May 10, 2012
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By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 13 UCF baseball team will look to add to its program-record 13 wins in Conference USA when it returns to league play this weekend with a three-game series at Marshall. Each contest will be played at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W. Va., beginning Friday at 2:05 p.m.
The Knights (38-11, 13-5) are 8-1 in C-USA road contests this season and look to improve their overall record of 7-11 against the Thundering Herd (15-32). After taking two of three from Marshall at home last year, UCF will look for its first wins in the Mountain State since 2006.
Heading into the weekend, UCF and Rice are locked in a tie for first place in C-USA. Both teams will conclude their regular seasons in Orlando next Thursday-Saturday at the UCF baseball complex.
After notching his conference-leading eighth win of the year last week, sophomore Ben Lively will get the call on Friday night. Since his return to the rotation three weeks ago, the Gulf Breeze native is 3-0 with 16 strikeouts and just one run allowed in 19 1/3 innings.
Junior Brian Adkins will look to bounce back from his shortest outing of 2012 last week when he gets the start on Saturday (2:05 p.m.). Senior Ray Hanson will return to the weekend rotation on Sunday (10:05 a.m.) after a solid midweek outing against Stetson on May 2 that saw him go 6 1/3 innings in the 13-inning triumph.
Winners of all but one weekend series this year, the Knights began the week with a NCAA RPI rating at No. 20 and continue to rank among the top of many statistical categories in C-USA, including ERA (2.86), RBI (297), steals (80), sacrifice flies (34) and hit-by-pitchers (57).
Probable Starters (UCF first)
Friday: RHP Ben Lively (8-1, 2.25 ERA) vs. RHP Lance Elder (1-5, 6.27 ERA)
Saturday: LHP Brian Adkins (3-3, 3.88 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Blair (1-7, 3.84 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Ray Hanson (4-1, 3.06 ERA) vs. LHP Mike Mason (4-5, 3.38 ERA)