Offensive Explosion Leads UCF Past No. 27 Tulane, 12-1


May 4, 2008

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

NEW ORLEANS, La. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Monster first and second innings by the UCF baseball team allowed the Knights to avoid a sweep as they defeated No. 27 Tulane, 12-1, in seven innings in New Orleans on Sunday. It was the third victory over a ranked team this year for UCF, which witnessed its overall record improve to 28-21 and its Conference USA mark jump to 6-15.

UCF amassed six runs in each of the first two innings, and finished by outhitting the Green Wave (32-14-1, 10-6-1), 12-3. The Knights also collected the most runs in a game since plating 15 at Southern Miss March 22, as the contest was halted after seven due to the league rule where UCF was ahead by at least 10 runs on a travel day. Senior Dwayne Bailey led the charge, going 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBI. Junior Colin Arnold was a force from the leadoff spot, posting a 3-for-5 performance and a pair of RBI, and sophomore Chris Duffy drove in three on two base hits.

"The past couple of games I've been going through a little slump, but that's basically just me taking pitches I need to be swinging at," said Bailey, who hit in the ninth hole for the first time this year. "I think I got my confidence back today and hopefully I'll get it rolling for the end of the season."

As the Knight bats were working early, redshirt sophomore Mitch Houck kept Tulane off balance throughout the entire afternoon. He limited the Green Wave to just three hits and one unearned run on the day. Houck struck out four en route to posting his first complete-game victory since his freshman campaign in 2006.

"Tulane is one of the best hitting teams we have faced all season," said Houck. "They are pretty aggressive and don't chase many pitches either. I had to go out there and fill up the strike zone all game. (Our six runs in the first) gave me a lot of confidence that we were going to hit the ball today, and my job was to throw strikes and hit my spots. It made a big difference out there with a six spot in the first inning."

Hoping to take its first lead of the series, UCF brought the sticks right away vs. Robby Broach, knocking Tulane's starter out of the game in the first inning by batting around. Arnold opened up the frame by sending a single to right, and two batters later junior Kiko Vazquez also ripped a base hit to right field. Now with runners at the corners, sophomore Shane Brown placed a 2-2 pitch just inside the third-base bag and down the line for an RBI double.

The inning was far from over. Broach followed by loading the bases with a walk to junior Robert Lara, then issued a two-out free pass to junior Eric Kallstrom. The righty got ahead of Duffy, 0-2, but the Knights' designated hitter worked it to 2-2 before drilling an outside fastball to left field to plate two more. The Wave decided to call upon right-hander Preston Claiborne, and Bailey greeted him with a two-run double into left-center. That capped off an inning that saw UCF score six runs on five hits.

Not satisfied with a 6-0 cushion, the Knights went through the order again in the second, scoring six with two down to bring their advantage to 12-0. Junior Chadd Hartman started the outburst by blasting a two-out RBI single to left, while Duffy picked up another RBI on a bases-loaded infield single. The Green Wave was forced to go back to the pen for Trey Martin, and Bailey was back at it by blooping the first pitch he saw down the right-field line for a two-run single. The 10th man to bat, Arnold closed the offense's display by lining a 3-2 two-run double into the gap in left-center.

An unearned run in the bottom half of the second put Tulane on the board, however the offenses quieted down the rest of the way. Houck's only scare came in the fourth where the Wave put runners at the corners with one away. However the southpaw struck out Andrew Rodgers to end the small threat.

The Knights' non-conference schedule resumes Tuesday with a trip to USF for a 7 p.m. showdown, and their C-USA slate comes to a close at home next weekend with a three-game set vs. UAB. UCF's regular season then wraps up May 15-17 vs. Clemson in Orlando.

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 - 28-21 Overall, 6-15 Conference USA
No. 27 Tulane - 32-14-1 Overall, 10-6-1 Conference USA
WP: Mitch Houck (4-2), 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
LP: Robby Broach (5-2), 0.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
- Sunday marked the first time in three years in Conference USA that UCF run-ruled an opponent.
- The 28 victories surpasses last year's total of 27, while the win ensures UCF of finishing the regular season with at least a .500 record.
- UCF now leads in the all-time series with Tulane, 7-6.
- UCF racked up five hits in the first inning alone Sunday after posting just four total in each of the first two games of the series.
- The six runs in the first and second stanzas were the most in an inning since the Knights plated seven in the fifth inning at Southern Miss March 22. They also were the most in a first inning this season.
- The Knights sent 10 men to the plate in each of the first two frames. - Chris Duffy hit in the eighth hole for the first time this year.
- Dwayne Bailey swiped his team-high 20th base of the year. He also shined defensively, taking a sure hit away from Drew Allain in the third by diving to his right on a grounder up the middle and throwing out Tulane's leadoff hitter from his knees.
- Tyson Auer moved into a tie for ninth with Ryan Bono on UCF's all-time hit list by recording his 217th career hit Sunday.
- Shane Brown, Robert Lara, Eric Kallstrom and Chris Duffy all scored two runs.
- Chadd Hartman notched two hits, an RBI and a run scored.