Sweat, Siebenaler Spark UCF Baseball to 5-0 Victory

March 13, 2009

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

Notes for Saturday's Games in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior righty Kyle Sweat (Apopka, Fla.) pitched 7.0 scoreless innings and classmate Josh Siebenaler (Mulberry, Fla.) was a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles and a triple to enable the UCF baseball team to shut out Hartford, 5-0, Friday in Orlando. Sweat gave up just four hits, all singles, in the win to boost the Knights' record to 5-9.

"In the bullpen my stuff wasn't there today, but coach (Terry) Rooney always says to come out and battle and that's what I did," said Sweat, who was making his 38th career start in a UCF uniform. "The team did a heck of a job on the defensive side, while Brandon Romans catching and coach calling pitches were awesome. I've been starting for four years and coach Rooney is one of the best pitching coaches I've ever had. He just pushes us hard and it helps us be successful."

In a game that lasted just 2:14, Sweat dominated the Hawks (0-5). His 7.0 innings marked the longest outing of the year by a Knight hurler and it fell one shy of tying his personal-best. The righty walked just two and struck out a pair. Completing the shutout, freshman D.J. Hicks went the final 2.0 innings, only giving up two hits and sitting down one on strikes.

Siebenaler made his first start of 2009, batting second and playing left field. He immediately made the best catch of the season on just the second batter of the game. With Simon Kudernatsch at the plate, the third baseman lifted a foul ball down the left-field line. Siebenaler sprinted after it, laid out and made the highlight-reel catch while crashing his body into the fence.

Meanwhile, Siebenaler had made two plate appearances heading into this weekend and notched a base hit each time. On Friday, his perfect 4-for-4 performance allowed the senior to record a base hit in each of his first six at-bats of 2009.

Facing the right-handed sidearmer Weston Szymanski, the Knights went quietly in the first and second only to have a senior step up to lead off the third. On a 0-1 count, Eric Kallstrom blasted his first homer of the season into the visiting bullpen to hand UCF the 1-0 lead. Two batters later, sophomore Stephen Branca singled and quickly scored thanks to a double to right from Siebenaler.

Though holding a 2-0 advantage, UCF almost lost it in the fourth when Hartford placed runners at the corners with one down. But Sweat got out of it by inducing Matt Walker to ground into the 6-4-3 double play.

Szymanski held UCF scoreless in the next two frames, yet surrendered a leadoff triple to Siebenaler in the sixth. That came back to hurt the Hawks as junior Shane Brown connected for the sacrifice fly on the next at-bat to increase the margin to 3-0. Now with the bases empty, senior Kiko Vazquez was thirsty for more, sending a base hit to left and reached second on an infield single from senior Brandon Romans. With two down, senior Chadd Hartman came through, ripping a RBI single to left.

UCF capped off its scoring in the seventh, where Siebenaler and Brown notched back-to-back doubles.

Hartford and UCF get back together Saturday with a 1 p.m. game-two showdown. At the conclusion of that contest, the Knights will square off with Northern Iowa at 6:30 p.m. in the night-cap of a three-team doubleheader. Fans will need separate tickets for both games.

Baseball season and single game tickets are on sale now for the 2009 campaign. Call the UCF Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000 for more information. Fans may also visit UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, and is the home of UCF's online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Game Notes
Hartford - 0-5 overall
UCF - 5-9 overall
WP: Kyle Sweat (2-1), 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
LP: Weston Szymanski (0-1), 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
-UCF's last shutout was a 6-0 win over Wagner March 17, 2008.
-Kyle Sweat finished with 94 pitches, 62 of which were strikes.
-Josh Siebenaler's four hits set a career-high. His previous best was three hits set twice last year.
-Eric Kallstrom became the 10th different Knight to crank out a home run this season.
-Shane Brown's sacrifice fly in the sixth was his ninth of his career. That moved him into a tie for ninth on the UCF all-time list.
-There were several defensive gems in the game. Along with Siebenaler's diving catch in the first inning, third baseman Shane Brown and center fielder Austin Smith also dropped jaws with diving plays in the field Friday.
-Brown moved his hitting streak to six games by going 1-for-3 with two RBI, Siebenaler's streak extended to five games dating back to last year and Romans kept his alive at five as well.
-Stephen Branca collected two more hits on the evening, giving him six hits in just four games that he's played this year after starting 2009 with an injury.