Baseball Continues First Week of Practice

Jan. 19, 2006

ORLANDO - The UCF baseball team continues preparations for the 2006 season with daily practices at Jay Bergman Field. The team, which held its first practice of the year Monday, will continue to prepare for the season with practice on Friday and Saturday before having the day off Sunday.

Earlier in the week, UCF outfielder Dave DiNatale was named to Baseball America's Fab 50 list for freshmen. DiNatale was ranked No. 48 on the list, one of three C-USA players to make the cut.

Monday the team took advantage of the school holiday and spent a majority of the day on the practice field. During the team's first scrimmage of the season, several players looked impressive in limited duty.

On the mound, redshirt sophomore right-hander Brett Bordwine looked terrific. The Melbourne native missed all of 2005 with a dislocated ankle, but the right-hander is back and fully recovered this preseason. Bordwine struck out the side in Monday's team scrimmage and displayed a nasty slider to rack up the three strikeouts.

Another Knight hurler who missed all of last season due to injury - redshirt sophomore Taylor Meier - also had a strong start to preseason camp. The 6-foot-7 right-hander pitched a 1-2-3 inning with just 11 pitches thrown, all for strikes.

Two freshmen also showed plenty of promise - left-hander Mitch Herold of Cocoa and right-hander Kyle Sweat of Apopka. Sweat was in complete control as he fanned all three batters he faced, while Herold totaled two punch outs and displayed a terrific breaking ball.

Offensively, junior second baseman Matt Horwath hit leadoff and ended the day with three walks, three runs scored and a double. Freshman first baseman Kiko Vazquez hit cleanup and collected three hits, while freshman outfielder Chadd Hartman drilled a pair of doubles.

Seeing Red
Junior third baseman Matt Ray is trying a new look in 2006 - Nike MAXSIGHT contact lenses. The lenses are a result of a partnership between Nike and Bausch & Lomb, which is said to help reduce glare. Ray is hoping the lenses have the same impact on him as they did for Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts. Roberts wore the lenses for the Orioles in 2005 and had a breakout season, earning a spot as the American League's starter at second base in the MLB All-Star game. Ray has shown the same type of tools as Roberts - both with his versatility with the glove and his ability to steal bases. Ray is currently 10th in UCF history in stolen bases with 53.

Senior catcher Ryan Bono and Horwath are also scheduled to wear the lenses this season.

News & Notes
The UCF Alumni Association is holding a "First Pitch Luncheon" to celebrate the opening of the baseball and softball seasons ... The event will take place at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center on the campus of UCF Tuesday, January 31 at 11:30 a.m. ... For ticket information, call 407-UCF-ALUM ... UCF's fourth annual baseball media day is set for Thursday, February 2 from 12-1 p.m. in the conference room at Jay Bergman Field ... The UCF coaching staff along with preseason All-American Tim Bascom, senior Ryan Bono, junior third baseman Matt Ray and Horwath will be in attendance ... The UCF Sports Marketing Office is planning to introduce a series of baseball cards featuring some of the all-time greats in UCF baseball history ... Check back to UCFAthletics.com for more information.