May 20, 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. – Marshall scored four times in the top of the eighth to take a one run lead, but UCF answered right back with six-spot and held on to win 13-10 on Saturday night at Jay Bergman Field.
Marshall (20-30, 7-16 C-USA) received the seventh four-hit game in the career of Victor Gomez as the Miami, Fla., native roped three singles, a double and knocked in a run in the loss. The last time V.Gomez had a four-hit affair was at Houston on May 15th of last season.
Isaac Ballou added two hits, two runs and knocked in two, while Victor Ramos and Rhett Stafford each knocked in a pair for the Herd.
UCF (35-20, 11-12) featured two players with three hits in Beau Taylor (three RBI) and Travis Shreve.
The Knights scored in the bottom half of the first without the use of a hit, as leadoff man Ronnie Richardson walked to start the game. He eventually came around and crossed home when Mason uncorked a wild pitch.
MU rebounded quickly, with a two-run spurt in the top of the second. R.Stafford was plunked by a Danny Winkler offering in front of Herd all-time doubles leader V.Gomez. Just a night after setting the school record for two baggers, V.Gomez promptly laced a double to just inside third base to put in Winkler in a bind. R.Stafford would scamper home on passed ball and later V.Gomez touched the plate on a RBI ground out from James Lavinskas.
After being kept off the scoreboard in the second, UCF put up a two spot thanks to a RBI double from Darnell Sweeney and run scoring single from Beau Taylor to hold a 3-2 edge after three.
The scoreboard saw the lead change hands again in the fourth as clutch two-out hitting gave the Herd a 5-3 advantage. Ramos lined a two-run base knock up the middle and Ballou followed a scorching RBI single to left to give MU three runs in the frame.
The scoring seesaw continued to sway back and forth as UCF brought the score even at five apiece by crossing home twice in the bottom of the fifth. Taylor roped his second RB I single of the night and D.J. Hicks brought home the tying run on ground out to first base.
UCF broke the tie an inning later in the fifth as Erik Hempe launched a solo blast to left.
Ballou led off the top of the seventh by drawing a free pass and would move around to third with two down. Down in the count 2-0 to V.Gomez, UCF decided to not put on the slugger on with a base open. Pitching to V.Gomez proved to be costly as he lined a shot to third, knocked down by Derek Luciano but had no play as Ballou scored easily to even the score at six.
UCF received some clutch hitting of its own, as Jonathan Griffin roped a two-out RBI double to left to go up a run at 7-6 after seven innings of play.
Again, the scoring pendulum swayed in the Herd’s favor in the top of the eighth. UCF called on its closer, Joe Rogers, and the lefty struggled with his control. Rogers walked a batter, hit another and gave up a single to Gray Stafford to load the bases for Isaac Ballou. The speedy centerfield in a bouncer up the middle gloved by second baseman Travis Shreve, but had no play to even the score. G.Stafford scored on a passed ball, before older brother R.Stafford lined a two-run single to left to break the game open and take a 10-7 lead.
Unfortunately, the pendulum swung back for the home squad as UCF scored six times in the eighth and held on for the 13-10 victory.
Jesse Fernandez (2-3) was saddled with the loss, while Johnny Sedlock (2-0) picked up the victory out of the UCF bullpen.
The season finale for the Herd is slated for Saturday at noon.