Big First Inning Propels UCF Baseball Past Memphis, 10-4


April 13, 2008

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - In the rubber match with Memphis Sunday at Jay Bergman Field, the UCF baseball team scored five two-out runs in the first inning and had little trouble holding on in a 10-4 victory. Sophomore Carmine Giardina and junior reliever Matt Manning combined on a two-hitter to enable the Knights to improve to 26-12 on the year and 4-8 in Conference USA.

Earning the crucial game-three win on the mound vs. the Tigers (13-21, 4-8), Giardina (3-1) surrendered only two hits in 6.0 innings, striking out nine while allowing three earned runs and walking five. At one point, Giardina recorded four-consecutive strikeouts in his victory. Junior reliever Matt Manning took over in relief and retired all nine batters he faced, including three strikeouts, to notch his first Division I save.

"They only got two hits and that's pretty impressive," said head coach Jay Bergman. "Carmine went through a couple of good streaks where he was more in control than he had been in the past. Our perspective now is to go forward. We go on the road next week and Marshall is playing really well. We have to pitch well up there because it's a nice hitters' ballpark."

Freshman Evan Stobbs amassed three hits and four RBI for the UCF offense. He also posted a three-run homer in the second inning, the second dinger of the season as all nine Knights starters collected at least one hit.

A day after Memphis used two-out hitting en route to its game-two win, UCF returned the favor in the first inning of the series finale. A one-out chopper by junior Colin Arnold set things in motion, and after starter Will Hudgens picked up out No. 2, the Knights cranked out six-straight hits to ease out to a 5-0 lead. Junior Eric Kallstrom doubled down the line in right and sophomore Chris Duffy brought both runners around on a double off the wall in right. On the next pitch, Stobbs singled to right to score Duffy.

Now up 3-0 and with Stobbs at second on a wild pitch, junior Chadd Hartman continued the scoring by ripping a base hit up the middle, then reached third on a single off the bat of senior Tyson Auer. With junior Josh Siebenaler now at the dish, Auer took off for second but stopped midway when catcher Chris Kirkland fired to second base. The Memphis infield tried to get Auer for the third out and threw over to first, but Auer raced back and slid past the tag. As that play was developing, Hartman took for home and easily scored the fifth and final run of the frame. It was the first steal of home by a Knight since Auer swiped it as a freshman vs. Siena March 6, 2005.

Just like the first, the clutch hitting was back in the second inning. A walk to Arnold and a hit by pitch to Kallstrom gave Stobbs two runners on with two down. Facing reliever Ryan Holland, the first baseman once again hammered the first pitch he saw, this time it went deep over the left-field wall for a three-run dinger and an 8-0 UCF advantage.

When the third got underway, Giardina found himself in trouble with Tigers at second and third and nobody out. But he limited the damage to just an RBI groundout from Chad Zurcher. The rain then started to fall on the UCF campus and after it cleared up for the sixth inning, Memphis plated three runs, highlighted by a two-run double from Cole Shelton, to cut the lead in half, 8-4.

In the bottom half of the sixth, UCF added one more run on a RBI fielder's choice by Hartman, and came up with another in the seventh by way of a Robert Lara sacrifice fly. Manning finished off the win with his dominant performance on the mound, needing 38 pitches in the final 3.0 innings for the save.

The Knights will hit the road for their next four games, starting with a Tuesday match-up vs. North Florida at 7 p.m. UCF will not be home until April 25 when it plays host to Rice.

UCF baseball single-game tickets 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
Memphis - 13-21 Overall, 4-8 Conference USA
UCF - 26-12 Overall, 4-8 Conference USA
WP: Carmine Giardina (3-1), 6.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 9 K
LP: Will Hudgens (1-4), 1.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
SV: Matt Manning (1), 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
- The series win over Memphis was UCF's first Conference USA series victory this year.
- With 26 victories, UCF is already one win shy of accumulating the same win total it posted a year ago.
- Head coach Jay Bergman won his 993rd career game at UCF.
- With Kiko Vazquez, Shane Brown and Ryan Richardson out with injuries, Eric Kallstrom became the sixth batter this year to bat cleanup, and the third different player to bat in the No. 4 hole in the last three games (Brandon Romans, Robert Lara).
- Eric Kallstrom went 2-for-3 with two runs scored to stretch his hitting streak to 13 games.
- Chris Duffy extended his hitting streak to a season-long six games.
- Evan Stobbs faced just one pitch in each of first two at-bats in the first and second innings, yet still went 2-for-2 with four RBI, two runs scored and a homer on those two pitches.
- Colin Arnold walked three times Sunday, and had seven walks in the final two games of the series.
- Stobbs and Kallstrom both completed the series 7-for-13 (.538) and combined to score nine runs.
- Chadd Hartman (three) and Josh Siebenaler (13) each stole a base to bring UCF's season total to 81.