April 17, 2012
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By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Junior Ronnie Richardson set the tone early with a home run on the first pitch of the game as the No. 10 UCF baseball team completed its season sweep of Florida Atlantic with a 12-3 triumph Tuesday night in front of 1,497 fans at the UCF baseball complex.
The Knights (31-8), who outscored the Owls, 23-6, during the two-game season series, have now won six-straight midweek contests.
Freshman Eric Skoglund (5-1, 2.23 ERA) tied the team lead with his fifth win of the year after tossing five innings of seven-hit ball while allowing three runs and tying his career-best with seven strikeouts. The bullpen, consisting of Bryan Brown, Jimmy Reed and Matt Collins, was lights out, not allowing a hit over the course of the final 12 outs.
"I thought our guys played a pretty complete game in a lot of different facets," said head coach Terry Rooney, who is 4-1 against the Owls since arriving at UCF. "It was good to get Eric Skoglund out there and extend him. Offensively, I thought we responded with the bats to a lot of different looks."
The Knights will head right back on the road after just three days in Orlando to take on Tulane in New Orleans for a weekend set beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
UCF's offense wasted no time in getting the party started against FAU rookie Julian Loret de Mola. Richardson, who homered off the righty in Boca Raton, sent the first pitch of the game over the left-center wall for his fifth dinger of the year. Woods notched a two-run double down the right-field line into the corner and Carrillo lined pitch into right field to complete the four-run frame.
In the third, Skoglund was in a bit of a jam with runners on first and second with one out. The rookie locked in and struck out the final two batters of the inning to preserve the scoreless frame.
UCF responded in the bottom-half with three runs, including a pair on a bunt single by Carrillo that saw the third basemen throw the ball past the outstretched first baseman to score Ryan Breen and Woods. In the fourth, freshman Erik Barber drove home two on a base hit up the middle to make it 9-1.
Although the Owls (24-14) picked up two runs in the fifth, Skoglund got the much-needed strikeout of FAU's Mark Nelson to end the frame to complete his longest outing in a month.
After two hitless innings by Brown out of the bullpen, D.J. Hicks added to his national-leading RBI total with No. 55 on a single into right field to drive home Shreve who doubled to lead off the frame.
Carrillo and Shreve piled on in the eighth with run-scoring singles to complete their multiple-RBI performances.
News & Notes:
-Breen and Chris Taladay extended their hitting streaks to nine games
-UCF improved to 40-26 all-time against FAU
-It was the 11th double-digit win this year and the eighth season sweep in 2012
-Richardson stole his 16th bag of the year
-Brown made his 69th-career appearance, seventh all-time at UCF