Record-breaking season comes to a disappointing finish

Record-breaking+season+comes+to+a+disappointing+finish

Courtesy of Brandon Helwig / UCFSports.com

Ronnie Richardson watches from the dugout as UCF dropped its final game against Stony Brook.

The Knights fell short of Super Regional hopes as they were eliminated in game seven of the Coral Gables Regional.

UCF was victorious in the first two games, positioning themselves in the winners bracket. They beat Missouri State 2-1 on Friday and Stony Brook 9-8 on Saturday.

Going into Sunday’s game, Stony Brook was 2-1 and faced with the challenge of beating the undefeated Knights.

Stony Brook came out of the losers bracket and beat UCF on Sunday and Monday night, closing the door on the Knights’ season.

“I’d like to congratulate Stony Brook, their entire team and their coaching staff on an outstanding regional and an outstanding game,” said UCF head coach Terry Rooney. “I am extremely impressed with their ball club in every facet of the game.

“On the same note I’m extremely proud of this group of players at UCF. Unfortunately today was not our day and Stony Brook played better than us,” Rooney later continued. “I cannot begin to tell you how extremely proud I am of this group of players. What they accomplished the entire course of the season is extremely special. They did some things that our baseball program has not accomplished before. Unfortunately, the ultimate goal may not have been there, but they have nothing to hang their heads about.”

The Knights dropped Sunday’s game 12-5, as their pitching staff struggled to keep up. Four pitchers enter the game on Sunday and all of them allowed at least one run. Freshman Eric Skoglund, who was the starting pitcher, allowed seven hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Bryan Brown, who allowed six hits and four runs, relieved Skoglund. Jimmy Reed and Matt Collins were the other two pitchers — they both allowed a run each.

With both teams being 2-1 in the Regionals, a seventh game was played on Monday night.

UCF lost a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning and was never able to overcome it on Monday. “That 3-0 start is what we wanted and what we came out to do. It felt good, but we just couldn’t stay out of the big inning,” said Hicks. “We couldn’t help our pitchers out, and they took advantage of our mistakes.”

The Knights pitching staff again struggled to keep the Seawolves off the scoreboard as they scored at least one run in four out of the five last innings.

The bats, on the other hand, tried to keep the Knights alive. D.J. Hicks (2-for-4, 3 RBI) hit two homers on Monday night and one homer on Sunday night.

Some may argue that the 2012 baseball club is the best in school history. The Knights ended the 2012 season with a 45-17 record. They were ranked in the top 25 in all national polls all season long, and were ranked as high as No. 7 at one point in the season.

“As the coach of this program, I couldn’t be prouder of a group of young men and the way that they represent our team and our program,” said Rooney.