Baseball Off to Best Start Since 1996 after 10-5 Win over Central Michigan


March 1, 2008

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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF baseball team used 11 hits and took advantage of six Central Michigan errors to move its record to 6-0 thanks to a 10-5 victory over the Chippewas Saturday at Jay Bergman Field. The win ensured the Knights of their best start since 1996 when they also opened the season at 6-0.

Junior Rob Lara set a career-high with three runs scored vs. CMU (1-5), while sophomore Kyle Mills came off the bench to post two hits. On the mound, junior Kyle Sweat got the start and went 4.2 innings with four strikeouts. Knight pitchers sat down 11 on strikes, marking the sixth-straight game they collected double-digit strikeouts.

Freshman righty Cody Allen (1-0) notched his first collegiate victory by pitching effectively for the final 3.0 innings, striking out five and not walking a batter.

Sweat escaped a third-inning dilemma when CMU put runners at the corners with one down, picking up the second out when Matt Faiman tried to score on a grounder to third but junior Josh Siebenaler fired a strike to Lara behind the plate who easily tagged out the runner. Sweat grabbed the final out by inducing Tyler Stovall to ground to third.

When Lara came to the plate in the bottom half vs. CMU starter Steve Teno (1-1), he kick-started the offense with a double to left and reached third on a single from Mills. Senior Dwayne Bailey provided the Knights with the game's first run on a sacrifice fly, scoring Lara from third.

The Chippewas returned in the fourth, loading them up with one away only to witness Sweat strike out Faiman and record a fielder's choice with Jeff Nowaczyk at the plate to keep UCF up, 1-0. They reloaded them in the fifth, this time with two outs, and still could not score as reliever Brian Griggs fanned Jeff Helps on a 2-2 pitch.

UCF then tried to break it open in the fifth, plating four runs for a 5-0 cushion. With Lara on second and one out, Mills drove a single to left that Billy Anderson had trouble fielding, allowing Lara to score and Mills to reach second. Following a bunt single from Bailey, Teno attempted to get a force out at second on a grounder back to the mound off the bat of senior Tyson Auer. However Bailey beat out the throw and Mills scored on the play. Junior Colin Arnold came through with a RBI single through the right side, and sophomore Shane Brown concluded the scoring with a sacrifice fly to center.

For the third-straight inning, though, CMU had the bases juiced with two down in the sixth and it finally took advantage when Stovall crushed a grand slam to left center.

Senior Ryan Richardson did not want the 5-4 lead to slip away, ripping a single to left center to begin the bottom of the sixth and eventually touched home on a balk by reliever Bryce Morrow. CMU's fourth error of the game later plated Lara to make it 7-4. The Chippewas continued to stay within reach at 7-5 when they scored another run in the seventh.

The Knights, though, sealed it in the eighth with two runs on a double to left from Auer and a RBI groundout by Brown.

UCF wraps up its series with Central Michigan Sunday with first pitch set for 1 p.m.

Season tickets as well as single-game tickets to check out UCF baseball this year are currently available by contacting the UCF Ticket Office at 407-823-1000, or by going online at www.ucfathletics.com, the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Game Notes
Central Michigan - 1-5 Overall, 0-0 MAC
UCF -6-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
WP: Cody Allen (1-0), 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
LP: Steve Teno (1-1), 5.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
- Saturday's win was the fifth game this season that the Knights posted at least 10 runs.
- Shane Brown and Dwayne Bailey extended their hitting streaks to eight and seven games, respectively, dating back to last year.
- Brown, Duffy and Colin Arnold have now hit safely in all six games this season.
- Kyle Mills, Dwayne Bailey and Tyson Auer all finished with two hits and two runs scored in the win.
- Brown stretched his team-lead in RBI to 11 with two more against CMU Saturday.
- The grand slam from CMU's Stovall was the first homer given up by UCF pitchers this year.
- In two appearances this year, freshman Cody Allen has struck out 11 batters in 6.0 innings of work.