UCF's Lively Strikes Out 10 in Complete-Game Victory vs. Wagner


March 12, 2011

Final Stats

UCF vs. Wagner
March 12, 2011
From Orlando, Fla.
Team R H E
Wagner 1 4 2
UCF 5 8 0

WP: Lively (3-0), 9.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K
LP: Lucas (0-3), 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
SV: None

Game-Changing Moment
Ahead 2-1 in the second, Ryan Breen drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to start the home half of the inning, and even though Wagner starter Jon Lucas went to 2-2 on D.J. Hicks, the designated hitter hammered a two-run homer to right-center to make it 4-1.

Three Stars
First Star: UCF SP Ben Lively, WP, CG, 4 H, 0 BB, 10 K
Second Star: UCF SS Darnell Sweeney, 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI
Third Star: UCF DH D.J. Hicks, 2-run HR, 13-game hit streak

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By Brian Ormiston

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Becoming the first UCF freshman to toss a complete game since 2006, righty Ben Lively struck out 10 and allowed only four hits and no walks in the Knights' 5-1 victory over Wagner Saturday. Lively improved to 3-0 on the season for the Black and Gold (12-3) and only went to a three-ball count against two of the 31 batters he faced.

"It was just one of those days where everything was working," said Lively, who received a shaving-cream pie to the face after the game. "I love throwing complete games. (UCF) hasn't had one in such a long time, and that's a big confidence booster."

The last Knight to work a full nine-inning complete game was Mitch Herold, who pitched in Double-A ball last year, vs. Stetson on April 9, 2008. And the last freshman to do so was Mitch Houck, who was in Class A ball last summer, at South Florida April 4, 2006.

Lively now has an ERA this season of 0.43 in 21.0 innings in his first-collegiate campaign. He surrendered his first earned run of the year in the first inning Saturday only to shut down the Seahawks (1-9) the rest of the way. Wagner did get a runner to third with one out in the fourth and the seventh only to witness Lively strike out the next batter and pick up the final out without allowing the runner to score each time.

"Ben did a heck of a job. You've got to tip your hat to him. It was an unbelievable effort," said head coach Terry Rooney. "When you go back and look at his very first start where he got the win against the University of Alabama, that was a big-win situation because not only was it Alabama but we needed a bounce-back win. So obviously that gave him a lot of confidence as the season has progressed."

Lively was aided by an offense that was led by D.J. Hicks who smashed his second homer of the year in the second inning. It also moved his hitting streak to 13 games. Darnell Sweeney delivered two doubles and two runs as well, while Jonathan Griffin continued to torch opposing pitchers with two hits and two RBI.

A first-pitch single by Ian Miller got the game going and that would lead to a run for Wagner as Seth Boyd later produced a sac fly for the 1-0 lead. And that did not hold up in the bottom half where Sweeney doubled in Travis Shreve and Griffin put UCF ahead with a RBI single to left.

Following a five-pitch inning by Lively in the second, Wagner starting pitcher Jon Lucas issued a walk to Ryan Breen to get the home half started and Hicks took advantage by sending a 2-2 offering to the scoreboard in right-center to make it 4-1. That lead stretched to 5-1 in the third thanks to Sweeney's second double and a RBI single from Griffin.

Lively did not need a lot of help from the bats the rest of the game. The middle innings alone featured the righty sitting down 10 in a row from the fourth to the seventh innings and a six-pitch inning in the sixth. Lively also retired the final eight Wagner batters in the game.

UCF and Wagner complete their series Sunday at 1 p.m. The Black and Gold will then host South Florida Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. live on Bright House Sports Network.

Game Notes
Wagner - 1-9 Overall
UCF - 12-3 Overall
-UCF had one complete game last season by Nick Cicio against East Carolina May 16, but it was a seven-inning victory as the Knights run-ruled the Pirates, 14-1.
-Travis Shreve swiped his 13 base of the year Saturday, and went 2-for-2 with a run.
-UCF's pitchers have not issued a walk in the first two games of the series with Wagner.
-Meanwhile, the pitching staff has walked just 29 batters this year and has struck out 148 for a 5.1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.