Baseball Closes Regular Season with a 6-3 Loss to Marshall


May 19, 2007

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - On a very windy afternoon at Jay Bergman Field, the UCF baseball team concluded the regular season Saturday, falling to Marshall, 6-3. The Knights will take a 26-30 overall record and a 7-17 league mark into the Conference USA Championship, slated to get underway Wednesday.

Senior Brian Brooks made his final home game a memorable one, breaking the UCF career record for relief appearances by coming out of the pen for the 80th time in a Black and Gold uniform. Jason Arnold previously held the record with 79 from 1998-2001. It also was Brooks' 85th overall game, which puts him at second on the career list. The Oviedo native pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless ball, striking out one.

Fellow senior Derek Abriola ranks not too far behind Brooks. A native of Orlando, the righty appeared in his 62nd game to claim sole possession of eighth. For relief outings, Abriola sits in fifth all-time with 61. Two other pitchers who were celebrating their final game at Jay Bergman Field were Brett Bordwine (Melbourne, Fla.) and Taylor Meier (Altamonte Springs, Fla.).

Matt Horwath (Lake Mary, Fla.) was the lone offensive senior who was honored Saturday. He capped off his afternoon with a double and a run scored.

Kiko Vazquez hit two towering shots in the series finale, but each time the wind knocked them down to disallow the sophomore from going yard. He finished 0-for-2 with a walk and a hit by pitch, ending his 17-game hitting streak. As a team, the Knights had seven hits, marking the first time since April 28, a span of 11 games, that they did not have at least 10 in a game.

The Thundering Herd (21-32, 5-18) got the game going on a two-out RBI single from Thad Ledford off Mitch Herold. UCF then jumped on Marshall starter Adam Dobies for two in the bottom half of the first. Horwath doubled on a 1-2 pitch and Auer followed it up with a single. Vazquez came through with a long fly to left, but the wind caused problems for Chris Peak and he watched as it fell out of his glove. Horwath scored the tying run on the play, and Auer later put the Knights ahead on a two-out single up the middle from Chris Duffy.

Marshall took advantage of an error in the third and scored three runs, one of which was earned, to retake the lead. UCF did the same in the fourth, plating an unearned run to inch closer, 4-3. The Herd bounced back, scoring one in the sixth and another in the seventh for the final 6-3 margin. But they had some difficulty closing it out in the bottom of the ninth.

A day after the Knights scored three in the ninth inning to defeat the Herd, 8-7, UCF needed to duplicate that feat Saturday. Down 6-3, Kyle Mills started the rally with a one-out double, and Tyson Auer was walked to put two on. Vazquez stepped in and saw Tom Ponietowicz hit him in the helmet, forcing the first baseman to the ground for a several minutes. He was able to walk off under his own power, and needed relief pitcher Matt McClung to pinch-run. After the bases were juiced, Ponietowicz buckled down, though, and got the final two outs to lock up the Marshall win.

UCF now begins postseason play when it travels to Greenville, N.C., for the C-USA Championship. The Knights will have the No. 8 seed for the double-elimination tournament and meet No. 1 Rice (ranked second in the nation) Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.

Game Notes
WP: Adam Dobies (3-5), 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
LP: Eric English (2-5), 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
SV: Tom Ponietowicz (1), 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
- Both starters were on a pitch count Saturday, which was why Adam Dobies was credited with the win even though he went just 3.0 innings.
- Saturday's attendance was 1,128, the second-largest of the season (Harvard on March 26, 1,177). It also was the 18th biggest crowd in Jay Bergman Field history.
- Chris Duffy raised his average to .295 with a 2-for-5 affair, but did not hit a home run. The freshman previously had a dinger in each of his last three games.
- UCF is now 17-18 all-time in regular-season finales.
- Austin Hudson (2.0 innings), Brian Brooks (1.1 innings) and Justin Weiss (0.2 innings) did not allow a run in their respective relief outings.
- Brit Vincent, Brendan Murphy, Thad Ledford and Chris Peak each had two hits for Marshall, who banged out 10 hits in its victory.
- The Marshall bullpen did not give up an earned run in 6.0 innings.
- Tyson Auer stole his 24th base in the loss.