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Baseball Hosts Southern Miss in C-USA Home Opener
March 26, 2013
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March 27, 2013

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By Eric DeSalvo
UCFAthletics.com

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF baseball team returns home after a successful three-game sweep at UAB to host Southern Miss in its Conference USA home opener beginning Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. The Knights (17-9, 3-0) and Golden Eagles (9-15, 1-2) continue the series Friday at 6:30 p.m. while wrapping up with a Saturday matinee at 12:30.

There will be plenty of promotions at the park during the homestand with $1 hot dogs and Coke products all game on Thursday followed by Country Knight on Friday with a pair of Taylor Swift concert tickets up for grabs. On Saturday, children are encouraged to take part in an Easter-egg hunt (ages 5 & under: 11:30 a.m./ages 6-10: 11:45) with appearances by Knightro and the Easter Bunny prior to the series finale.

Winners in nine of their last 11 C-USA series, the Knights will toss ace RHP Ben Lively (5-1, 0.41 ERA) Thursday night versus lefty Jake Drehoff (0-3, 5.13 ERA). Owner of the league's lowest ERA, Lively is coming off of eight-shutout innings in the win at UAB.

Friday night's matchup on the mound will also be a dandy when LHP Chris Matulis (2-0, 3.71 ERA) goes head-to-head with USM ace RHP Andrew Pierce (5-1, 1.81 ERA). Matulis, fresh off a career-long 8.0 IP at UAB, has compiled an unblemished 9-0 mark in his UCF career, while Pierce exudes stellar command with 47 strikeouts to just five walks in 2013.

After the weekend sweep at UAB, UCF finds itself tied for first in the league with No. 20 Houston. The Knights got the bats rolling with a .306 average in Birmingham, and lead C-USA in doubles, homers, runs scored and slugging percentage (.405).

All three contests with the Golden Eagles can be heard live on 740-AM The Game with Marc Daniels on the call. Pregame starts 15 minutes prior to first pitch.

Trending Topics: @UCF_Baseball

* #UCF kicked off its final season in @ConferenceUSA1 with a sweep at UAB, its sixth since joining the league and fifth on the road #Brooms

* Dating back to 2011, the Knights have won nine of their last 11 series in @ConferenceUSA1 #NotTooShabby

* Three Knights own nine doubles this year as #UCF leads @ConferenceUSA1 with 58 two-baggers #GapShopping

* With 234-career hits, 3B Chris Taladay is just one base-knock shy of No. 9 on the #UCF all-time hit list #LookoutDuffy

* RHP Ben Lively is 9-1 since April 20, 2012 after shutting out UAB for eight innings with nine strikeouts last week #SwingAndAMiss

* In that timespan for Lively, he owns a 1.15 ERA in 78.2 innings of work with 79 strikeouts #AceHighFlush

* In the NCAA rankings, Lively's 0.41 is the 3rd lowest ERA in the country while he owns the most IP out of the top 17 marks #Filthy

* CF JoMarcos Woods became the seventh Knight to hit a home run this year with a solo shot at UAB #ADIOS

* After polling all D1 schools, RF Erik Hempe officially ranks as the nation's ninth-oldest player with his 24th birthday on the horizon #SeasonedVet

Ten Voucher packages are now on sale for only $50. Select the games that you want to attend for a discounted price. Voucher packages and single-game tickets can be purchased by calling 407-UCF-1000 or visit the baseball tickets page. Stay up-to-date on all the latest news by visiting UCFAthletics.com and following the team on Twitter (@UCF_Baseball) and Facebook.

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