May 20, 2014
By Dan Forcella
CLEARWATER, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF Baseball's Eric Skoglund was named The American Pitcher of the Year, Head Coach Terry Rooney earned Coach of the Year honors, and a program-record seven Knights received first and second team all-conference accolades on Tuesday, as announced by the American Athletic Conference office.
Skoglund, who was a unanimous choice to the All-AAC First Team, was joined on the squad by junior short stop Tommy Williams. Zach Rodgers, James Vasquez, Dylan Moore, Derrick Salberg, and Sam Tolleson all earned second team honors to give the Knights seven players on the first and second teams.
UCF's previous high was six players earning First and Second Team All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors in both 2000 and 2001. Erik Barber added Third Team All-AAC accolades to give the Knights eight all-conference team members on Tuesday.
Skoglund becomes just the second ever conference Pitcher of the Year honoree for the Knights, following Matt Fox who was the A-Sun Pitcher of the Year in 2004. Skoglund holds a 9-2 record and a 2.04 ERA, while leading the league with 92 strikeouts. He has three complete games and was recently named to the Gregg Olson Breakout Player of the Year Award Watch List.
Rooney was named Coach of the Year after leading the Knights to a 17-7 conference record and a second place finish in The American. UCF's current record of 34-22 is much improved over last year's mark of 29-30. The Knights went just 13-11 in Conference-USA a year ago. Rooney joins Jay Bergman (2001, 2002, 2004) as the only UCF skippers to be named conference Coach of the Year.
Williams, who leads the league and is ranked 21st in the nation with 11 home runs, joined Skoglund on the First Team. The short stop has also added eight doubles, a triple, and is second on the team with 44 runs batted in.
Rodgers has played nearly every pitching role possible for the Knights this season. He holds a 6-1 record, has five saves, and is third in the league with a 1.41 ERA. The first baseman, Vasquez is in the Top 10 in The American in a number of offensive categories, including batting average (.340, 3rd) and RBIs (50, 2nd).
At second base, Moore leads the Knights and is third in The American with 68 hits. He has also added a team-best 15 doubles. Centerfielder Salberg is second among the Knights with a .315 average, while designated hitter Tolleson is fourth at .286 with three homers.
Barber joins Salberg as Knight outfielders to be honored. The right fielder was selected to third team after a 13-double, five home run regular season.
UCF will open up The American Championship on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Rodgers will get the start against UConn from Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.