May. 1, 2005
For the third straight season, Florida Atlantic University took an Atlantic Sun Conference series against in-state rival no. 25 UCF. After splitting the first two games, FAU rebounded for a 14-3 win on Sunday in Orlando. Sixteen hits and seven runs in the final two innings secured the series win.
Two runs on two hits in the first inning gave FAU (26-16, 13-11 A-Sun) the early momentum. After UCF starting pitcher Mike Billek hit leadoff hitter Mike McBryde (N. Palm Beach, FL) with a pitch, Tim Mascia (Wellington, FL) followed with a single up the middle to put runners at the corners. After stealing second, Mike McKenna (Delray Beach, FL) drove in McBryde with a ground out and an Alex Fonseca (Tallahassee, FL) single past a diving shortstop gave FAU the early 2-0 lead.
The Golden Knights (36-11, 15-6 A-Sun) quickly took away the momentum in the next two innings by posting three runs. After a ground out to start the bottom of the first, FAU starting pitcher Brandon Kloess hit a batter before third baseman John-Michael Howell plated his 48th RBI of the season with a double to right centerfield. A single moved runners to the corners before a Ryan Bono ground out allowed Howell to score.
After Drew Butera led off the second with a home run for the 3-2 lead, Kloess, Chris Salberg (Rockford, IL) and Mike Crotta (Palm City, FL) held the Golden Knights off of the scoreboard for the remaining seven innings and only allowed nine hits.
After a scoreless third, FAU regained the lead on three runs in the fourth. Brian Lipman (Moorpark, CA) hit his team-leading fifth home run of the season to tie the game with one out. Alex Silversmith (Coral Springs, FL) and Daniel Cook (Miami, FL) reached base on a single and walk respectively and then recorded a double steal for both to move into scoring position with Derek Hutton (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) at the plate. The senior drove in a run with a ground out. McBryde then singled in Cook for the 5-3 lead.
Kloess was given a four-run lead as FAU posted another two runs in the sixth. Cook drove a liner off of the pitcher's foot for a base hit and then scored on a Hutton triple off of the left centerfield fence for his second RBI of the game. On the next pitch of the contest McBryde executed a squeeze bunt for the 7-3 lead.
A Golden Knight scoring chance in the sixth was squelched by Kloess after allowing a leadoff double. A caught foul ball kept Bernhard at second before a Courtney Propst base hit moved runners to the corner. Kloess recorded his third struck out of the afternoon for the second out and got some help from catcher Silversmith for the third out as he threw out Propst trying to steal second.
Mascia added to the FAU lead in the eighth with his third hit of the afternoon and two RBI.
The UCF pitching staff dissolved in the ninth inning as FAU scored five runs. The first six batters reached base on three hits and three walks before the Golden Knights recorded an out.
Kloess worked six innings and struck out three while allowing three runs on seven hits to improve to 6-2. Out of the bullpen, Salberg worked two innings and allowed one hit while striking out two. Crotta threw the final inning and allowed one hit and recorded two strike outs.
Every FAU starter recorded a hit and Mascia and Fonseca both had three on the afternoon. Hutton finished the afternoon with a season-high four RBI.
Billek (3-2) suffered the loss for UCF after five innings of work in which he allowed five runs on eight hits.
In the last nine meetings, FAU holds a 7-2 advantage and have outscored UCF 63-40.
Next weekend FAU travels to Georgia Tech for a three-game non-conference series against the Yellow Jackets. Friday's contest is scheduled for 7:00 pm.