Minutemen Baseball Falls to Central Florida 5-2
March 11, 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. - Sophomore pitcher Mitch Houck hurled seven strong innings, and benefited from some early run support, to lead the University of Central Florida (10-9) to victory over the University of Massachusetts (0-2) by a score of 5-2. Houck struck out ten Minutemen, while surrendering one earned run off three hits. Freshman Jared Freni, in his first career start, took the loss, going six innings and yielding six hits and two earned runs. The Golden Knights' offense was led by third baseman Chris Duffy, going 3-3 with a RBI. The Minutemen were paced by second baseman Ryan Franczek, who collected a run and a RBI.
The hosts wasted no time getting things started in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with its first three batters. Golden Knight clean-up batter Steve Stropp followed things up with a sacrifice fly to right, plating Tyson Auer. Freni kept the damage to a minimum by recording a strikeout and a line out to end the inning.
UCF started the second frame with a walk and a single, followed by a passed ball that advanced the runners. Auer then grounded out to shortstop, driving in a run. Chad Hartman followed that up with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring UCF's third run.
The UMass offense finally broke through in the fifth. Leftfielder Mike Donato reached base on a fielder's choice after a Jim McDonald infield single. A Travis Munsey ground out advanced Donato to second. Franczek then singled to centerfield, driving in Donato and cutting the Golden Knight lead to 3-1.
Mitchell Eilenberg relieved Freni in the seventh inning for the Minutemen. Auer led the inning off with a double for the Golden Knights and was thrown out at third on a Hartman bunt. Hartman then stole second and the Minutemen elected to intentionally walk Kiko Vasquez to put runners at first and second. After an Eilenberg strikeout of Steve Stropp, Duffy singled up the middle to drive in Hartman and make the score 4-1.
The Minutemen would then go to work on the UCF bullpen in the eighth frame. Franczek and Bill Rankin reached on a walk and an error to start the inning. Franczek then scored on a double play off the bat of Adam Tempesta to make it a 4-2 ballgame. UMass would load the bases on singles by Bryan Adamski and Lou Proietti, and a walk to Bryan Garrity. The two-out threat would be for naught however, as UCF reliever Kyle Maulbetsch induced a ground out to third by Jim Macdonald.
The Golden Knights would add another insurance run in the eighth to make it 5-2, and closer Justin Weiss pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings to earn the save. UCF finished the game with ten hits and stranded nine runners. UMass collected five hits while leaving eight on base.