No. 22 Baseball Splits Doubleheader at Gardner-Webb


March 18, 2005

Box Score

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - UCF defeated Gardner-Webb 6-5 in game one of a doubleheader and the host Bulldogs rallied for a 6-5 victory in game two of the twinbill Friday afternoon at Varsity Field in Boiling Springs, N.C. The 22nd-ranked Golden Knights raised their record to 22-4 overall, 4-1 in the A-Sun on the day.

In game one, sophomore right-hander Tim Bascom improved to 5-1 on the season and struck out eight in 7.0 innings of work. Sophomore Brian Brooks worked the final third of an inning for his third save of the year.

The UCF offense totaled 10 hits, including three by John-Michael Howell.

Gardner-Webb struck first with two runs in the second on a two-run home run by Matt Bridges.

UCF tied the contest in the fourth with two runs on three hits, including a two-run double by Drew Butera.

Gardner-Webb took the lead again at 3-2 in the in the fifth before UCF scored three times in the seventh to retake the lead. Matt Horwath tied the game at 3-3 with a RBI-double down the line in left and Howell followed two batters later with a two-run home run to center to give UCF its first lead of the game, 5-3. The home run was Howell's fifth of the season.

Butera tripled in the eighth and scored on a wild pitch to give UCF a 6-3 cushion.

Blake Lalli homered to begin the eighth for the Bulldogs and GWU added an earned run in the ninth to close out the scoring at 6-5.

Brooks struck out Jay McConnell with runners on first and second in the ninth to clinch the win.

In game two, UCF jumped out to 3-0 lead on GWU ace Zach Ward after three innings of play.

In the second, Marshall Bernhard walked and Butera followed with a double to the gap in right center to score Bernhard.

In the third, Bono doubled to the gap in left center, scoring Ray and Horwath, to give the Golden Knights a 3-0 advantage.

Gardner-Webb took the lead on one swing in the fifth. UCF starter Darren Newlin sailed through the first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth. A leadoff walk, bunt single, and botched bunt play by Newlin and Butera helped GWU load the bases. Joey Testa made UCF pay with a grand slam over the fence in left center, giving the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead.

The Bulldogs added another two runs in the inning as the six-run fifth proved to be the difference in the game.

Ward fanned 10 in 7.0 innings of work for the win. Newlin (5-1) lost his first game of his career for the Golden Knights, falling to 10-1 over his two-year career.

Howell drove in a run in the seventh and Bono delivered a sacrifice fly to cut the gap to 6-5. UCF looked to tie the game on a single to center by Butera, but Howell was called out at the plate on a bang-bang play. UCF head coach Jay Bergman came out of the dugout to argue the call as Howell used a hook slide to try and avoid GWU catcher Nate McDonald at the plate, but the home plate umpire ruled Howell never touched the base on the play.

GWU turned to Brandon Martin for the save. He tossed 2.0 innings and struck out four for his first save of the season.

Bono had two hits and three RBI while Butera added two hits for the Golden Knights.

UCF looks for the series win Saturday in the series finale. Junior right-hander Ray Rodriguez makes his first career A-Sun start for UCF.