Sometimes, a little luck is the remedy to find the switch.Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, the Bulls needed someone to come through, and once again, Mike Cunningham was the man to find the switch.
With runners on first and second and two out, Cunningham lined what appeared to be the game-tying single up the middle.
Fortunately for Central Florida, second baseman Adam Miller was able to make a diving stab and keep the ball in the infield.
Unfortunately for the Knights, Miller decided to throw behind the runner who had advanced to third, Bulls first baseman Ronnie Handley.
The throw went into the Bulls’ dugout, and suddenly the Bulls were ahead for the first time in the ballgame as the error allowed both Handley and Travis Brown to score, giving the Bulls a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish, defeating the Knights 9-4.
“He (Cunningham) is doing a really fantastic job at the top of the lineup for us,” Bulls coach Eddie Cardieri said. “It seems like he’s going 3-for-5 every game now.”
Cardieri also had high praise for his starting pitcher, David Austen.
“He was awesome,” Cardieri said. “We got a couple of double plays to bail him out, and we got what we needed from him.”
Austen went 5 1/3 innings and was replaced by Keith Strickland with one out and a runner on first in the sixth and the Bulls clinging to a 3-2 lead.
Strickland then proceeded to shut down the Knights attempt at a rally and shut them down for the seventh and eighth innings as well.
“Keith Strickland did an absolutely superb job,” Cardieri said.Meanwhile, the Bulls bats suddenly awakened, scoring three in the sixth, and adding an extra three insurance runs in the eighth, making the score 9-2.
“Early on we were getting ahead of the ball,” Bulls’ second baseman Mike Macaluso said. “But I was really proud of our hitters, the way we didn’t give up, hung in there, and eventually got to their pitchers.”
The Knights stirred up a little trouble in the ninth, loading the bases and getting two runs, but Joey Livingston was able to put out the flickering flames, closing out the game by getting the final two Knights out.