Brown, Lara Go Deep to Lift UCF Baseball to Two Wins over Monmouth


March 8, 2008

Final Stats - Game Two HTML

Box Score - Game One in PDF Format

Box Score - Game Two in PDF Format

Sunday's Preview in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Clutch two-out home runs sparked the No. 25 UCF baseball team to a pair of victories over Monmouth Saturday at Jay Bergman Field. Sophomore Shane Brown drilled a three-run shot in the completion of Friday's game while junior Robert Lara crushed a grand slam in the eighth inning of game two to help the Knights (10-1) claim 10-2 and 8-4 wins over the Hawks (1-4).

Both homers from Brown and Lara traveled over the monstrous wall (approximately 24-feet high and 400-feet away) in dead center field as the wind whistled throughout the ballpark all day long. Lara's grand slam was the first by a UCF Knight since junior Kiko Vazquez went deep with the bases juiced vs. Maryland Feb. 17, 2007.

"I just saw (the center fielder) going back, and I knew it was going to hit the fence or go over and I was praying it would go over and it did. It felt really good. The difference from Shane's homer and mine was that when I came up the wind completely stopped," joked Lara.

Game One Recap
In the 10-2 win, Brown's homer was the second of the season and traveled an estimated 440 feet or more. Also shining offensively in the completion of game one, junior Josh Siebenaler and senior Dwayne Bailey notched three hits and two runs apiece, while junior Colin Arnold drove in three runs. Senior Jaager Good picked up the win after throwing 5.0 innings Friday night to improve his record to 3-0 on the year.

Game one picked up with UCF leading 3-2 and having runners at first and second and two outs. Facing Monmouth's Tim Dexter, Brown quickly opened the afternoon by crushing his three-run homer to center to bring the Knights' lead to 6-2.

They came back in the sixth and loaded the bases with nobody away. A sacrifice fly to left provided UCF with the seventh run as Siebenaler drove in sophomore Chris Duffy, and Bailey followed by ripping a single through the left side to plate junior Eric Kallstrom. To conclude the inning's scoring, Arnold allowed Lara and senior Tyson Auer to come across thanks to a two-run single to center.

Now with a 10-2 cushion, freshman Cody Allen relieved Good and went 3.0 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Senior Paul Cinder closed out the win with his first appearance of the year for the Knights, and struck out one in a scoreless ninth.

Game Two Recap
Lara's grand slam marked his first homer as a Knight after transferring from LSU, and it came with two outs in the eighth with the score knotted at 4-4. Brown did not take long to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, picking up a single in the first inning en route to a 3-for-4 affair with two RBI. Arnold, meanwhile, went 2-for-4 as his streak improved to 11 outings.

Sophomore Austin Hudson pitched 4.0 hitless innings in relief to get the win and move his record to 2-0.

For the second-straight game, Monmouth took an early lead in the top of the first by earning a sacrifice fly off the bat of Chris Collazo against Knight starting pitcher Kyle Sweat. However, UCF returned the favor by scoring two on the bottom half, picking up RBI base hits from Arnold and Brown off Brad Brach.

As Sweat seemed to be cruising, John Dennis helped the Hawks draw even with the Knights in the fourth on a one-out RBI single, and Kyle Higgins and Shawn Teters then each lined two-out RBI base hits to right-center for a 4-2 MU advantage. Teters went on to post a game-high four hits for the Hawks. UCF stayed right with Monmouth in the bottom half as senior Ryan Richardson brought home Arnold with a sacrifice fly to right.

The Knights got into a jam when the Hawks placed runners at second and third with one down in the fifth, but escaped thanks to Hudson coming on and eventually inducing Dennis to ground into a double play to end the threat.

Brach kept UCF at bay for the middle innings and routinely got ahead of hitters. He finished his outing with 7.0 innings of work, throwing 114 pitches and 82 strikes. When Matt Frazier took the mound in the eighth, though, Auer greeted him with a triple to right center on a 1-2 count. Two batters later and Auer scored the tying run on a double by Brown that barely stayed fair down the right-field line.

Now with a runner on second and one out, Justin Esposito stepped onto the hill and quickly loaded them up with an intentional walk to Richardson and a free pass to pinch-hitter Kyle Mills. After a fielder's choice where Brown was forced out at home, Lara strode to the plate and cranked a 1-0 pitch well over the center-field fence to put the game on ice.

Both teams now prepare for the series finale Sunday at 1 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 One Notes
Monmouth - 1-3 Overall, 0-0 Northeast Conference
No. 25 UCF - 9-1 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
WP: Jaager Good (3-0), 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
LP: Kyle Bresse (0-1), 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
- Tyson Auer went 1-for-2 with two walks, two runs scored, an RBI and two stolen bases.
- Colin Arnold and Robert Lara also posted a stolen base.
- The 9-1 record matched the best 10-game start to a season in UCF history.

Game Two Notes
Monmouth - 1-4 Overall, 0-0 Northeast Conference
No. 25 UCF - 10-1 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
WP: Austin Hudson (2-0), 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
LP: Matt Frazier (0-1), 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
- UCF's 10-1 record matched the best 11-game start to a season, with the 1977 team the last to accomplish the feat.
- Tyson Auer's triple in the bottom of the eighth was the 11th of his career, moving him into a tie for 10th on the UCF career chart with Jeremy Frost.
- Justin Weiss faced the minimum three hitters in the ninth to seal the win.
- Josh Siebenaler went 2-for-5 with a run scored and a double.
- All eight runs were scored by eight different players.
- UCF left just five runners on base, and did not make an error for the second-straight game.