Brown's Three-Run Jack Downs Hartford in a Slugfest, 16-12


March 15, 2009

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Junior Shane Brown's three-run homer in the seventh inning erased a one-run deficit as the UCF baseball team topped Hartford, 16-12, Sunday in Orlando. The third baseman extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate with five RBI for the Knights (7-10).

"I had a feeling right when it left the bat, but once I got to first and I saw it, it was exciting," said Brown, whose home run was his second of the season. "It pumped us up and we were able to bring in some runs after that. It was a big win. We had a lot of confidence today. We knew coming out here that we were going to win this game. It gives us momentum going into next week with two big games, then going into conference next weekend. It put us on a little roll."

UCF pounded out three home runs Sunday against the Hawks (1-6). Senior Brandon Romans delivered his team-leading fifth home run of 2009, a two-run blast in the first inning, and went on to go 2-for-4 to stretch his hitting streak to eight games. Freshman Austin Smith also put one over the wall, a solo shot in the eighth inning.

Meanwhile, freshman Jake Huxtable fell one run shy of tying a UCF single-game record by scoring four runs from the No. 2 hole. The second baseman racked up three hits on the day. In all, each of the top six hitters in the UCF lineup posted at least two hits.

A three-run homer from Andy Drexel in the top of the first gave Hartford an immediate 3-0 lead against UCF starter Brennan Dobbins. That did not affect the Knights' offense when it stepped in for the first time as it batted around to take a 5-3 lead. Senior Nick Choto got it started on a single to right and traveled to second on an error, then Huxtable also notched a single with Choto touching third on another fielding miscue.

With runners now at first and third and no outs, Brown lined a sacrifice fly to center to plate the first run off Brenday Floyd. On the very next pitch, Romans smashed a two-run dinger to left center, evening things up at 3-3. The Knights still had two outs to work with, and promptly scored one more on a single from senior Kiko Vazquez and a run-scoring double off the bat of sophomore Evan Stobbs. The final run touched home on a senior Chadd Hartman RBI groundout.

The Hawks fired back in the second on a solo homer from Drew Sgro, only to witness the Black and Gold get on the board once again. Following a one-out base hit by Huxtable, Brown doubled off the center-field wall and Romans followed suit with a two-bagger of his own to stretch the advantage to 7-4.

Hartford's right-hander pitched into some more trouble in the fourth, loading the bases with no outs. UCF doubled up the lead at 8-4 on a fielder's choice from Vazquez, and Stobbs and senior Eric Kallstrom both capped off the scoring with RBI singles, bringing it to 10-4. That six-run cushion was short-lived, as Hartford posted a seven-spot in the fifth off reliever Austin Hudson.

All of a sudden trailing 11-10, it was Choto that once again boosted the offensive attack. The fleet-footed left fielder singled to first base and when Bobby Gorski still tried to get Choto out, the ball skipped into right field, permitting the tying run to reach second. Hartford reliever Matt Govoni put Huxtable aboard with a free pass before Brown blasted the initial pitch he saw over the center-field wall, retaking the lead for the Knights.

The Black and Gold collected two more runs in the seventh on a sac fly from Stobbs and a wild pitch that let Hartman sprint across for UCF's 15th run. Smith then entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and closed out the crazy affair with the Hawks by leading off with his first-career homer down the right-field line.

UCF's seven-game homestand continues this weekend when it hosts Army Tuesday and Florida Wednesday. Both contests kick off at 6:30 p.m. with the clash against UF to be televised by Bright House Sports Network (tape-delayed to 8 p.m.).

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 - 1-6 overall
UCF - 7-10 overall
WP: Cory Weech (2-0), 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
LP: Matt Govoni (0-1), 3.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 0 K
SV: Justin Weiss (3), 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
- Head coach Terry Rooney is scheduled to appear on WFTV channel 9's "Sports Knight on 9" at 11:30 p.m. tonight.
- Senior Nick Choto made his first-career start in the outfield Sunday, playing left field, and proceeded to record two hits and score two runs.
- Shane Brown's sac fly in the first inning was his 10th of his career, moving him into a tie for fourth on the UCF all-time list, which includes teammate Kiko Vazquez.
- The 28 combined runs were the most runs in a UCF game since a 19-15 Knight victory over Siena March 15, 2008.
- Austin Smith became the 12th different Knight to hit a home run when he hit his first-career dinger in the eighth inning. The Knights now have 23 home runs in 17 games this year.
- Smith's pinch-hit homer in the eighth was UCF's first pinch-hit round-tripper since Ryan Williams did it vs. No. 15 TCU Feb. 10, 2007.
- Justin Weiss picked up his second save in as many days and his third of the season by tossing the final 1.1 innings, retiring all four batters he faced.
- Evan Stobbs and Brandon Romans both drove in three runs.
- The Nos. 1-6 hitters, Nick Choto, Jake Huxtable, Shane Brown, Brandon Romans, Kiko Vazquez and Evan Stobbs, combined to go 13-for-25 with 14 runs and 12 RBI.
- UCF finished with 16 hits and did not make an error in the field. It left only eight runners on base.