Knights Win First Game

#26 Von David Stertzbach

After a fireworks display of offensive production and a heroic senior night celebration for four-year pitcher Von David Stertzbach UCF survived a 12-6 victory over Jacksonville.  With the triumph UCF needs a sweep of tomorrow's double-header and a loss from Troy State to clinch a berth in next week's Atlantic Sun Tournament.

            Looking at a three to nothing deficit in the home half of the first, the Knights put on a record setting performance with nine hits, eight runs and 12 batters coming to the plate.  Choppers rain bowing over the drawn in infield, finding holes in the defense and displaying tough at bats led to the onslaught and a never-look-back attitude. 

            Starters on both teams didn't fair well, including UCF's right-hander Taylor Cobb, who walked the bases loaded to start the game.  Stertzbach was then called on "by surprise" and threw eight innings, allowing four earned runs on eight strikeouts and no base on balls in his last home performance ever.  Stertzbach was just happy he could "stop the bleeding" but felt the offensive production that followed was what "took the pressure off."  An 8-3 lead allowed Startzbach to concentrate on throwing strikes and keeping the ball in play, which kept the Dolphin hitters off balance and the UCF defense on its toes.

            "It was a special night with Von David," Coach Jay Bergman said.   "It is typical of him." 

            Going into this weekend Berman believed that the team had to believe in themselves.  "I didn't tell them anything," regarding this weekend's outcome.  "If you want to get in you got to win all three," Bergman said.

            Nathan Kragt also gave the senior night crowd a chance to cheer as this graduate had a career-high finishing 4-for-4 while other notables included fellow senior Ryan Bear (2-for5), and others P.J. Lehman (3-for-5), Dee Brown (3-for-5), Clay Timpner (2-for-5). 

            Jay Bergman will put his money on the line tomorrow with another senior as Mark Michael gets the nod for the first game and sophomore sensation Matt Fox closes the regular season out in the second. 

            Going into tomorrow there is a lot riding on the line but these two things hold true for the Golden Knights.  Two victories are needed in front of a home crowd and Campbell is UCF's favorite team.  GO Knights and GO Camels!


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