May 27, 2005
DeLAND - Senior Darren Newlin turned in one of his best career performances in UCF's most important game of the season as he limited Troy to one unearned run in 7.1 innings to lead UCF to a 5-1 victory over the Trojans Friday in the A-Sun Baseball Championship. UCF (42-17) eliminated the top-seeded Trojans (37-21) from the tournament as UCF advances to face No. 2 seed Florida Atlantic Saturday at 1 p.m.
If FAU wins vs. Stetson tonight, the Golden Knights must take two from the Owls Saturday to capture the A-Sun Championship. If Stetson is victorious, UCF would need to defeat Florida Atlantic and Stetson Saturday.
"Outstanding," UCF head coach Jay Bergman commented on the performance of Newlin. "That is what we had to have and still not go deep in the bullpen since we have to win two games tomorrow," added Bergman.
Newlin (9-3) was masterful in holding the Trojans to one unearned run on three hits with four strikeouts. After lasting just 2.0 innings in a start at Troy during the regular season, Newlin was at his best in the postseason to eliminate the Trojans.
"I was able to get ahead in the count and that was key today," stated Newlin.
Over the last two A-Sun Tournament games, UCF's pitching staff has yielded one unearned run.
The Trojans struck first in the fifth on a RBI single by Bryan Madril to hand the Trojans a 1-0 lead.
UCF finally got on the scoreboard in the seventh with two runs. With the bases loaded and one out, Dee Brown hit a grounder to Troy third baseman Jared Keel and Keel threw home to cut down a run, but the throw hit Tyson Auer and bounced into the UCF dugout to score two runs to give UCF its first lead of the game, 2-1.
UCF came up with three critical runs in the ninth to extend the lead to 5-1. John-Michael Howell singled to score a run while Drew Butera walked with the bases loaded and Ryan Bono was hit by a pitch to force in a run.
Mike Billek pitched the final 1.2 innings with two strikeouts for his first save of the season.
UCF returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. vs. Florida Atlantic. The game will air live on the UCF ISP Sports Network (740-The Team) with pre game coverage starting at 12:45 p.m.
Game Notes: Marshall Bernhard swiped his 24th stolen base of the season in the second inning ... Drew Butera gunned down Adam Godwin in the fifth inning for the third time this season ... Godwin, who has 84 stolen bases in 93 attempts in 2005, is 0-for-3 vs. Butera in four games ... Butera became the sixth Golden Knight, and second in as many days to surpass the 40 RBI mark ... Ryan Bono extended his own school record as he was hit by a pitch for the 18th time this season later in the frame ... UCF stranded 13 runners on base ... UCF moved to 5-14 on the season when trailing after 6.0 innings of play ... UCF is 10-2 in 2005 when wearing all gray uniforms.