown's three hits on the day moved him into second place in UCF history with 286 hits ... Brown needs just three hits to tie Tim Foskett for the school record ... Brown's five RBI give him 219 for his career, just two shy of equaling Vince Zawaski for first place in school history ... Brown's two-home run game was his fourth of the season.