UCF Squeezes Past Stony Brook 5-4 for Series Sweep


Feb. 26, 2006

Box Score

ORLANDO - Junior second baseman Matt Horwath executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt in the bottom of the seventh inning to drive in the game-winning run as UCF topped Stony Brook 5-4 Sunday afternoon to complete a three-game sweep of the Seawolves. With runners on first and third and one out, Horwath laid down a perfect bunt toward the first base line to cap off a two-run seventh inning for the Golden Knights.

"It is hard in college baseball to earn a three-game sweep and we found a way to close out the series with a win," stated UCF head coach Jay Bergman. "We made the plays when we had to make them."

UCF won its third straight game of the season to improve to 4-5 overall while Stony Brook dropped to 0-3.

The Golden Knights led 3-2 entering the seventh before Stony Brook scored two runs in the top of the inning to take a 4-3 lead. UCF responded quickly in the home half of the seventh as freshman third baseman Vinny Cucci singled up the middle to score freshman designated hitter Bryan Bennett to tie the game at four. After a single by freshman shortstop Eric Kallstrom, Horwath drove in the game-winning run with the suicide squeeze bunt to give the Golden Knights the lead for good.

The UCF bullpen made the lead stick as sophomore reliever Jeremy Thorne earned his first win of the season. Thorne (1-1) pitched 1.2 innings and yielded just one unearned run and totaled two strikeouts to collect the victory.

Senior closer Dominic Petracca finished off the Seawolves in the ninth for his third save of the series. Petracca increased his season save total to four and moved into a tie for fifth place in UCF career history with eight saves.

UCF collected 10 hits on the afternoon, including three by senior catcher Ryan Bono. The Lake Mary native was 3-for-4 with a RBI and run scored to lead the offensive attack. Freshman center fielder Dave DiNatale (2-for-3, run) and Bennett (2-for-3, RBI, run) also had multi-hit games for the victors.

Senior outfielder Isidro Fortuna finished his big weekend at the plate for Stony Brook by going 4-for-5 Sunday.

UCF starter Kyle Sweat scattered eight hits and allowed three runs over 6.1 innings of work. The Apopka native struck out three and walked a batter to earn a no-decision.

UCF continues its 11-game homestand next week with a pair of mid-week games. The Golden Knights host Bethune-Cookman Tuesday and welcome Michigan to Jay Bergman Field on Wednesday. Both games are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Game Notes: Junior second baseman Matt Ray was a late scratch from the UCF lineup with a sprained ankle. Ray sustained the injury just prior to the start of the contest ... the Golden Knights are 2-3 on the season in one-run games, including a pair of one-run victories vs. Stony Brook ... freshman shortstop Eric Kallstrom (5-for-9, 2 runs) led UCF with a .556 batting average in the three-game sweep of Stony Brook.