Monday, February 26, 2007

Third baseman Shane Brown broke a 4-4 tie with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday as Central Florida avoided a sweep with a 5-4 win over LSU at Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers (7-3) saw their four-game win streak come to an end and lost their first home game of the season. LSU was previously 6-0 at home and 2-0 in one-run games before Sunday's contest.
The Golden Knights (4-7) won for the first time in seven tries in Baton Rouge.
LSU plays host to Tulane at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the first of two meetings between the teams. Live audio and streaming video are available to members of the Geaux Zone at
The contest will be televised on a tape-delayed basis (9 p.m. Tuesday) by Cox Sports Television (cable ch. 37 in Baton Rouge).
LSU second baseman Buzzy Haydel went 2-for-5 with two runs Sunday, and centerfielder Jared Mitchell tallied two more hits and finished 6-for-13 on the weekend.
The Tigers looked to be on their way to a sweep with two runs in each of the first two innings, but LSU did not manage to score in the final seven frames.
"It's happened a few times this year where we scored runs early in games and had some good at-bats and then I don't know if it's we lose our focus or that they have such great relief pitching that it shuts us down," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "When you score four runs in the first two innings, it looked like we were swinging the bats well. Then we let them off the hook."
UCF's bullpen fired four scoreless innings of relief, allowing two hits and striking out three.
Right-hander Matt McClung (1-0) qualified for the win with two perfect innings of work in relief of starter Jaager Good, who allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings.
LSU picked up offensively where it left off on Saturday with a two-run first. Haydel and Mitchell started the inning with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, third baseman J.T. Wise delivered an RBI sacrifice fly.
Mitchell displayed his speed and hustle when he took third on the fly ball and then dived safely home after taking advantage of a throwing error by right fielder Chadd Hartman.
The Tigers tacked on two more runs in the second courtesy of another Golden Knight error. Shortstop Eric Kallstrom misplayed a Michael Hollander grounder with one out.
Following a Haydel single, right fielder Blake Dean drove an RBI liner to right, and Wise guided a two-out RBI single to center.
Trailing 4-2 in the third, UCF cut the deficit to a run on an RBI single by Hartman off of LSU starter Kyle Beerbohm.
Beerbohm, who allowed three runs in his first LSU start, exited after four innings of work.
UCF designated hitter Matt Horwath tied the game in the seventh with an RBI sacrifice fly off of reliever Michael Bonura.
Mainieri elected to go with ace reliever Jared Bradford with two outs in the seventh. Bradford allowed the go-ahead, two-out single to Brown in the eighth after first baseman Kiko Vazquez singled with one out and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt.
LSU was presented with a chance at tying the game in the eighth, but the Tigers could not come through with a timely hit. First baseman Sean Ochinko lined a one-out single to right before UCF head coach Jay Bergman elected to go to right-hander Justin Weiss out of the bullpen.
Weiss fanned pinch hitter Ryan Schimpf, and catcher Robert Lara flied to centerfield to end the threat.
Weiss ended LSU's final scoring opportunity in the ninth to pick up his second save. Haydel and Hollander were retired to start the inning, but Mitchell kept the game alive with a two-out double into the right field corner.
Weiss then induced a groundout from Dean, leaving the tying run in scoring position.
"You have got to take advantage of your scoring opportunities when you are not a power-hitting team," said Mainieri. "It allowed Central Florida to stay in the game, and ultimately, they get a couple of breaks and we lose."
Bradford (1-1) suffered his first loss, allowing a run on three hits in 2.1 innings of work. He walked none and struck out three.
Central Florida 5, LSU 4 (Feb 25, 2007 at Baton Rouge, La.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Central Florida..... 201 000 110 - 5 8 3 (4-7)LSU...................... 220 000 000 - 4 9 2 (7-3)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Central Florida - Jaager Good; Matt McClung(6); Carmine Giardina(8); Justin Weiss(8).LSU - Kyle Beerbohm; Michael Bonura(5); Nolan Cain(7); Jared Bradford(7).Win-Matt McClung(1-0) Save-Justin Weiss(2) Loss-Jared Bradford(1-1) T-3:01 A-7399Actual attendance: 3,217Bonura faced 1 batter in the 7th.
LSU Baseball Report – February 26, 2007

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