UCF Baseball Concludes Season with a 7-3 Loss to Tulane


May 21, 2009

Final Stats

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF hung around with Tulane until the late innings yet was unable to mount a comeback as the Green Wave posted a 7-3 victory in an elimination game of the Conference USA Championship Thursday in Hattiesburg, Miss. The No. 8 seed Knights finished with a 22-35 record on the season, but went 15-15 in the last two months of 2009 including three C-USA series victories and a win over No. 2 Rice.

No. 4 seed Tulane improved to 33-24 with its triumph and now moves on to meet either No. 1 East Carolina or No. 5 Southern Miss Friday.

In a rematch of starting pitchers from the regular season match-up on April 12 in Orlando, UCF senior Kyle Sweat met the Green Wave's Conrad Flynn on an overcast afternoon. Sweat would go on to post his seventh-consecutive start of at least 5.0 innings and left the game trailing 3-0 in the seventh. His line ultimately rounded out to be 6.1 innings with five runs on eight hits.

"Overall I was pleased with the progress throughout the season and without question we played our best baseball towards the end of the season," said first-year head coach Terry Rooney. "Kyle Sweat once again did a great job for us. The job of the starting pitcher is to give his team a chance to win and he did that today. We just didn't capitalize on opportunities that we had offensively and they did."

As UCF's leadoff hitter, senior Colin Arnold completed his Knight career by going 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored. Fellow senior Brandon Romans, meanwhile, accumulated two hits and two RBI on the day. The All-C-USA Second Team outfielder ended up leading the team with 21 multi-hit and 15 multi-RBI games in 2009.

With the Knights serving as the home team, Sweat took the hill first and saw his first pitch be grounded into the left-field corner by Josh Prince for a double. After a groundout moved him over to third, Prince came across on a ground ball to second.

Another leadoff two-bagger by Prince resulted in another run in the third as Tulane double the lead to 2-0. Meanwhile Flynn was busy keeping the UCF bats off-balance and it was not until the fourth that the Knights really threatened. With two away and Romans aboard by way of a single, senior Kiko Vazquez rapped out a base hit and freshman D.J. Hicks walked to load the bases. However Flynn kept the Black and Gold scoreless by picking up a strikeout to end the frame.

Sweat reached the sixth inning with only four hits allowed, and pitched around a scoring chance when the Green Wave had two aboard and one down. Yet in the seventh Tulane returned and this time stretched its advantage even further thanks to three one-out singles, making it 3-0. Senior Jaager Good would enter from the pen for his first relief appearance since March 28, and the Green Wave would complete the stanza with four runs.

Now trailing 6-0, a single by junior Chris Duffy and a fielding error with senior Chadd Hartman at the plate permitted the Knights to put runners at the corners to get their half of the seventh underway. That got the Tulane bullpen busy, and with two relievers warming up, Arnold took a 1-2 inside pitch from Flynn and pulled it inside the first-base bag for a RBI double.

Looking for a big inning, the Knights still had runners at second and third with nobody out. Although Flynn retired the next two batters, he left an 0-2 pitch up in the zone where Romans hammered it into left-center for a two-run single. UCF would get the tying run to the batter's box only to see reliever Nick Pepitone leave two runners aboard.

With Tulane still managing to hold the lead, it put the game out of reach in the eighth, scoring an unearned run for the final 7-3 margin.

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Game Notes
UCF - 22-35 Overall
Tulane - 33-24 Overall
WP: Conrad Flynn (8-3), 6.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
LP: Kyle Sweat (3-4), 6.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
- Some of the highlights from the 2009 season under first-year head coach Terry Rooney: highest single-game attendance average in school history (1,088 per game), the program's best cumulative grade-point average (3.2), most team home runs in a single season (68).
- Once again freshman catcher Beau Taylor removed a runner from the bases when he threw out Nick Boullosa trying to swipe third in the fifth inning. He then got Boullosa attempting to take second in the eighth. It was Taylor's fifth-straight game he caught at least one runner stealing.
- Taylor also recorded 26 runners caught stealing in his first collegiate season behind the plate, which ranks as the second-most by a UCF catcher this decade, trailing only Drew Butera's 28 in 2005.
- Starting pitcher Kyle Sweat completed his career with 48 starts to rank third on the UCF all-time list. He also sits in seventh in program history with 283.0 career innings pitched.
- Jaager Good wrapped up his senior season by working the final 2.2 innings, surrendering just one earned run.
- Kiko Vazquez ended the year with a nine-game hitting streak in tact, while Brandon Romans had an eight-game streak. Both of those were season-highs by the seniors.
- Vazquez totaled 29 home runs for his career, good for sixth in school history. Meanwhile, Romans' 14 homers in 2009 allowed him to place in a tie for sixth on the single-season list.
- Eric Kallstrom added three more at-bats in his 214th and final UCF game. The shortstop ended with 752 at-bats to place seventh all-time, and his 214 games played rank him in 10th place.