May 26, 2005
DeLAND - Sophomore Tim Bascom fired UCF's first complete-game shutout in the Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship since Mike Maroth in 1998 as the third-seeded Golden Knights blanked No. 6 seed Gardner-Webb 3-0 Thursday afternoon at Melching Field. Bascom held the Bulldogs to seven hits with six strikeouts as UCF (41-17) advanced to face top-seeded Troy Friday at 3 p.m. in an elimination game.
"To get nine innings and a shutout from a starter makes coaching pretty easy," commented UCF head coach Jay Bergman. "I think Tim really threw his change better today. That was the best we have seen it this season."
The last time a UCF pitcher tossed a complete-game shutout in the postseason (A-Sun or NCAA) was Maroth vs. Jacksonville State in the 1998 A-Sun Baseball Championship. Maroth limited the Gamecocks to just two hits in a 5-0 UCF victory.
"I felt really good with the extra day of rest and I had a lot more break on my curve ball today," stated Bascom. "I was able to throw my change for strikes, which I haven't been able to do all year and I had all three pitches working for strikes."
A two-run single by Marshall Bernhard in the fourth gave UCF a 2-0 lead. Matt Horwath walked to start the inning and Dee Brown singled before Bernhard drove both in to break the scoreless tie. A two-out single by Drew Butera plated Bernhard to put the Golden Knights in front 3-0.
UCF had a golden opportunity to put the game out of the reach in the eighth as UCF had runners on second and third with no outs. After Ward struck out Brown, John-Michael Howell walked to load the bases. Ward pitched his way out of the jam as he induced two groundouts to end the threat.
Bascom (10-2) held the Bulldogs (28-29) in check the rest of the way as the sophomore won his 10th game of the season. He is now tied for sixth in single-season history at UCF with 10 wins and moved into sixth place in the single-season annals with 113 strikeouts.
Ward (7-9) threw 142 pitches in the loss for the Bulldogs. The junior right-hander struck out six and walked four in a losing effort.
The win sets up a critical elimination game tomorrow between Troy and the Golden Knights. UCF lost a coin toss and will be the visiting team on the scoreboard vs. the Trojans. With a win over the Trojans, UCF would advance to play on Saturday.
Game Notes: Thursday's 3-0 victory was UCF's fifth shutout of the season ... the complete game for Bascom was his third of the season ... UCF improved to 28-5 when scoring first ... UCF is 28-11 all-time in A-Sun Tournament play ... the Golden Knights are 16-6 at Melching Field ... UCF is 2-0 vs. Gardner-Webb in A-Sun Tournament play ... Bernhard became the fourth Golden Knight to eclipse the 40 RBI mark this season ... Tyson Auer picked up his 15th stolen base in the ninth inning.