Lara's Grand Slam Lifts Allen, UCF Baseball to Win over USF


April 8, 2008

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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Junior Robert Lara's first-inning grand slam paved the way for freshman Cody Allen to win his first collegiate start as the UCF baseball team defeated USF, 6-3, Tuesday at Jay Bergman Field. Allen, a graduate of Orlando's Boone High School, went 8.0 innings with six strikeouts, scattering six hits and not walking a batter.

"In the first couple of innings I went out there with a reliever mentality," said Allen, who improved to 2-0 on the year. "After (the USF homer in the second) I kind of settled down a little bit and started working the strike zone and putting the ball where I needed to."

Lara's homer was his second grand slam of the season and helped the Knights (23-11) end a seven-game losing streak. Meanwhile, junior Eric Kallstrom stretched his hitting streak to nine games, and senior Ryan Richardson collected three singles in the victory vs. the Bulls (15-16).

"I had a good pitch to hit and I hit it fairly well," said Lara. "I didn't think it was going to go out because of the wind but it did thankfully. It was good to come out here and get a win and hopefully this rolls on."

Last week, USF starter Matt Stull gave up just one earned run in 6.0 innings in a win over UCF. On Tuesday, the Knights scored four runs on Stull's first nine pitches. Senior Dwayne Bailey kick-started the first inning with an infield single then promptly stole his 16th base of the year. After junior Colin Arnold walked on a full count, Richardson laid down a perfect bunt down the third-base line for a base hit. Now with the bases juiced, Lara hammered the first pitch he saw deep to left for the grand slam.

The Bulls did respond in the second, where Brian Hobbs took a two-out, 1-2 offering from Allen to right-center field to cut the UCF lead in half. Arnold was able to tack on a run, though, in the fourth inning, earning a sacrifice fly to center to plate senior Tyson Auer, who led off the frame by getting plunked by a Stull pitch.

Now holding a 5-2 advantage, UCF sent Stull to the bench in the fifth as Kallstrom and sophomore Chris Duffy recorded back-to-back doubles to make it 6-2. USF returned the favor with a two-out run in the sixth on a RBI single by Ryan Lockwood. But Allen did not budge the rest of the way, and junior Justin Weiss closed it out with his fifth save of 2008.

Jay Bergman Field will not rest as Stetson makes its lone trip to UCF Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m. match-up.

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
USF - 15-16 Overall, 5-7 Big East
UCF - 23-11 Overall, 2-7 Conference USA
WP: Cody Allen (2-0), 8.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
LP: Matt Stull (2-1), 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 1 K
SV: Justin Weiss (5), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
- Dwayne Bailey notched his 16th multi-hit game of the season by going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
- UCF had four bunt singles vs. USF, including two by Ryan Richardson.
- The Knights have now posted at least 10 base hits in four of their last five games.
- Cody Allen became the first true freshman since Austin Hudson last year to earn a win in his first collegiate start.
- Allen finished with 110 pitches, 71 for strikes. He became just the second pitcher this year to go at least 8.0 innings, as Kyle Sweat went 8.0 frames in a win over Siena March 15 (game two).
- Each of the first five UCF hitters scored a run Tuesday.
- USF left only two runners on base, but that was in large part due to the Knights turning four double plays, the most in a game this season.