Tulane Scores Go-Ahead Run in the Eighth to End UCF Baseball's Season


May 23, 2008

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

NEW ORLEANS, La. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The 2008 UCF baseball season came to a close Friday in a 5-2 loss to Tulane in the Entergy Conference USA Championship in New Orleans. The Knights completed their year with a 31-27 record, while the Green Wave (37-19-1) moved on to face either Southern Miss or Marshall Saturday morning.

Sophomore Shane Brown delivered his team-leading ninth home run of the year with a two-run job in the fourth, and finished 2-for-4 on the day. UCF southpaw Mitch Herold made the start and went 5.1 innings, striking out six and surrendering two runs on four hits while not earning a decision.

"It was a great game. The pitchers battled hard for the better part of seven innings, but it was just all about opportunities," said interim head coach Craig Cozart. "When you look at our situation, we haven't taken advantage of our opportunities really over the last four weeks of the season unfortunately. It caught up with us today. Some walks became a factor, they got hits when they needed to and we grounded into four double plays."

The Knights completed the contest by outhitting the Green Wave, 8-7. They held a 2-0 lead entering the sixth, where Tulane struck for two and went on to score one in the eighth and two more in the ninth to keep its season alive.

With the Knights serving as the home squad, each team managed to get a runner at second in the first inning only to be kept off the scoreboard. UCF had the best chance to take the opening lead against Matt Petiton when Brown ripped a potential RBI extra-base hit to the right-center gap but watched Tulane right fielder Drew Allain make a diving snag to end the frame.

Herold did not let the defensive play affect him in the second, where he retook the mound and promptly struck out the side. The Black and Gold then had another opportunity to score with two outs in the third. With senior speedster Dwayne Bailey on first, junior Colin Arnold sent a hard grounder just by the first-base bag that was destined for the corner, however it was barely ruled foul. Even though Arnold ended up earning a free pass, Petiton recorded the final out by picking off Bailey and getting him into a rundown at second.

When Brown stepped to the plate for the second time after he was robbed of a double in the first, he made sure the defense would not have a play on his next swing. A leadoff hit by pitch to junior Kiko Vazquez in the fourth got things going, and Brown worked the count to 3-0 before taking the following pitch for a strike. Still in a hitter's count, the third baseman hammered Petiton's offering over the 400-foot sign in center field for a two-run shot. The Knights hoped for more, picking up back-to-back one-out singles yet Petiton induced junior Eric Kallstrom to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Thanks to another defensive effort by the Green Wave, they strode to the dish in the top of the fifth and immediately put a runner in scoring position on a leadoff double off the bat of Jared Dyer. Herold did not back down, striking out Sam Honeck and forcing Allain to ground out back to the mound. Although Herold walked Andrew Rodgers, Prince grounded into a fielder's choice to keep the Knights' advantage at 2-0.

Tulane forced Herold to work again in the sixth when Aja Barto and Anthony Scelfo drew walks to kick start the inning. The UCF lefty got out No. 1 by sitting Seth Henry down on strikes but issued another free pass to Rob Segedin to fill the bases. The walks proved costly as Dyer laced a 2-2 pitch into left field for a two-run single. With the game knotted up at 2-2, sophomore reliever Carmine Giardina entered the game for a lefty-lefty situation and reloaded the bases by plunking Honeck. Righty Austin Hudson came out of the pen, though, and earned a 5-2 force out and a line out to short, halting any more damage.

Petition ultimately lasted until Bailey and Arnold each notched a base hit with two outs in the seventh. Segedin moved from third base to the hill and got Vazquez to pop up on the infield and both programs advanced to the eighth still even at two apiece. Segedin wanted to help his cause as a pitcher by starting the eighth with a base hit to center, and he reached second on a sac bunt. Hudson intentionally walked Honeck only to witness Allain hit a slow roller to short for an infield single. With the bases jammed and just one down, Scott Powell sent a grounder to second for a fielder's choice, permitting Segedin to score the go-ahead run.

That run would be the difference, as Henry solidified the Tulane victory with a two-run homer in the ninth.

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

Game Notes
No. 3 Tulane - 37-19-1 Overall
No. 7 UCF - 31-27 Overall
WP: Rob Segedin (1-1), 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
LP: Austin Hudson (3-2), 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K
- Friday's game vs. Tulane was originally scheduled for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. ET., however inclement weather forced the contest to be postponed.
- UCF finished the season on a six-game losing streak.
- Dwayne Bailey served as the leadoff batter for the first time since May 3.
- Bailey recorded his seventh sacrifice hit of 2008 in the fifth inning. It also was his 18th career sac bunt in just two seasons with the Knights, which pushed him into a tie with Vince Zawaski for sixth on the school's all-time chart.
- Catcher Robert Lara caught his 11th runner trying to steal when he nabbed Josh Prince in the third inning.
- Kiko Vazquez was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. It was his 27th career HBP, moving him one closer to matching Mike Myers for fourth place on the UCF career list.
- Tyson Auer stole his 21st base of the year and his 80th career base when he took third in the fifth frame.
- Colin Arnold went 2-for-3 from the No. 2 hole.
- Sophomore Shane Brown ended the 2008 campaign as the UCF team leader in batting average (.367), homers (nine), RBI (49), total bases (103), slugging percentage (.609), sac flies (seven) and hit by pitches (14). As a freshman last year, Brown started just 24 games with a .267 average, 12 RBI and no home runs.