Figliolia's Relief Outing Ignites UCF to 8-5 Win


March 14, 2009

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

Notes for Sunday's Game in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF used homers from both senior Chadd Hartman (Windermere, Fla.) and freshman Jake Huxtable (Winter Springs, Fla.) along with an impressive relief performance from freshman Anthony Figliolia (Winter Springs, Fla.) to defeat Northern Iowa, 8-5, Saturday evening at Jay Bergman Field. The Knights stretched their record to 6-10 with the victory.

"It's all about our guys getting better, that's what I look at," said first-year head coach Terry Rooney. "And I feel like our pitching is getting better. Here's the reality: Bryan Brown is a freshman who had his first collegiate start, and then Figliolia comes in and they eat up 7.0 innings. I told these guys before the game that this was a crucial game for us in having the ability to respond (after losing earlier in the day to Hartford). And our guys did that in large part because of the two freshmen pitchers doing their job."

Figliolia entered in the fourth inning and proceeded to pitch 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out three. In his start, Brown blanked Northern Iowa (7-8) in the first three frames before falling into some trouble in the fourth inning.

A pair of freshmen sparked the UCF offense Saturday night as well. Opening up the second inning against Brian de la Torriente, Beau Taylor lined a single into right field before Huxtable crushed the first pitch he saw deep to left-center for a two-run homer. It was Huxtable's first-career round-tripper, and we would go on to have three RBI vs. the Panthers.

The Knights' followed in the next inning by loading the bases with no outs on two hit by pitches and a walk. Getting ahead 2-0, senior Brandon Romans found the left-center gap to drive in two runs while senior Kiko Vazquez also scored on an error in the outfield. Romans later touched home to make it 6-0 thanks to a sac fly from Huxtable.

Down six runs, the Panthers used four-straight hits to leadoff the fourth and cut it to 6-2. After Brown recorded the first out, UNI posted two more RBI singles, forcing UCF to go to the pen. However, a wild pitch permitted a fifth runner to touch home, completing the inning's scoring.

While momentum seemed to flip to Northern Iowa, the Black and Gold struck back in the home half. Two errors on the same play enabled senior Eric Kallstrom to lead off the fourth by touching second. Three batters later and with two away, Hartman belted a 1-1 offering to dead center for his second home run of the season.

The two programs' bullpens went step for step the rest of the way as neither team got on the scoreboard in the last five innings. Freshman D.J. Hicks pitched a hitless eighth, leading up to senior Justin Weiss' second save of the year.

With the one-game showdown vs. UNI in the books, UCF will conclude its three-game weekend series with Hartford Sunday at 1 p.m. The Knights took game one on Friday, 5-0, before the Hawks grabbed game two Saturday afternoon, 7-3.

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
Northern Iowa - 7-8 overall
UCF - 6-10 overall
WP: Anthony Figliolia (1-0), 3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
LP: Brian de la Torriente (1-1), 2.0 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
SV: Justin Weiss (2), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1K
-With his two-run dinger in the second, Jake Huxtable became the 11th different Knight to homer this year.
-The Knights already have 20 home runs this season.
-Shane Brown was hit with another pitch Saturday evening, giving him 22 for his career and moving him into a tie for sixth on the UCF all-time list.
-Jake Huxtable (three), Chadd Hartman (two) and Brandon Romans (two) all posted at least two RBI.
-Each of the top six hitters in the UCF lineup scored a run.