The University of Central Florida (UCF) baseball team was visiting Connecticut this past weekend to take on the Huskies. The Knights (they were known as the Golden Knights until about 10 years ago) had led 6-0, but UConn had cut the lead in half to 6-3 when Sean and I got there in the bottom of the 5th inning.
It got worse from there for UCF, much worse. After adding two runs to make it 8-3 in the top of the 6th, the Huskies added another three-spot in the bottom half of the inning to make it 8-6. The score stayed that way until the bottom of the 8th inning when UConn exploded for nine runs, sending 15 batters to the plate. The Huskies won it 15-8.
It was bad for Sean and me on a couple of fronts. We found out earlier this season that UConn keeps its dugout lineup cards, so UCF was our only chance. Devastating losses don’t help your chances of getting a lineup card.
On top of that, the game lasted an unwieldy 3 hours and 56 minutes. We had hoped to go to a Hartford Yard Goats game after the UCF-UConn game, but the UCF-UConn game lasted so long, we decided to pass on the Yard Goat game.
So there we were, hoping to get a lineup card from a coach whose team had blown a 6-run lead and lost 15-8.
Not surprisingly, UCF head coach Terry Rooney spent several minutes talking to his players after the game. We asked a UCF equipment manager if he was able to give us the card or if we would have to wait for Coach Rooney, and he said we would have to wait.
The way the dugouts are set up at UConn, we couldn’t see very well. We did see the equipment guy again and asked him for a little help. He said Rooney had taken the card and was on his way to the bus.
We were able to reach who we thought was Rooney but I now believe was assistant coach Brandon Romans before he got on the bus, and sheepishly asked him for the lineup card. He said he had thrown it out, but said he would go get it. I told him not to bother, we could try and go get someone else to get it for us, but he said he’d get it. He made a relatively long walk back to the dugout and got it. He handed it to Sean, asked him his name, and gave him a fist bump. It was an incredibly classy move for a coach who otherwise couldn’t have been very happy at that moment.
It’s a nice card that also indicates how crazy a game it was. In all, 35 players made it into the game, including 12 pitchers.
Lineup Card Stats
2016: 19 lineup cards (15 dugout/bullpen; 4 “official batting order”)
Lifetime: 82 lineup cards (62 dugout/bullpen; 18 “official batting order”; and 2 “relief pitcher usage”)
Leagues: MLB: American League; National League. MiLB: International League; Eastern League; Carolina League; New York-Penn League. Independent Leagues: Atlantic League; Can-Am League; American Association. Colleges: NCAA – American Athletic Conference; NCAA – Ivy League; NCAA – Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; Cape Cod League; New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL); Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL)