Brown's Pair of Homers Not Enough in UCF's Late-Inning Loss to Clemson


May 17, 2008

Final Stats | Photo Gallery

Box Score in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Sophomore Shane Brown homered twice and senior Ryan Richardson added a solo shot on senior day, but Clemson scored three in the eighth to take the lead and it held on to defeat the UCF baseball team, 8-5, in the regular-season finale Saturday at Jay Bergman Field. The Knights will now head into the 2008 Entergy Conference USA Championship with a 31-25 overall record.

Playing in front of 1,625 fans, the ninth largest crowd in the stadium's eight-year history, Brown racked up two home runs in a game for the second time this year, moving his season total to eight. For Richardson, it was home run No. 5 on the season and the sixth for his two-year career at UCF. Also shining with the stick against the Tigers (30-25-1), junior Colin Arnold rapped out three hits and scored a run from his leadoff spot in the order.

Already having made some of UCF's top defensive plays of the season, senior center fielder Tyson Auer closed his career at Jay Bergman Field with one of his best catches in a Black and Gold uniform. With only one down in the third and Tigers at first and second, Ben Paulsen cranked a sure extra-base hit to the wall in left-center. Auer was able to track it down and made a leaping catch, crashing into the wall in the process and ultimately saving two runs.

Clemson attempted to spoil senior day right off the bat in the first inning, where Mike Freeman led off with a double and Kyle Parker crushed a two-run homer to left off starter Mitch Houck. Now trailing 2-0 before its first trip to the plate, UCF cut the deficit in half in its version of the first. Junior Colin Arnold got it going with a single up the middle, promptly stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error from catcher Doug Hogan. Digging in vs. Trey Delk, junior Kiko Vazquez laced the first pitch he saw into center field for the RBI single.

The long ball for the Tigers returned in the fourth, though, as Wilson Boyd posted a solo shot over the UCF bullpen in right. Brown ended up having the answer for Boyd's shot, belting a solo homer of his own over the left-field wall in the home half of the fourth, making it 3-2.

Brown was not done. The first pitch from Delk in the sixth inning also saw the third baseman go yard with this dinger just clearing the wall and landing in the palm trees in left center. Delk did manage to pick up the next two outs, but Richardson drove a 0-1 offering deep to right center that easily cleared the scoreboard, which enabled the Knights to claim a 4-3 lead.

Even though they were behind for the first time on the evening, the Tigers clawed back in the seventh with a two-out RBI double from Parker to even things up.

Somehow with momentum seemingly flowing to Clemson again, Brown got the offense rolling for a third time by starting a seventh-inning two-out rally on an infield single to third. Junior Robert Lara also came through thanks to a single to right, allowing Brown to reach second. Pinch-hitter Brandon Romans then strode to the dish and spanked a 1-0 single to right as well. Parker gobbled it up and threw home, but it was up the first-base line and Brown was able to slide in safely, just beating the tag and handing the Knights a 5-4 advantage.

With the buzz still flowing throughout the park, Matt Sanders put a damper on things by continuing the night's theme and retying the game in the eighth on a solo homer to left. The Tigers did not let up and this time put it away later in the frame by scoring two more runs, which all started on a one-out, bases-empty fielding error. They posted some insurance in the ninth with another run to complete the final 8-5 margin.

The postseason now awaits the Knights, where they will head to New Orleans on Monday to begin preparing for the 2008 Entergy Conference USA Championship. UCF serves as the seven seed and will take on No. 2 Southern Miss Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET. The Golden Eagles, which are currently ranked No. 27 in the country, took two of three from the Knights in Hattiesburg during the regular season.

For more information on the 2008 UCF baseball program, head to www.ucfathletics.com. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Game Notes
Clemson - 30-25-1 Overall, 11-18-1 ACC
UCF - 31-25 Overall, 8-16 Conference USA
WP: Justin Sarratt (2-2), 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
LP: Brian Griggs (1-4), 3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
- Seniors Tyson Auer, Dwayne Bailey, Paul Cinder, Brian Griggs, Matt Lambert, Ryan Richardson and Tim Russell were all honored before the game, as they were playing their final home game as a Knight. Bailey was the only senior that did not play as he was sitting out due to an injury.
- Tim Russell made his ninth start of the year, serving as the designated hitting and batting sixth. He finished 1-for-3 with a double.
- Paul Cinder came on with two down and a runner at third in the top of the ninth, and got John Hinson to strike out looking on a inside fastball to end the inning.
- With an attendance of 1,625, a total of 4,094 fans came to the ballpark to witness the final home series of the season for the Knights. That three-game figure ranks as the largest-attended series of the year, and just the third time since Jay Bergman Field opened in 2001 that more than 4,000 fans took in a three-game series at the stadium.
- For the 2008 campaign, UCF shattered its single-season attendance record as 40,012 fans made their way to the ballpark this year.
- Saturday marked the fifth time in the last seven games and the eighth time in the last 11 that an opponent scored in the first inning.
- Starting pitcher Mitch Houck worked 4.0 innings with two strikeouts and three earned runs. He went out to start the fifth and threw a few warm-up pitchers before the coaching staff and trainer Garrett DeGroot met with him on the mound and retreated back to the dugout.
- Shane Brown tied Chris Duffy for the team lead with eight home runs. Last year as a freshman, Brown did not have a four-bagger in 38 games played.
- UCF dropped their fourth-straight regular-season finale.
- UCF outhit Clemson, 14-12. It was just the Knights' fourth loss of 2008 when they collected more hits than their opponent.