Final Season of Atlantic Sun Play Begins Friday vs. Campbell

March 10, 2005

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ORLANDO - No. 26 UCF (16-3) looks to continue its best start ever under head coach Jay Bergman as the Golden Knights open Atlantic Sun play vs. Campbell (9-5) this weekend at Jay Bergman Field. UCF begins its final season in the A-Sun as the Golden Knights move to Conference USA in the fall of 2005.

The Golden Knights pounded St. Joseph's 22-3 Tuesday evening while Campbell lost 10-6 to Michigan State and 12-8 to North Florida this week in Jacksonville.

The series begins Friday evening at 6 p.m. Friday's game will air on the UCF ISP Sports Network (740 The Team) and on ucfathletics.com. Saturday, the two teams will play a day-night doubleheader, with game times set for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Both games Saturday will be broadcast on the Internet only at ucfathletics.com.

Bergman's Milestone Wins
With his 1,100 win vs. Monmouth on Feb. 25, Jay Bergman is in sole possession of 21st place in NCAA history in career wins.

Bergman is 51 wins behind former Washington State skipper Chuck Brayton for 20th place in NCAA history.

The UCF skipper is also nine wins away from No. 900 for his UCF career.

In the Polls
UCF remained at No. 26 in the Collegiate Baseball News Top 30 poll this week. The Golden Knights fell to No. 28 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 25 as well. UCF is not ranked by Baseball America or the ESPN/Sports Weekly Coaches poll.

The Century Mark
UCF is in its fifth season in Jay Bergman Field and the Golden Knights have played excellent baseball since the state-of-the-art facility has opened.UCF is 111-38 (.744) all-time in the ballpark.

Best Start since `77
UCF's 16-3 record to begin the season is the best start since 1977 for the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights under coach Jack Sexton began play 18-3 in 1977.

UCF in A-Sun Openers
UCF is 8-4 all-time in A-Sun openers, but the Golden Knights have split the 12 three-game series all-time to start the conference season.

UCF has won seven of its last eight A-Sun openers, and three of the last four three-game series to begin conference play.

Inside the Campbell Series
For the final time as conference members, UCF and Campbell face each other on the baseball diamond.

UCF leads the all-time series 25-4, including a 3-3 mark at Jay Bergman Field. The last time Campbell visited Jay Bergman Field for a three-game series, UCF rallied from a 9-0 deficit in the eighth inning to defeat the Camels 10-9 in 12 innings in 2003.

Scouting Campbell
The Fighting Camels of Campbell University are 9-5 to start the season after losing two games this week in Jacksonville vs. Michigan State and North Florida. Campbell started the season with a 9-1 blowout victory over NC State of the ACC at home in Buies Creek.

Entering the North Florida game Wednesday night, Campbell was batting .353 as a team. Mike Priest leads the way with a .451 batting average including six home runs, seven doubles and 16 RBI.

On the mound, Campbell's pitching staff has been roughed up of late, allowing 22 runs in its last two games.

The Camels are scheduled to start junior right-hander Lincoln Smith Friday. In six appearances in 2005, Smith is 3-1 with a 5.18 ERA in 24.1 innings of work. He has 13 strikeouts and nine walks on the year.

In game one Saturday, junior right-hander Joe Waldecker is the probable starter. Waldecker is 2-0 with a 4.80 ERA in four appearances. In 15 innings of work, Waldecker has yielded 16 hits and four walks with seven strikeouts.

Campbell has not named a starter for game three of the series.

On the Hill for UCF
UCF is scheduled to start senior Darren Newlin, junior Mike Billek and sophomore Tim Bascom on the mound vs. Campbell.

Newlin gets the nod Friday night in search of his fifth win of the season. Newlin (4-0) has been brilliant, leading UCF in ERA with a 1.73 mark. In 26 innings of work, Newlin has yielded 22 hits, five runs and six walks along with 28 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .224 vs. the right-hander.

Billek is the scheduled starter in game one Saturday. The junior right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.77 ERA in 31 innings. He has struck out 33 batters and walked 10 in 2005. In his last start, Billek fanned a career-high 12 vs. Siena.

Bascom will take to the hill in the series finale. The sophomore was named the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball after striking out 17 Siena batters last Sunday. On the season, Bascom is 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA.

Back in the Swing of Things
Courtney Propst missed most of last season with a leg injury at Seminole Community College. A January enrollee at UCF, Propst has paid immediate dividends in the UCF lineup.

The Orlando native leads UCF with 15 stolen bases in 19 attempts. He is first on the team in stolen bags, including four vs. No. 20 Notre Dame. Propst also hit his first career home run - UCF's second of the season - in the series finale vs. the Irish. Propst is batting .311 in 15 games, including 15 starts.

Off to the Races
UCF has picked up where it left off in 2004 on the bases. After stealing 111 bases in 2004 - tied for sixth best in school history - the Golden Knights have stolen 57 bases in 70 attempts in 2005.

In the Notre Dame series, UCF ran wild, going a perfect 10-for-10 in two games vs. the Fighting Irish, including seven in the first game of the series.

Not So Fast My Friend
The Golden Knights have been even more impressive in shutting down an opponent's running game. UCF has yielded just eight stolen bases in 20 attempts on the year, thanks in large part to junior catcher Drew Butera.

Butera, one of the top defensive catchers in the nation, has thrown out 11-of-18 would-be base stealers on the season.

Bascom Earns National Award
Tim Bascom was named one of five Louisville Slugger's National Players of the Week by Collegiate Baseball News March 7. Bascom is the first UCF player to be named national player of the week by Collegiate Baseball since Matt Fox in 2004.

Bascom was also cited by the Atlantic Sun Monday as its Pitcher of the Week. He is the first Golden Knight in 2005 to be named player or pitcher of the week by the league office.

Bascom struck out 17 batters in a complete-game victory over Siena Saturday at Jay Bergman Field. Bascom was one strikeout shy of the UCF single-game record of 18 strikeouts, set by Jay Scott vs. Bradley in 1988 and Pete MacLaughlin in 1973 and 1974.

In the Siena game, Bascom struck out six straight batters through the sixth and eighth innings and at one point fanned 12 of 16 batters.

Bascom is 3-1 overall with a 2.55 ERA. For the season, he leads UCF in strikeouts (42), innings pitched (35.1) and opponents are batting just .205 vs. the right-hander.

Holding the Lead
UCF has been nearly unbeatable when leading after six innings since the 2002 season. The Golden Knights are an amazing 112-7 (.941) when leading after six innings over the last four seasons.

Jumping Out On Top
The Golden Knights were 25-4 in 2004 when scoring in the first inning. UCF also enjoyed playing with the lead, holding a record of 36-7 when scoring first in 2004.

In 2005, UCF is 10-0 when scoring first and 6-0 when scoring in the first inning of action.

Fifth Inning Fireworks
UCF has been dominant in the fifth inning of play in 2005. The Golden Knights have outscored the opposition 18-0 in the fifth.

Offensive Explosion vs. St. Joe's
After scoring just 21 runs in four games vs. Siena, UCF exploded for a season-high 22 runs vs. St. Joseph's March 8. The 22 runs were the most by UCF since scoring 23 vs. Lehigh in 2000.

The Golden Knights set two school records in the St. Joe's win. UCF scored 13 runs on eight hits in the fourth inning - eclipsing the fourth inning record for runs and hits in school history. The previous high was 11 runs at Bethune-Cookman (2/20/90) and seven hits at Georgia State (5/11/02).

The 13 runs scored in an inning were also a Jay Bergman Field record for UCF.

A Long Road Back
Taylor Cobb made his comeback complete March 6 vs. Siena. Pitching for the first time since May 10, 2003, Cobb was phenomenal in leading UCF to a 5-2 win over the Saints. Cobb missed all of 2004 with an arm injury.

In the start vs. Siena, Cobb pitched 6.0 innings and threw just 59 pitches. He allowed one run on three hits with five strikeouts for his first win since April 29, 2003 at Charleston Southern. The last time Cobb won a game he started prior to Siena was March 21, 2003 at Samford.

With Cobb healthy, UCF has five starters who have combined to go 13-2 in 2005.

Bombs Away
John-Michael Howell will always remember his first UCF home run. With the Golden Knights trailing 7-6 to Le Moyne in the seventh inning, Howell launched a 470-foot home run with a runner on to give UCF the lead for good, 8-7.

The monster blast landed at shortstop on the practice field, adjacent to Jay Bergman Field. Howell leads UCF with three home runs in 2005.

Back-to-Back Jacks
Ryan Bono and John-Michael Howell drilled back-to-back home runs at Bethune-Cookman on March 1. Prior to the game vs. Bethune-Cookman, the last time two UCF players hit back-to-back jacks was May 8, 2004 at No. 13 Clemson when Drake Wade and Jon Cooper went deep.