No. 20 UCF Moves to 13-1 with 7-3 Win at Stetson


March 12, 2008

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DELAND, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The No. 20 UCF baseball team recorded its best 14-game start in school history after defeating Stetson, 7-3, Wednesday in DeLand. The Knights improved to 13-1 on the season while also posting their first road victory of 2008.

Junior Colin Arnold extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a 2-for-4 affair. Junior righty Caleb Graham made his second start of the year, and tossed 4.0 innings while allowing one run and striking out a career-high eight, including fanning four-straight at one point in his outing. Sophomore Carmine Giardina (1-0) picked up the win in relief, striking out three in 2.0 innings.

UCF was quick to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Stetson starter Blake Marsocci. With out down, seniors Dwayne Bailey and Tyson Auer along with Arnold connected for consecutive singles for the first run, while sophomore Shane Brown hit into a fielder's choice to shortstop where Auer beat the throw home.

Graham looked sharp through the first three frames, but gave up a two-out, two-strike RBI base hit to Frank Florio in the fourth. Meanwhile, the Knights' offense was able to put a runner at third in the third, fourth and fifth innings only to see Marsocci pitch out of it each time. With the Hatters holding UCF to the 2-1 lead, Robert Cruz eventually tied it in the fifth with a two-out solo dinger to right.

Senior Ryan Richardson continued the trend of placing a runner at third when he led off the sixth by banging a triple over Brian Pruitt's head in right. Just as soon as Richardson touched third, he scored when junior Eric Kallstrom chopped a single into left to provide UCF with a 3-2 advantage. Later in the inning, the Black and Gold loaded them with two outs and reliever Travis Stortz plunked Arnold with the first pitch to plate UCF's fourth run.

Aaron Crittenden kept Stetson right with UCF, blasting a leadoff homer to right in the bottom half of the sixth to make it 4-3. When UCF stepped in the box in the seventh, it filled the bags with one out but still could not break the game open. In the eighth, a two-base error by the shortstop permitted Arnold to reach second after one out was recorded. The miscue proved costly as Brown came through with a 3-2 RBI single to right-center for an important insurance run.

Sophomore reliever Austin Hudson made sure that the lead would hold up, as he went 2.0 hitless innings with a pair of strikeouts. Finally in the ninth, the Knights put it away by earning RBI singles from Auer and Bailey, and freshman right-hander Cody Allen closed the door in the ninth for the UCF win.

A tough schedule awaits UCF when it returns home. The Knights will play six games in five days and nine contests in nine days, starting with a doubleheader vs. Siena Saturday at Jay Bergman Field. The day-night twin-bill will require separate tickets, with game times slated for 1 p.m. and 6:30 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
No. 20 UCF - 13-1 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
Stetson - 7-7 Overall, 1-2 Atlantic Sun
WP: Carmine Giardina (1-0), 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
LP: Blake Marsocci (2-1), 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
- Josh Siebenaler stole his seventh base of the season, while Dwayne Bailey increased his team lead to eight steals.
- Ryan Richardson's stolen base in the fourth inning was his fourth of the year, and he remained perfect in his UCF career as he moved to 16-for-16 in SB attempts.
- Richardson also posted a triple for the second-straight game. It was his third three-bagger in his two years with the Knights.
- Dwayne Bailey went 3-for-6, which was his team-leading ninth multi-hit game of 2008.
- Tyson Auer finished 3-for-5 with an RBI, run scored and a stolen base.
- Caleb Graham's previous personal-best strikeout mark was five vs. North Florida March 27, 2007, when he was pitching for Florida State.
- UCF left 16 runners on base compared to the Hatters' eight.