Sweat's Strong Start Spoiled in UCF's 5-4 Loss to Tulane


April 12, 2009

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Tied at 3-3 in the top of the ninth, UCF witnessed Tulane plate two runs to take the series finale, 5-4, Sunday at Jay Bergman Field. Senior starting pitcher Kyle Sweat went 7.0 innings, giving up just one run on six hits and left with a 2-1 lead before the Green Wave (19-16, 3-6 Conference USA) scored four in the final two innings off the UCF (12-24, 3-9) bullpen.

For Sweat, it was his second-straight C-USA start of 7.0 innings, as he also got through seven in a 5-3 UCF victory over Memphis April 5. On Sunday, the righty walked just one and sat down four on strikes. The only time Tulane got the leadoff batter on base against Sweat came in the seventh inning, and he was still able to keep him from scoring. The only run he surrendered in his outing was on a solo homer from Seth Henry in the fifth inning.

At the dish for the Knights, senior Colin Arnold's hitting streak kept pumping along when he singled to leadoff the first inning. The outfielder has now recorded a base hit in each of his last 19 games, which is tied for the third-longest in UCF history. Meanwhile, freshman Beau Taylor motored along as well by pounding out three more hits. The catcher has racked up at least two hits in six of his last nine outings.

Both Sweat and Tulane's Conrad Flynn went back and forth early in the rubber match as neither offense could get anything going. Henry did put the Green Wave on the board with his solo shot in the fifth, but the Knights stormed back in the sixth.

Opening the frame with a base hit, senior Eric Kallstrom sent the first pitch he saw through the left side and traveled to second when first baseman Sam Honeck knocked down a line drive with Arnold at the plate and got the force at first. Also ripping the first pitch, Taylor cranked a double into the right-field corner to score Kallstrom. Now at second, the freshman raced to third by way of a groundout by junior Shane Brown and since the ball was hit deep in the hole at short, Taylor did not stop at third. Honeck recognized the play and threw home only to see Jeremy Schaffer drop it as Taylor got a hand on the plate to put the Knights on top.

Now clinging to a 2-1 lead, UCF went to bullpen for the eighth inning and Tulane took advantage. The Green Wave put the first two aboard against freshman D.J. Hicks, but the reliever retired the next two batters without allowing a run. Now with runners at second and third and two down, senior closer Justin Weiss stepped on the hill and Drew Allain greeted him with a slow single up the middle, scoring the tying run and the go-ahead marker.

While it could have thrown in the towel, the Knights fought right back in the home half of the eighth. Pinch-hitting to leadoff the frame, senior Chadd Hartman dropped a single into left field, which would be the last batter Flynn would face. Nick Pepitone entered and Kallstrom moved Hartman to second with a sac bunt. Pepitone pushed Hartman to third with a wild pitch, setting up a controversial play.

With Arnold at the plate, the senior appeared to foul a pitch off his leg. The umpires did not immediately rule foul ball and Hartman scampered home. Pepitone picked it up near the mound and threw to first for the out, but since the defense did not play the ball right way, it permitted UCF to tie the game.

Once again, though, the Knights could not keep the Green Wave off the board, as they retook the lead in the ninth on a Scott Powell two-run single. Senior Brandon Romans hoped to start another comeback in UCF's last trip to the plate, starting the ninth with a double. He eventually scored on a two-out fielding error, however that was as close as the Black and Gold would get.

UCF's non-conference schedule resumes with a home-and-home against Florida Gulf Coast this week. The Knights battle the Eagles in Fort Myers Tuesday at 6 p.m. before returning home to complete the two-game series in Orlando Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Baseball flex pack voucher 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
Tulane - 19-16 Overall, 3-6 Conference USA
UCF - 12-24 Overall, 3-9 Conference USA
WP: Nick Pepitone (1-3), 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
LP: Justin Weiss (0-2), 0.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- The three-game series with Tulane drew 3,652 fans over the holiday weekend, marking the seventh-largest attended series in UCF history.
- At 19 games, Colin Arnold is tied with Clay Timpner (2004), Ryan Bear (2003) and Adam Johnson (1994-95) for the third-longest hitting streak in school history. Arnold now trails Shane Brown for second on the all-time list, as Brown notched a 22-game streak earlier this season.
- Kyle Sweat has only walked one batter in his last 17.0 innings of work going back to March 28.
- In the Tulane series, freshman catcher Beau Taylor went 6-for-12 with two doubles, a homer and three runs. The Green Wave came into the weekend as one of C-USA's top base-stealing teams, yet only mustered two stolen bases in the three games and had one guy thrown out with Taylor behind the plate.
- Defensively, UCF committed just two errors in the weekend series.