Jacksonville's Rally Upends UCF Baseball, 9-5


March 25, 2009

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF's 5-2 lead was erased when Jacksonville scored seven runs in the eighth inning in a 9-5 Dolphin victory Wednesday at John Sessions Stadium in Jacksonville. The loss dropped the Knights' record to 7-17 on the season, while JU boosted its overall record to 14-8.

Senior Colin Arnold's season-long hitting streak went to seven games as the outfielder was 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Each of the top seven hitters in the lineup posted a base hit, led by freshman Jake Huxtable's 2-for-4 performance.

UCF used six pitchers in the contest, including starter Austin Hudson who went 2.0 innings with one run allowed. Senior Jaager Good highlighted the bullpen, going 2.0 shutout innings with one strikeout.

While not picking up a hit in the first inning, UCF secured the early 1-0 lead. A four-pitch walk from Clay Kollenbaum put Arnold aboard, and he promptly stole second. Two seniors then successfully went to right field as Josh Siebenaler and Kiko Vazquez grounded out to first, permitting Arnold to come around and score.

Arnold and Siebenaler were back at it in the second, using a piece of clutch hitting to stretch the advantage to 4-0. With runners at first and second and two down, Arnold found a hole between first and second on a 2-0 pitch to drive in Huxtable, who doubled earlier in the inning. Still with a pair of Knights aboard, Siebenaler worked the count full before crushing the payoff pitch over Chuck Opachich's head in center for a two-run double.

A hit by pitch, infield single and walk, though, loaded the bases with two away for JU in the bottom of the second. Hudson went to 2-2 on Opachich and induced him to ground to second. Siebenaler decided to try for the force at second and Chris Connelly beat the toss to allow one run to score, but Jimmy Howick rounded third too far, enabling shortstop Eric Kallstrom to throw over as Huxtable put the tag down for the final out.

Hitting the bullpen for the third inning, freshman Anthony Figliolia kept the Dolphins off the board in the third and fourth, yet gave up one run in the fifth before being relieved. Junior Cory Weech stepped on the hill, inheriting runners at the corners, and helped UCF escape when Alex Martinez grounded into an inning-ending 6-3 double play.

UCF plated a huge run in the top of the seventh to hold a comfortable 5-2 lead, and it all started on a three-base error. With one down, Siebenaler traveled all the way to third when relief pitcher Kyle Kriech's throw to first rolled into the vast amount of foul territory. The next batter, sophomore Evan Stobbs, earned the RBI on a deep sac fly to the track in center field.

One inning later, that three-run lead was erased. Freshman D.J. Hicks relieved Good, who worked scoreless sixth and seventh innings, and walked Martinez on four pitches. Alex Swenson put JU right back in the game by hammering a two-run blast to left, making it 5-4. That inning was far from over, however, as Jamaal Hawkins and Thomas Myers both banged out two-out, two-run doubles, completing the Dolphins' comeback. Jacksonville added one more run in the eighth for the 9-5 margin.

The Knights resume their Conference USA schedule with a three-game home series with Southern Miss. Game one's first pitch is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Baseball season ticket packages as well as single game tickets are on sale 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
UCF - 7-17 Overall
Jacksonville - 14-8 Overall
WP: Chris Kaminski (1-0), 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
LP: D.J. Hicks (1-3), 0.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
- Brandon Romans made his first-career outfield start Wednesday, getting the nod in left field.
- Colin Arnold's two stolen bases tied a career-high, a feat he also accomplished three times last year.
- Shane Brown's 15-game hitting streak remained in tact due to the junior sitting out vs. the Dolphins.
- Josh Siebenaler drove in two runs on the evening.