#26 Baseball Hosts Two In-State Foes This Week in Orlando

April 11, 2005

ORLANDO - No. 26 UCF (30-8) continues its five-game homestand this week with a pair of mid-week games vs. USF and Bethune-Cookman. The Golden Knights won two of three over the weekend from Lipscomb entering Tuesday's 7p.m. tilt with the Bulls. UCF defeated USF 8-7 last Tuesday in Tampa - the first win over USF at Red McEwen Field since the 2002 season. The Golden Knights host the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman College for the final time in 2005 Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.

UCF is second in the NCAA in wins with 30, just two behind Florida State (32-8).

Tuesday's game will air live on 740-AM The Team on the UCF ISP Sports Network. The pregame show with the voice of the Golden Knights, Marc Daniels, begins at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday's game vs. B-CC will air on the Internet only at ucfathletics.com.

Off to the Races
UCF head coach Jay Bergman has given the green light quite often in 2005 on the bases. The Golden Knights have stolen 115 bases in 139 attempts. The 115 stolen bases are tied for the fourth-highest total in UCF single-season history.

Last season, UCF swiped 111 bags to tie for sixth in the UCF single-season annals. The Golden Knights led the NCAA in 1985 with 253 stolen bases.

UCF Team Stolen Base LeadersTeam Stolen Bases1. 1985 2532. 1981 2043. 1986 1304. 2005 1154. 2001 1156. 1990 1137. 2004 1117. 1995 111

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 28 stolen bases in 46 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 16-of-35 would-be base stealers on the season.

Return of the Long Ball
After hitting just 27 home runs in 65 games in 2004, UCF has hit 36 home runs in 38 games in 2005. The 38 home runs are the most by UCF since 2001, when the Golden Knights blasted 62 home runs. Since the 2001 season, UCF hit just 27 homers in 65 games a year ago, 21 home runs in 56 games in 2003 and 30 home runs in 63 games in 2002.

Dee Brown and John-Michael Howell both have 10 home runs on the season. The last time two UCF players hit double-figures in home runs was 2001 when Chad Ehrnsberger (16) and Jeremy Frost (13) combined to hit 29 long balls.

Inside the USF Series
With Tuesday's 8-7 win in Tampa, the all-time series between UCF and USF is tied at 44. UCF has played more games vs. USF than any other non-conference opponent.

UCF has won two straight games in the series, including a 6-0 shutout win over the Bulls last season at Jay Bergman Field on May 4.

Inside the B-CC Series
UCF leads the all-time series 58-13 over the Wildcats. The Golden Knights have won seven straight games in the series and three consecutive meetings at Jay Bergman Field.

The two teams have not met since March 1, when UCF defeated the Wildcats 9-2 in Daytona Beach. UCF has outscored B-CC 22-8 in three games this season.

In the Polls
UCF is ranked No. 26 in this week's Collegiate Baseball rankings. The Golden Knights are not ranked by Baseball America. In the Sports Weekly/ESPN Coaches poll, UCF is receiving votes.

Scouting USF
The Bulls of South Florida have dropped four straight games after last week's 8-7 loss to UCF and a three-game sweep at TCU over the weekend.

USF is batting .266 as a team coming into the game Tuesday. The Bulls have just two starters batting over .300, led by senior Jeff Baisley. The senior third baseman is hitting .375 with four home runs and 42 RBI.

On the mound, the Bulls sport a team ERA of 4.78 in 318 innings of work. USF is scheduled to start freshman right-hander Ty Pryor Tuesday. The Orlando native and Olympia HS graduate is 2-2 on the season with a 6.82 ERA. In 31.2 innings, Pryor has yielded 29 hits and 29 runs, including 27 walks and 24 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .244 vs. the right-hander.

On the Hill for UCF
Junior RHP Ray Rodriguez gets the call Tuesday for UCF. The New York native has been sensational in his first season in the Black and Gold, going a perfect 5-0 with a 1.89 ERA. Rodriguez has made 11 appearances overall, including seven starts. In 47.2 innings, he has yielded just 10 earned runs and 30 hits with 44 strikeouts. Opponents are batting just .175 vs. the right-hander.

Junior RHP Taylor Cobb is the scheduled starter Wednesday vs. Bethune-Cookman. In four appearances, Cobb is 2-0 with a 4.74 ERA in 19.0 innings of work.

Streaking Knights
Over the last 20 games, UCF has gone 15-5 with a batting average of .335. Over the 20-game streak, UCF has outscored the opposition 205-111. Four Golden Knights have hit .370 or better during the streak, led by John-Michael Howell. Howell leads UCF with a .440 average (33-for-75) with seven doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 28 RBI. He has a .867 slugging percentage over the 20-game stretch and a .506 on-base percentage.

Ryan Bono has hit .400 over the 20-game stretch, including four hits at Florida on March 22.

Kevin Richmond is batting .400 over the stretch, including six doubles, two triples and 16 RBI.

Matt Ray is hitting .370 over his last 20 games with six doubles and 23 RBI. He hit his first career home run at Florida on March 22 and his first career grand slam April 8 vs. Lipscomb.

Two Slams in a Week
After not hitting a grand slam in 163 games since the 2002 season, UCF hit two grand slams in one week. Ryan Bono ended the 163-game drought with a grand slam vs. Campbell on March 12. Dee Brown followed with a grand slam of his own March 19 at Gardner-Webb.

UCF hit its third slam of the season April 8 vs. Lipscomb when Matt Ray smacked his first career grand slam.

Spreading the Wealth
The Golden Knights have seven players with 20 or more RBI, including Dee Brown and his team-best 40 RBI. Joining Brown on the list include Marshall Bernhard (28), Ryan Bono (31), Drew Butera (28), Matt Ray (31), John-Michael Howell (35) and Matt Horwath (21).

Multi-Home Run Games
Dee Brown became the first UCF player since Jeremy Frost in 2002 to hit two home runs in a game. Brown has hit two homers twice in a game in 2005 - March 12 vs. Campbell and April 8 vs. Lipscomb.

Brown has been on fire with the long ball, hitting 10 home runs in 146 at-bats this season. He entered the season with just eight career home runs in 629 at-bats.