UCF's Houck, Hudson No-Hits Wagner to give Bergman Win No. 1,200


March 17, 2008

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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - It was a night to remember for the No. 16 UCF baseball team (17-1) at Jay Bergman Field Monday. Sophomores Mitch Houck (Weston, Fla./Cypress Bay) and Austin Hudson (Orlando, Fla./Boone) combined for a no-hitter in a 6-0 victory over Wagner (4-4), enabling head coach Jay Bergman to pick up his 1,200th-career victory.

The Knights also stayed unbeaten at home with a 16-0 record while winning their ninth-straight outing.

Tuesday's game marked the first combined no-hitter in UCF history, and the second overall. The first and only no-hit performance before Houck and Hudson accomplished the feat was Pete MacLaughlan vs. Columbia in 1973. As most no-hitters go, one play could have ruined the bid but senior center fielder Tyson Auer, unknowingly at the time, saved the day. With two outs in the third inning, Brian Martutartus lined a potential base hit to left center, but Auer scrambled in and made the sensational diving play to preserve Houck's effort.

"I was mixing the curve ball and slider in there a lot tonight," said Houck who improved to 2-0 on the year. "It was just one of those things that they never got around to seeing it out of my hand, so it was just devastating them tonight. It was definitely the greatest thing that has ever happened in my college career."

Meanwhile, Bergman became just the 17th coach in Division I history to pick up 1,200 career victories, and the 21st coach at all levels in the NCAA to reach the milestone. The skipper also has the seventh-most wins of active D-I coaches.

"I think the 1,200th win is tremendously overshadowed by the pitching performance of Mitch and Austin," said Bergman, who is in his 26th year at UCF. "I enjoyed watching them pitch tonight. I think it was their night and they should have the spotlight."

Houck racked up a career-high 13 strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work and finished with 109 pitches. Hudson came on in the eighth to strike out five more to give the Knight duo 18 total strikeouts, tying the all-time mark for most in a game which has been set six times at UCF.

The Knights racked up three walks and five stolen bases in the bottom of the first, but could only come away with one run on a sacrifice fly from sophomore Shane Brown against Wagner starter Matt Watson. The Knights did make it 2-0 in the second with a RBI single up the middle by junior Josh Siebenaler, then pushed it to 4-0 with a RBI single off the bat of Brown and he eventually scored on a balk.

Siebenaler and Bailey continued the scoring in the fourth against reliever Jack Rice. After Siebenaler laid down a two-out bunt single, Bailey drove a ball to right that Kevin McDonnell had trouble finding in the lights. The ball drifted past the right fielder and back to the wall for Bailey's second triple of the year.

As the Black and Gold slowly increased its lead, Houck was busy shutting down the Wagner offense. In the first five innings, the lefty faced the minimum three hitters in every frame with the Seahawks putting just one runner on by way of a walk in the second. Houck finally got into some trouble in the sixth, issuing free passes to the first two batters but escaped by striking out the next two hitters and inducing Seth Boyd to ground out to third.

Wagner filled the bags with two outs on a walk, error and hit by pitch in the seventh, only to see Houck strike out pinch-hitter Matt Logan on three pitches. In the bottom half, junior Eric Kallstrom knocked in sophomore Chris Duffy with a two-out RBI single to stretch the advantage to 6-0.

That was when Hudson relieved Houck and picked up right where the southpaw left off. When Hudson struck out McDonnell on a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth, the celebration was on.

The two programs get together for game two Tuesday at Jay Bergman Field. First pitch is set for 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
Wagner - 4-4 Overall, 0-0 Northeast
No. 16 UCF - 17-1 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
WP: Mitch Houck (2-0), 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 13 K
LP: Matt Watson (1-2), 3.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 2 K
- The UCF grounds crew continued a Knights' tradition by dying the bases green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
- UCF's 17 wins are tied for the second most in the country this year (No. 1 Arizona State and Elon), trailing only No. 2 Kentucky which has 18 victories.
- The nine-game winning streak matches the longest since a nine-game streak March 5-18, 2005.
- Mitch Houck picked off his fourth runner of the year when he nabbed Kevin McDonnell in the top of the second.
- Josh Siebenaler and Shane Brown each had two hits in the victory.
- UCF stole eight bases vs. Wagner: Tyson Auer (three), Colin Arnold (two), Josh Siebenaler (two) and Robert Lara (one).
- With two RBI, Shane Brown now leads Conference USA with 29 for the season.
- Dwayne Bailey extended his hitting streak to nine games, while Eric Kallstrom stretched his to eight games.
- Mitch Houck now has 39 strikeouts in 22.2 innings this season.