No. 20 Baseball Hosts Jacksonville in A-Sun Weekend Series

March 24, 2005

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ORLANDO - UCF returns to the friendly confines of Jay Bergman Field this weekend for a three-game series vs. Jacksonville. The series begins Friday at 6 p.m. and continues with a day-night doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Fans can enjoy the Easter Family Fun Day EGGTRAVAGANZA Saturday at 1 p.m. at UCF Jay Bergman Field. Enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt, photos with the Easter Bunny, candy, treats, and lots more.

Free admission for adults who bring three can goods and free admission for children under 12 years old to Saturday's event.

The Golden Knights finished 2-2 over their four-game road trip to Gardner-Webb and Florida. UCF won two of three from the Bulldogs last weekend in North Carolina before losing 17-6 at No. 11 Florida Tuesday evening. The Dolphins lost 9-0 to No. 8 Florida State Wednesday evening in Jacksonville.

All three games this weekend will have live radio coverage. Games one and three are scheduled to air on UCFathletics.com while game two will be carried live on 740-AM The Team.

UCF-TV will air Saturday's doubleheader on a taped-delay basis next week on the UCF Channel on campus cable.

Best Start Ever
UCF's 23-5 record to begin the season is the best start in school history after 28 games. The 2001 club also started the season 23-5 en route to UCF's last 50-win season (51-14).

Inside the JU Series
UCF leads the all-time series 30-29 over the Dolphins after last season's three game sweep in Jacksonville.

UCF owns a winning record vs. every A-Sun school, but JU has the best winning percentage vs. UCF of any conference opponent.

JU has won four of the six meetings all-time at Jay Bergman Field.

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

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

In the Polls
UCF moved up two spots in the Collegiate Baseball News Top 30 poll this week to No. 20. The No. 20 ranking is the highest this season for UCF in the Collegiate Baseball poll. UCF also made its season debut in Baseball America's Top 25 at No. 25 this week.

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 116-38 (.753) all-time in the ballpark.

Scouting Jacksonville
Jacksonville University brings a record of 13-12 to Orlando this weekend including an A-Sun mark of 3-7. The Dolphins have lost three of their last four games entering the weekend, including Wednesday's 9-0 loss to No. 8 Florida State at the Baseball Grounds in Jacksonville.

JU is batting .282 as a team in 2005. The Dolphins are led by junior first baseman Gordie Gronkowski. The New York native is batting .373 with four home runs and 20 RBI. Freshman shortstop Matt Lopez of Oviedo is second on the club with a .361 batting average and 17 RBI.

On the mound, the Dolphins sport a team ERA of 4.25 in 220.1 innings of work. JU is slated to start junior left-hander Donald Brickle in game one of the series. Brickle is 2-2 with 3.71 ERA in 34 innings in 2005. The southpaw has yielded 38 hits and allowed 14 earned runs with 12 walks and 19 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .295 off the junior.

Saturday JU is scheduled to start a pair of right-handers. Junior Neal Frontz is the probable game two starter. Frontz is 4-1 with a 5.35 ERA in 37 innings. He has yielded 41 hits with 33 strikeouts and 13 walks.

Brett Nagy is the scheduled starter in game three of the series Saturday evening. Nagy is 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA on the season. In 30 innings, he has allowed 39 hits with 29 strikeouts and 13 walks. Opponents are batting .342 off the senior right-hander.

On the Hill for UCF
Sophomore Tim Bascom, junior Mike Billek and junior Ray Rodriguez will start on the mound this weekend for the Golden Knights.

Bascom makes his first career Friday night start for UCF after pitching the series opener last Friday afternoon at Gardner-Webb. Bascom has won four straight starts on the year. He is 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA in 48.1 innings of work. Bascom leads UCF in strikeouts with 60, including a season-high 17 in one game vs. Siena. The Dunedin native has yielded just 38 hits in 48.1 innings and opponents are batting just .218 against him.

Saturday in game one Mike Billek makes his return to the mound after missing last weekend's series at Gardner-Webb due to a leg injury. The hard-throwing right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA in 37 innings. Billek has allowed 33 hits on the season to go along with 38 strikeouts and 10 walks. Opponents are batting .243 vs. Billek.

Ray Rodriguez will close the series out on the mound. The New Yorker is a perfect 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 37.1 innings of work. Rodriguez has been dominant all season long as he has allowed just 22 hits in 37.1 innings of work with 31 strikeouts. Opponents are batting a measly .164 vs. the right-hander.

Break Out the Lumber
UCF set a school record for runs in an A-Sun series with 45 in a three-game sweep of Campbell March 11-12 at Jay Bergman Field.

The Golden Knights opened the series with an 18-8 victory and followed it with an 18-0 shutout and a 9-3 series finale win.

The Golden Knights hit .395 as a team vs. Campbell with eight home runs - including a Jay Bergman Field record four in the game two win.

UCF totaled 45 hits, including 26 for extra-bases (14 doubles, four triples and eight homers).

Streaking Knights
Over the last 10 games, UCF has gone 8-2 with a blistering average of .351. Over the 10-game streak, UCF has outscored the opposition 119-49.

Five Golden Knights have hit .350 or better during the streak, led by John-Michael Howell. Howell leads UCF with a .545 average (18-for-33) with five doubles, one triple, two home runs and 14 RBI. He has a .939 slugging percentage over the 10-game stretch and a .585 on-base percentage.

Dee Brown is batting .390 over the stretch with six home runs and 18 RBI. In contrast, over Brown's first 18 games, the senior outfielder hit .226 with no home runs and 12 RBI.

Drew Butera is batting .351 over his last 10 games. The junior catcher has 10 RBI and three doubles during the streak.

Matt Ray is hitting .419 over his last 10 games with four doubles and 13 RBI. He hit his first career home run at Florida.

Ryan Bono has hit .395 over the 10-game stretch, including four hits at Florida on March 22.