Hot Start Guides UCF Baseball to 8-4 Win at Florida Gulf Coast


March 26, 2008

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

FT. MYERS, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Southpaw Carmine Giardina matched a career-high with 6.0 innings and struck out eight to lift the No. 19 UCF baseball team to an 8-4 victory at Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday. Senior Dwayne Bailey and sophomore Shane Brown each connected for three hits, helping the Knights stretch their record to 21-4 for the season.

A sophomore from Valrico, Fla., Giardina was making his first start of 2008 and improved to 2-0 by giving up just seven hits and walking only one vs. the Eagles (18-7). For Bailey, it was his 14th multiple-hit game, while Brown amassed three more RBI to bring his season total to 35.

Two runs had crossed the plate before Florida Gulf Coast came to the plate, as UCF took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first off freshman lefty Patrick Nathanson, who used a total of 35 pitches to get out of the frame. Following a one-out walk to Bailey, junior Colin Arnold doubled to right center and Brown brought them both around with a two-base hit down the line in left. FGCU replied in its half with a run of its own, earning a two-out, two-strike RBI base hit from Jason Peacock.

The Knights made Nathanson go deep in counts again in the second and quickly forced him out of the game after moving their lead to 5-1. A Robert Lara single got things started then senior Tyson Auer reached with a one-out base hit. Bailey tallied the third run on a RBI single to left and Arnold added two more with a double to left on Nathanson's 64th pitch of the game. Brown and senior Ryan Richardson capped off the frame against reliever Craig Crumbley on a pair of RBI singles for a 7-1 advantage.

FGCU connected for a two-out run in the third but that was all it could accumulate against Giardina. When UCF went to the bullpen in the seventh that was when its defense started to unravel. The Black and Gold committed three errors in the stanza, leading to two unearned runs. The Eagles eventually loaded the bases and brought the go-ahead run to the plate only to witness sophomore Austin Hudson induce Josh Upchurch to pop up on the infield for the final out.

In the end, though, the miscues did not come back to haunt the Knights, and they notched an insurance run in the eighth on a RBI groundout from Auer for the final 8-4 margin.

UCF gets right back into Conference USA play with a three-game home series against East Carolina Friday-Sunday. Game one's first pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Jay Bergman Field.

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. 19 UCF - 21-4 Overall, 1-2 Conference USA
Florida Gulf Coast - 18-7 Overall, 10-2 Atlantic Sun
WP: Carmine Giardina (2-0), 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
LP: Patrick Nathanson (0-2), 1.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
- UCF head coach Jay Bergman did not make the trip due to a sickness.
- Wednesday's contest marked the first between the two schools, and they will meet again April 2 in Orlando.
- Ryan Richardson was caught stealing for the first time in two years with the Knights when he was tagged out in the second inning. The senior right fielder was previously 17-for-17 before Wednesday's game.
- Richardson was able to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, one shy of tying his longest streak of 2007.
- Eric Kallstrom saw his hitting streak come to a close at 14 games.
- Leadoff hitter Tyson Auer batted in each of the first three innings against the Eagles.
- Dwayne Bailey already has four more multiple-hit games than he had in 2007 (14-10).
- Carmine Giardina finished with 123 pitches, which was just the second time a Knight pitcher went over the 100-pitch barrier (Mitch Houck with 109 vs. Wagner March 17).
- Colin Arnold banged out two doubles vs. FGCU and Shane Brown posted a two-bagger as well in the victory. Arnold and Brown each have nine doubles this year.
- UCF finished with 15 hits, marking the sixth time it had racked up at least 15 in a game.
- Right-hander Cody Allen pitched the ninth to keep his scoreless innings streak alive at 11.2.