May 28, 2004
Florida Atlantic University advances to the Atlantic Sun Tournament championship game after defeating no. 20 UCF 7-4 in the third day of action at the tournament. FAU used a great pitching effort from Craig Hughes and four RBI from Rusty Brown to take the 7-4 win.
After being spotted a 4-0 lead on a Rusty Brown solo home run and two-run single, the Golden Knights (44-15) tied the contest at four in the bottom of the third inning. FAU starter Matt O'Brien gave up a leadoff single to Drew Butera before getting David Mann to fly out to centerfield. O'Brien allowed the next four batters to reach base on a walk, two singles and a double as four runs crossed the plate.
A foul ball was the second out of the inning before a single to centerfield looked like it would give UCF its first lead of the contest. Centerfielder, Mike McBryde ended the UCF threat when he threw out Ryan Bono at the plate for the third out of the third inning. The freshman recorded two assists on the afternoon as he recorded an assist on another play at the plate in the fourth inning to take away the UCF momentum.
Craig Hughes (St. Cloud, FL) came out of the pen in relief to pitch a career-high 5.2 innings to pick up the win. The junior transfer only allowed two hits and faced only three over the minimum in his outing and improves to 3-2.
FAU (44-15) took the lead in the eighth inning on reliever Tim Bascom. Bascom gave up three unearned runs as the first two Florida Atlantic batters reached second and third base on three infield errors. A Jeff Fiorentino sacrifice fly and Tim Mascia and Rusty Brown RBI singles gave FAU a three-run cushion. Brown finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate with a season-high four RBI. The senior first baseman is hitting .500 (7-for-14) in the tournament with a team-leading seven RBI.
Bascom suffered the loss after he threw 1.2 innings and gave up three runs on two hits and a walk.
Hughes shut the door on the no. 1 seed as he only threw seven pitches in the eighth inning and recorded two strikeouts and a fly ball to squelch the Golden Knights chances.
FAU is looking for it's first A-Sun Tournament Championship in its 11-year history in the Atlantic Sun. The team will face Troy State at 1 pm on Saturday in the championship game.