O'Brien pitched the first nine-inning complete game of his career as he improves to 8-2
April 9, 2004
Matt O'Brien pitched a complete game to defeat no. 19 UCF Friday night at FAU Stadium. No. 24 Florida Atlantic scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to give FAU a 7-6 win as O'Brien picked up his eighth win of the season. FAU improves to 27-7, 7-6 A-Sun, while UCF falls to 28-6, 13-3 A-Sun.
UCF scored its only runs of the game in the second inning as they jumped on O'Brien for six runs on three hits. The FAU defense committed two errors as only one run was earned. O'Brien (8-2) allowed six runs on six hits and struck out nine while only allowing two walks in the longest outing of his career.
The FAU offense battled back as O'Brien kept the Golden Knights scoreless through the remaining seven innings. FAU scored runs in five of the last six innings to slowly rally for a win over the A-Sun leaders. Walks in the third and fourth innings hurt UCF starter Kyle Bono who entered the game with a 1.00 ERA. Bono gave up four singles in the two innings as FAU battled back to 2-6.
A leadoff single in the fifth put center fielder Tim Mascia at first base when left fielder Rob Horst came to the plate. Horst hit his league leading ninth home run to right field over the scoreboard to record his 41st RBI of the season.
An unearned run in the sixth brought FAU to within one run and pushed Bono out of the game after 5 1/3 innings. The sophomore struck out seven and gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks. Jaime Douglas (1-2) entered in relief and suffered the loss as FAU scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Two UCF errors put runners on the corners with freshman Mike McBryde on third. It looked as Florida Atlantic would tie the game as a wild pitch flew by catcher Ryan Bono but Bono flipped the ball back to Douglas as McBryde broke for home to preserve the lead. Douglas recorded a strikeout before a wild pitch and two walks loaded the bases with two outs. Horst (Gering, NE) came through with the game winning hit as he singled to left field to plate two runs as FAU earned the win.
Horst finished the night with a game-high four RBI in a 2-for-5 effort. Tim Mascia (Wellington, FL) went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored the winning run.
The two teams will close out the three-game series on Saturday in a 1 pm doubleheader.