May 3, 2002
In a high scoring game between the top two teams in the Atlantic Sun, the University of Central Florida was able to get the best of Florida Atlantic University as they scored seven runs in the fourth inning to defeat FAU 14-9. Mike Cox and Matt Pali's back-to-back homers were not enough to make up an eight-run deficit. UCF improved to 29-19, 16-6 A-Sun, while FAU falls to 36-10, 19-3 A-Sun.
FAU was able to hold the Knights scoreless in the first two innings while posting two runs in the first after two walks and two singles started the game, one of those an RBI single by Matt Pali. Jeff Fiorentino followed suit with an RBI single with two outs to take a 2-0 lead.
UCF came roaring back as they posted three unearned runs in the third off of starting pitcher Chris Pillsbury to give the Knights the early 3-2 lead. Pillsbury would continue in the fourth before being relieved by Nelson Lopez with two outs. Pillsbury allowed six earned runs in the fourth to take his first loss of the season (8-1). Central Florida placed the first five men on base as they scored seven runs to take a 10-2 lead.
FAU tried to fight back as they posted six runs of their own in the fourth to bring the score to within two. The inning was highlighted by a Mike Cox grand slam and a Matt Pali towering shot to right field. The homers were FAU's fourth back-to-back shots this season.
The Knights offense continued to control the FAU pitching staff as they scored two runs in the fifth and sixth to extend their lead.
Mark Michael go the start for UCF and worked 3.2 innings and struck out five before Von Stertzbach was brought out of the pen in relief. Stertzbach improved to 6-0 as he pitched the remaining 5 1/3 and struck out eight to give UCF head coach Jay Bergman his 1000th career victory.
The two teams will continue the series on Saturday in a 1 pm doubleheader.
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