UCF's Dew Improves to 5-1 with 8.1 Innings on the

April 17, 2010

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UCF vs. Rice
April 17, 2010
From Orlando, Fla.

WP: Owen Dew (5-1), 8.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
LP: Mike Ojala (2-1), 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
SV: Joe Rogers (6), 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Game-Changing Moment
It was a combination of the bottom of the third and top of the fourth. As UCF trailed 2-1, Darnell Sweeney singled in Shane Brown in the third to tie it up. Then with two down, Chris Duffy pounced on an 0-1 pitch, sending it to left to plate Sweeney, giving his team the lead. And when Owen Dew tried to preserve the lead in the fourth, he had little trouble, needing just seven pitches to retire the side 1-2-3 to keep momentum with the Knights throughout the game.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF SP Owen Dew, WP, 8.1 IP, longest outing by a Knight since 4/9/08
Second Star: UCF SS Darnell Sweeney, 2-for-3, 2 RBI, R, BB, SAC
Third Star: UCF DH Ryan Breen, 1-for-3, 2 RBI, got UCF on the board with a HR in the 2nd

Notes for Game Three Sunday
UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

Orlando, Fla. ( - UCF junior righty Owen Dew (Tallahassee, Fla.) tossed 8.1 innings and picked up two key double plays late in the game to defeat Rice, 6-4, Saturday. The crowd of 1,844 once again provided a lot of support to help the Knights improve to 24-13 on the year and 6-5 in Conference USA.

"That outing that Owen just had is the reason you get into coaching," admitted Rooney. "What I mean by that is that he has come so far since the fall. The results are obviously tremendous. And that was an outing almost of a lifetime. But if you follow baseball and pitching, you could see how he was in total control with his emotions the whole time. That was the performance of the year, and to see guys work really hard and then get rewarded like that is awesome."

Dew (5-1) came within one bounce of a complete-game win vs. the Owls (22-15, 7-4) only to see a potential game-ending double play take a nasty hop on the infield for a base hit in the ninth. That did not affect the Knights, as freshman Joe Rogers took over and needed just five pitches to pick up the final two outs for his sixth save of the year.

Posting UCF's longest start since a complete-game by Mitch Herold vs. Stetson April 9, 2008, Dew finished the afternoon by surrendering nine hits, all singles, and walking only a pair.

"Early in the season it was evident that when I would get into a jam, the game would kind of spiral away and get out of hand," said Dew. "So I've really been working on hard on just breathing, it's as simple as that. When the game is fast-paced, the ball gets up on me. I just needed to breathe, settle down between each pitch and go one pitch at a time."

The UCF sticks came up with several clutch hits against Rice's Mike Ojala, as the senior lost his first-collegiate game on the mound (14-1) for the Owls. Shane Brown, Darnell Sweeney and Chris Duffy led the way with two hits apiece. With those two hits, Brown now has 226 in his career. That permitted the right fielder to jump into eighth place on the UCF all-time list.

Rice grabbed the early lead thanks to an unlucky break in the first inning. With a runner at second and one out, Jeremy Rathjen popped up to short, but the home plate umpire signaled a balk from Dew to allow the runner to travel to third. A groundout later and the Owls were up 1-0. In the home half, the Knights also put a runner at second with one away vs. the righty Ojala, yet failed to get the run home.

That all changed in the second. On the first pitch of the frame, Ryan Breen crushed his fifth homer of the season into the palm trees behind the Right-Field Deck. However Rice regained the lead on a two-out, two-strike slow groundball RBI single up the middle from Jeremy Rathjen in the third.

Roles were reversed in the bottom of the third, though. A one-out walk was issued to Brown, who reached second on a wild pitch, and a balk by Ojala pushed him over to third. On the next pitch, Sweeney dropped a RBI single into center to make it 2-2. Following a groundout to get Sweeney to second, Duffy took an outside pitch and sent it the opposite way to left to drive in the freshman.

UCF did have two runners on board with two outs late in the third, then again in the fourth, and could not stretch its lead. When Rice went to the pen for the fifth, Abe Gonzales was greeted by leadoff singles from Beau Taylor and Duffy. Digging in with runners at the corners, Breen produced the RBI thanks to a fielder's choice.

Dew rolled through the fourth and fifth innings until working into a jam in the sixth. Michael Ratterree stepped in with runners at first and third and one out, then bounced a grounder to third. Chris Taladay gloved it, threw to second for the force, and the umpire ruled that the runner, Diego Seastrunk, interfered with second baseman Austin Johnston to complete the inning-ending double play.

The Knights' lead grew to 5-2 in the sixth, as Brown connected for a two-out double and Sweeney allowed him to touch home plate on a single to right. Both hits came on the first pitch of the at-bat against Gonzales. And when the Owls returned to the dish, Dew once again kept them off the board with another double-play ball.

The two-out hits were back in the eighth. Facing righty J.T. Chargois, Johnston was plunked to get on board, setting up a first-pitch RBI double off the top of the left-field wall by Richardson.

Dew would enter the ninth with 92 pitches to his credit and a 6-2 cushion, but the Owls got runners at the corners with one out. It appeared Jimmy Comerota would end the game on a 6-4-3 double play, yet the ball took a horrible bounce over Sweeney's head at short and into left-center. With the lead trimmed to 6-3, Rogers was brought in from the pen where Mozingo notched a sac fly for out No. 2 and Rick Hague flew out to right to close the door.

With the two squads splitting the first two outings, UCF's rubber match with the Owls is scheduled for Sunday at 12 p.m.

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Game Notes
Rice - 22-15 Overall, 7-4 Conference USA
UCF - 24-13 Overall, 6-5 Conference USA
-The announced attendance was 1,844, marking the ninth-largest crowd in UCF history. It was the second top-10 crowd of the season, as the Knights drew 2,546 (second-largest) against Miami March 9.
-The series has already drawn 3,389 fans in two games, which ranks as the 10th highest-attended series at UCF.
-Shane Brown doubled for the 53rd time in his career, giving him sole possession of fourth on the UCF career chart.
-With six saves, Joe Rogers needs one more to tie for eighth on UCF's single-season list.
-UCF is 17-6 in its last 23 games, which includes victories over Miami, Rice, Southern Miss (three), Houston, UAB, South Florida, Bethune-Cookman (two) and Stetson (two).