UCF Suffers 8-3 Loss at Florida International


March 4, 2009

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

MIAMI, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Florida International plated three runs in the first inning and never looked back in an 8-3 win over the UCF baseball team Wednesday in Miami. With the loss, the Knights fell to 2-6 on the season while FIU improved to 4-2.

In a game that featured eight errors and five unearned runs, junior reliever Cory Weech delivered a stellar performance on the mound for the Knights. The right-hander tossed the final 3.1 innings, giving up just one hit, not walking a batter and striking out three.

Both teams lit up the scoreboard in the first inning, with senior Kiko Vazquez driving in junior Shane Brown with a two-out base hit to hand UCF a 1-0 lead. But FIU's Pablo Bermudez greeted senior Jaager Good in the bottom half by sending the first pitch of the frame over the right-field wall. The Golden Panthers then loaded the bases with one out and scored two more on a hit by pitch and sacrifice fly.

FIU added an unearned run in the third to increase its advantage to 4-1. Conversely, the Knights managed to get a runner into scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings yet could not capitalize.

With the score holding at 4-1, Tyler Townsend connected for a RBI single against the UCF pen in the bottom of the fifth to stretch it to 5-1. Later in the frame, a two-out error kept the inning alive and FIU went on to bring in three more unearned runs.

Now trailing 8-1, reliever Eric Berkowitz stepped on the hill for the Golden Panthers and the bottom of the UCF order put together a quick rally. It all started with a sharp single up the middle by freshman Beau Taylor and a walk to sophomore Evan Stobbs. Freshman designated hitter Jake Huxtable loaded them up with a single through the right side, and Berkowitz fell behind to junior Kyle Mills, 3-0.

Even though the Knights seemed to be in control, the righty came back to earn the strikeout and induced senior Nick Choto to pop up on the infield. Facing a 2-2 count and in the infield playing deep, freshman Austin Smith picked up an RBI single to shortstop, and Brown hit a grounder to second that Ryan Mollica booted, making it 8-3 heading into the seventh.

The Knights had one last opportunity to cut into the FIU lead in eighth, putting runners at the corners with two down on a pair of errors. That was when lefty Mason McVay entered from the bullpen and earned the third out when pinch-hitter Brandon Romans flew out to right.

UCF gets right back to work this weekend when it opens a three-game home series vs. Monmouth Friday at 6:30 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
UCF - 2-6 overall
Florida International - 4-2 overall
WP: R.J. Fondon (1-0), 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
LP: Jaager Good (0-1), 3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
-Sophomore Evan Stobbs made his first-career start in the outfield Wednesday, playing right field.
-Stobbs, Kiko Vazquez and Jake Huxtable paced the UCF offense with two hits apiece.
-Florida International now holds a 51-42 lead in the all-time series.
-Chris Duffy saw his seven-game hitting streak come to an end against the Golden Panthers.
-FIU and UCF will meet one more time this year as they will do battle May 5 in Orlando.