Siebenaler's RBI Single in the Eighth Guides UCF Past Central Michigan, 4-3


March 2, 2008

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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - A two-out RBI single from junior Josh Siebenaler put the UCF baseball team ahead in the eighth inning and junior Justin Weiss closed the door in the ninth as the Knights defeated Central Michigan, 4-3, Sunday at Jay Bergman Field. The three-game sweep over CMU (1-6) boosted UCF's record to 7-0 to open the 2008 season.

"Every game has been a different way we have had to win," said head coach Jay Bergman. "We stranded some runners early in a chance to break the game wide open. But Brian Griggs came on in the eighth inning and did a nice job against three left-handers and that just set it up for Weiss."

Griggs, a senior from Melbourne, picked up his first UCF win after transferring from Alabama, tossing a scoreless eighth inning with one strikeout. Weiss grabbed his first save of the year, and 10th of his career, by pitching a perfect ninth. Junior starter Mitch Herold went 5.0 innings, striking out six and surrendering two runs.

Junior Eric Kallstrom banged out three hits (tied a career-high) for the offense, while senior Ryan Richardson collected two hits and scored two runs, including the game-winner.

UCF's bats went right to work in the bottom of the first. With runners at the corners and one away, junior Colin Arnold blasted a double to left off starter James Teas that plated Siebenaler and senior Tyson Auer. It was the second two-bagger of the year for Arnold. The 2-0 lead, though, was cut in half in the second by a solo homer from Jeff Nowaczyk, then erased in the third with a RBI groundout by Noah Lankford.

A pair of base hits from Richardson and Kallstrom set up the Knights' next run in the fourth, as junior Rob Lara moved them over into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and Siebenaler notched a sac fly to right.

CMU was poised to retie the game in the sixth, earning runners at the corners with nobody on vs. freshman reliever Evan Stobbs. However, Stobbs settled down to strike out Jeff Helps and get pinch-hitter Tyler Kipke to bunt straight back to the mound where Stobbs was able to hold the runner at third and fire to first for the second out. Hoping to get out of the frame without a blemish on the scoreboard, Stobbs induced pinch-hitter Casey Ingle to fly out to center to retire the side.

The Chippewas came back in the seventh and this time even things up at 3-3 on a two-out RBI single from Brendan Emmett.

With the Knights finding themselves in a tight affair, it took a clutch two-out RBI base hit from Siebenaler in the bottom of the eighth to put UCF back on top. Facing reliever Jesse Hernandez, Siebenaler lined the first pitch he saw right back up the middle to permit Richardson, who led off the inning with a single, to score the go-ahead run. In the ninth, Weiss needed just 11 pitches to record two strikeouts and seal the sweep over CMU.

The Knights wrap up their eight-game homestand with a Tuesday match-up against Jacksonville at 6:30 p.m. at Jay Bergman Field. UCF will then travel to JU Wednesday before coming home to host Monmouth March 7-9.

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 - 1-6 Overall, 0-0 MAC
UCF - 7-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
WP: Brian Griggs (1-0), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
LP: Jesse Hernandez (0-2), 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
SV: Justin Weiss (1), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- UCF never trailed in the three-game series vs. Central Michigan.
- UCF pitchers fanned 11 Chippewas Sunday. The Knights' staff has now struck out at least 10 batters in every game this season.
- The last time UCF was 7-0 was 1996.
- Josh Siebenaler finished with a base hit, two RBI and a run scored. Colin Arnold drove in the other two runs vs. CMU.
- Dating back to last year, Shane Brown extended his hitting streak to nine games, while Dwayne Bailey's streak was stretched to eight games. Colin Arnold also has a hit in all seven games this year.
- A total of 3,169 fans ventured to Jay Bergman Field for the CMU series, the fourth-largest attended series in stadium history. The 2008 opening weekend vs. Florida A&M drew 3,208 fans.