ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF starts a series with first-place Cincinnati on Friday with the first pitch from the UCF Baseball Complex set for 6:30 p.m. The three-game set between the Knights and Bearcats continues at 4 p.m. Saturday and concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Prior to the national anthem on Friday at approximately 6:22 p.m., a moment of silence will be held to remember the life of UCF baseball signee native Joe Skinner, who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 17 on April 30. The Orlando native was diagnosed with B-cell acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (LAA) just two weeks after signing his baseball scholarship at UCF in November. For more about his story click here.
The rotation for the Knights starts with right-handers Robby Howell (7-2, 1.67 ERA, 51 K) and Juan Pimentel (2-6, 4.45 ERA, 45 K). The Bearcats are countering with Andrew Zellner (6-2, 1.64 ERA, 49 K) and J.T. Perez (5-3, 3.31 ERA, 44 K). Neither team has announced a starter for Sunday.
The Knights (22-24, 6-9 The American) captured the series finale against USF, 9-2, to split the six-game season series. Junior catcher Matt Diorio went 4-for-6 in the contest with one double, two homers and five RBI.
Cincinnati (21-23-1, 9-5-1 The American) is currently first place in the tightly bunched conference standings, just three wins separate the first- and last-place teams. The Bearcats have notched wins over No. 18 Coastal Carolina, Canisius, Miami (Ohio), Northwestern, Xavier, Indiana, USF, UConn, Tulane, Memphis and East Carolina.
A Graduation Bobblehead offer is available for May home games and features four general admission tickets and one Knightro May Bobblehead for $50. The package can be purchased by clicking here or calling the UCF Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000.
The Knights wrap up a four-game homestand on Wednesday at 4 p.m. against Jacksonville. The contest serves as the final Dollar Knight of the season with dollar hot dogs and sodas available at the concession stand.
@UCF_Baseball Trending Topics
? In the series finale at USF, junior Matt Diorio had a breakout game by going 4-for-6 with a double, two homers and five RBI to lead the Knights to a 9-2 victory. The Staten Island, N.Y., native also went behind the plate and caught the final two games of the series. #DynamicDiorio
? Junior righty Robby Howell has posted a 1.67 ERA with a 7-2 record and is on the watch list for National Pitcher of the Year. His win total paces @American_BSB and ranks 34th nationally. #WatchingHowell
? Junior righty Juan Pimentel has made four weekend quality starts (1 Saturday, 3 Sunday) and posted a 2.81 ERA during conference, but only has one victory. He has fanned 23 over 32.0 innings of work. #PimentelPhenomenal
? The Knights are led by junior Ryan Crile with 51 hits and 12 stolen bases. Kam Gellinger has added 15 doubles, which is first in the league and tied for 58th in country. A team-best 29 walks have been drawn by junior Luke Hamblin #OffensiveLeaders
? #UCF boasts the second-highest fielding pct., in @American_BSB at .975 and has turned 47 double plays on the season, which includes four against FAU and ranks ninth in the country. #ToughUpTheMiddle
? Junior Austin Griffin is third in @American_BSB with nine round trippers and 37 RBI, which ranks 76th and 159th nationally, respectively. #BigGriff
? A total of 27 appearances this season and 77 in his career have been made by junior lefty Harrison Hukari. He ranks sixth nationally in pitching appearances and has notched one victory and three saves, while tossing 36.2 frames. In league play, he has a 1.88 ERA in eight appearances over 14.1 innings of work. #CallToThePen
? A 16-game reached base streak has been posted by junior Brenna Bozeman. Junior Luke Hamblin has reached base safely in each of the last nine contests. #ReachingBase