Baseball Drops Season Finale at UCF, 8-1|
May 21, 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. – Ten seniors played their final game wearing the Green and White but unfortunately in a losing effort as the Marshall University baseball fell in the season finale against UCF, 8-1, at Jay Bergman Field on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the loss, a few milestones were reached by two seniors in big business efforts from Herd starter Arik Sikula and shortstop Kenny Socorro. The number 200 will be remembered by both players as Sikula became the fourth pitcher in school history to reach 200 strikeouts in a career at Marshall. Socorro laced a 0-2 pitch to centerfield in his final at bat to reach the 200 hit plateau. He became only the fifth player at Marshall to accomplish that feat.
Senior Victor Gomez added a single in his final game and departs as the all-time leader in program history in hits (294), doubles (48), homers (52), RBI (211) and total bases (510).
Out of the bullpen, seniors Austin Pratt, Kyle Blank and Ian Kadish all saw time on the mound in their final games. Kadish, who moved into third place on the all-time at Marshall by making his 83rd appearance also struck out the last batter he faced in his collegiate career.
The Herd got the ball rolling in the top of the first as Isaac Ballou smacked a base hit right back at UCF hurler Chase Bradford, deflecting to second base for an infield single. Ballou moved up 90 feet on a ground out off the bat of Kenny Socorro and would come around and score on a two-out bloop single by Rhett Stafford to take the early 1-0 lead.
UCF brought the score even, a trend that happened on several occasions the night before, as D.J. Hicks brought home Beau Taylor on a sac fly.
In the fifth, the Knights strung together four-straight hits, two of which did not leave the infield, as UCF would push across two runs in the stanza.
An inning later, Jonathan Griffin extended the UCF cushion to 4-1 with a solo blast to right center to start the inning. After hitting a batter, Sikula (2-6) struck out Erik Hempe, marking the 200th of his career.
UCF added four more runs in the seventh, thanks to four separate solo bombs to round out the scoring on the day.
Socorro’s 200th base knock came with one out on a 0-2 pitch in the top of the eighth.
Marshall ends the season 20-31, 7-17 in Conference USA play, while UCF (36-20, 12-12) advances to the C-USA Tournament.