Giving Dew His Due

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ORLANDO - Let's be clear: While The OG and the Owls were disappointed with their approach at the plate against UCF righthander Owen Dew on Saturday, there should be no discounting how splendidly Dew pitched in handcuffing the Owls during the Knights' 6-4 win.

During their 13-game run of offensive might, the Owls scored no fewer than five runs while averaging 10.2/game. The fewest runs Rice scored since Jr. RF Chad Mozingo became a fixture atop the order was five, and in that 6-5 loss to Tulane last Friday the Owls stranded 14 base runners - seven in scoring position. The Owls were batting .363 (178-for-490) during that stretch, and pretty much having their way against opposing pitchers, no matter their pedigree.

Dew put an end to all of that. While producing the longest outing for a UCF pitcher in over two years, Dew needed just 108 pitches to work four batters deep into the ninth. He issued just two walks, did not allow an extra-base hit, and adroitly kept the slugging Owls off-balanced.

"He threw a two-seam (fastball) sometimes, he threw a four-seam sometimes," Owls Jr. SS Rick Hague said. "It was hard to read whether it was going to run in on your hands or stay over for a strike, and he just kept it down the whole game. We hit a few hard, but he did a good job of keeping it low and in and hitting his spots."

The Owls need to get back on their horse against Fr. LHP Joe Rogers, the alleged starter for UCF (there is some gamesmanship going on here). Win today (if we play; the tarp is on the field and gray skies are above) and all is right with the world. Lose, and the Owls surrender the momentum established by their third five-game winning streak this season. As wonderfully as Sr. RHP Jared Rogers pitched last Sunday, UCF isn't Tulane, so the Owls will have to win this key game and this series with offense. They are talented enough to meet that challenge.

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All is right with the world.

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