Marshall Cruises to Game-Two Win vs. UCF Baseball, 9-6


April 19, 2008

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

Sunday's Preview in PDF Format

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The return of Kiko Vazquez could not help the UCF baseball team in a 9-6 loss to Marshall Saturday at Appalachian Power Park. Four first-inning runs by the Thundering Herd (18-19-1, 6-7-1) allowed them to take the early lead and the Knights could not recover to fall to 26-15 on the season and 4-10 in Conference USA.

A member of last year's C-USA First Team, Vazquez made his 2008 debut Saturday after sitting out the first 40 games due to an injury. The first baseman batted cleanup, and after popping out in his first at-bat, lined a two-out, two-run single to center in the third to go 1-for-5 on the afternoon. Also at the plate, senior Dwayne Bailey went 3-for-5 with his third triple of the year and three runs scored. Bailey now has a league-high 65 hits this season.

Marshall was quick to get on the scoreboard, earning a 1-0 advantage in the first when leadoff man Adam Yeager walked, reached second on a wild pitch and was driven in on a single by Brandon Casamassima. Its first six batters eventually reached base as the Herd scored three more off UCF starter Mitch Houck to bust out to the 4-0 lead.

UCF cooked something up in the third vs. Steve Blevins, loading the bases on singles by senior Tyson Auer and Bailey and a four-pitch walk to senior Ryan Richardson. With two down and Vazquez digging in, he looked at a breaking ball that caught the inside part of the plate, only to follow by ripping a fastball in his wheelhouse to centerfield to plate two runs. Junior Robert Lara then cut it to 4-3 by dropping a 1-2 RBI single into left. The momentum came to a halt in the bottom half when Tommy Johnson hammered a two-run homer to right-center, and the Thundering Herd pushed across another run to make it 7-3.

After Blevins tossed three more scoreless innings and a Marshall sac fly in the sixth pushed it to 8-3, two-out hitting provided the Knights with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. Bailey got it going with a chopper into left and junior Colin Arnold notched an infield single to set up Richardson, who laced the first pitch he saw into the right-center gap for a two-run double.

However, Marshall struck right back and solidified the win with a run in the bottom of the seventh. An RBI single by Arnold in the ninth put UCF closer, but the Herd lead was too much.

The Black and Gold concludes its trip to West Virginia with an early-morning affair, as the series finale gets underway at 10 a.m. Sunday.

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
UCF - 26-15 Overall, 4-10 Conference USA
Marshall - 18-19-1 Overall, 6-7-1 Conference USA
WP: Steve Blevins (5-2), 7.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
LP: Mitch Houck (3-2), 2.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
- Kiko Vazquez was the eighth different batter UCF had used in the No. 4 hole this season.
- Colin Arnold's hitting streak reached eight games, while Tyson Auer's climbed to seven outings.
- Freshman Evan Stobbs hurled a career-high 4.1 innings of relief and racked up four strikeouts while allowing just one earned run.
- Matt Manning struck out one in 1.1 innings out of the pen.
- UCF tallied 12 hits, marking the 27th time this year it collected double-digit hits in a game.
- Dwayne Bailey recorded his 20th multi-hit game of 2008. Last year, the second baseman had just 10.
- Robert Lara and Colin Arnold also led the offense, each connecting for two hits.
- The win for Marshall was the first time in three seasons it had claimed a three-game series vs. UCF (the Thundering Herd won game one, 12-10).
- Saturday's contest opened with a light drizzle and the rain hovered over the stadium throughout the game.