Winkler Strikes Out 11 in Loss to Houston

May 1, 2011

Final Stats

UCF vs. Houston
May 1, 2011
From Orlando, Fla.

WP: Ray (1-0), 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
LP: Winkler (3-3), 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K
SV: Mannisto (4), 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 1 K

Game-Changing Moment
UCF showed some life when Jonathan Griffin launched a two-run homer in the eighth to cut it to 4-3, but a throwing error with two outs in the ninth gave Houston a 5-3 lead and it would hold on for the win.

Three Stars
First: UH RF Caleb Ramsey, 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R
Second: UCF SP Danny Winkler, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 11 K
Third: UH SP Jared Ray, WP, 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 K

By Brian Ormiston

Box Score in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Despite a career-high 11 strikeouts by UCF's Danny Winkler, Houston plated three unearned runs en route to a 5-3 victory Sunday. The Cougars (22-23, 9-6) took the series from the Knights, 2-1, as the Black and Gold dropped to 27-17 overall and 7-11 in Conference USA.

Winkler opened up his outing by striking out the side in the first two innings, highlighted by a perfect second frame. His 11 strikeouts eclipsed his previous mark of 10 set against Wagner March 11, and he went on to work 6.0 innings, allowing just one earned run while walking only one.

Moving up to ninth on the UCF all-time home run list, senior Jonathan Griffin destroyed a two-run shot in the eighth for his 12th of the year and his 25th in two years as a Knight. Griffin would drive in all three UCF runs Sunday.

The two schools traded a run in the first inning, with Houston earning a two-out RBI from Matt Creel and UCF tying it up vs. righty Jared Ray on a sac fly by Griffin which plated Ronnie Richardson.

Both hurlers eased into the middle innings, and the Cougars put together a two-out rally in the fifth, loading them up for Creel. Although Winkler fell behind 3-1, Creel fouled off an outside pitch before swinging through a high fastball for the third out.

Houston tried again in the sixth, though, and this time secured the lead on a John Cannon RBI groundout. The Knights hoped to respond in the home half only to leave two runners aboard to remain behind, 2-1.

As UCF struggled to get on base, the Cougars struck for two in the eighth, getting back-to-back doubles by Codey Morehouse and Chase Jensen and scoring their second run of the inning on a throwing error. That miscue proved to be costly as Griffin demolished a two-out, two-run homer to left in the bottom of the eighth, but UCF still trailed 4-3.

And a Knights' throwing error with two outs in the top of the ninth permitted Houston to add the important insurance run for the 5-3 win.

UCF now looks ahead to five-straight non-conference games, traveling to South Florida Tuesday and No. 8 Florida State for a three-game series next weekend. The Knights will then host Bethune-Cookman May 11 before resuming C-USA play at UAB May 13-15.

Game Notes
Houston - 22-23 Overall, 9-6 C-USA
UCF - 27-17 Overall, 7-11 C-USA
-After coming out of the bullpen in three-straight appearances, Danny Winkler has now pitched 6.0 innings in each of his last two starts.
-Winkler's 11 strikeouts were the most by a UCF pitcher since Nick Cicio fanned 11 against Presbyterian March 20, 2010.
-D.J. Hicks extended his hitting streak to nine games. His season-long streak is 13 games.
-Derek Luciano amassed three hits against the Cougars.
-Nick Cicio finished his relief outing with 2.2 innings, surrendering just one earned run, and Joe Rogers came on to get the final out of the ninth.
-Houston turned three double plays while UCF turned two.