Baseball Opens 2006 Home Schedule This Weekend vs. North Florida

Feb. 16, 2006

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ORLANDO - UCF (1-2) begins its 2006 home schedule this weekend with a three-game series vs. North Florida (2-3). The Golden Knights begin an 11-game homestand at Jay Bergman Field vs. the Ospreys and play 19 of their next 20 games at home.

? The series begins Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. and continues Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 12 noon.

? The Golden Knights have not played since an 8-4 victory at Bethune-Cookman Feb. 7 in Daytona Beach. The win was the ninth straight for UCF vs. the Wildcats, including seven consecutive victories at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach.

? North Florida lost two of three games last weekend at No. 17 LSU. The Ospreys dropped the series opener 11-1 and lost game two of the series 4-0 before securing a 4-3 win in 10 innings in the series finale.

? North Florida is one of two Atlantic Sun schools on UCF's 2006 schedule. The Golden Knights also play local rival Stetson twice this season.

? Audio of the North Florida series is available on UCFAthletics.com as part of the "Golden Knights All-Access" package.

? Tickets for the games are still available. Call (407) UCF-1000 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Inside the North Florida Series
? UCF leads the series 3-1, including a 7-3 victory in the last meeting between the two schools in 1992. The last time the two teams met in Orlando, UNF defeated UCF 7-0 in 1991. All-time, UCF is 1-1 vs. the Ospreys at home.

? UCF head coach Jay Bergman is 3-1 all-time vs. North Florida as head coach of the Golden Knights.

? North Florida is one of six teams from the state of Florida UCF will play in 2006. The Golden Knights are currently 1-2 vs. opponents from the Sunshine State.

The Book on North Florida
? North Florida is in its first season as a member of Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference. The school is located in Jacksonville and has an enrollment of 14,120 students.

? Since 1988, UNF has posted an 80-63 record against Division I schools, including a 27-9 mark since 2002.

? North Florida (2-3) split its season-opening series at Georgia Southern and lost two of three games at nationally-ranked LSU last weekend.

? In 2005, UNF won the NCAA South Atlantic Region crown and recorded a runner-up finish at the NCAA Division II National Baseball Championship.

? Head coach Dusty Rhodes is in his 19th season at the helm of the UNF baseball program. Rhodes has compiled a 770-314 record at UNF, including five World Series appearances, four district championships while in NAIA and seven conference titles in Division II.

? UNF owns a team batting average of .257. The Ospreys have yet to hit a home run in five games this season.

? On the mound, the Ospreys sport a team ERA of 5.44 in 43 innings of work. UNF's pitching staff has totaled 38 strikeouts and just 11 walks while opponents are batting .329.

? UNF was picked to finish third in both the A-Sun coaches and media preseason polls.

Starting on the Mound for UCF
? Tim Bascom will start the home opener on the mound for the Golden Knights. The junior preseason All-American is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in one appearance this season. Bascom yielded two earned runs on three walks with a pair of strikeouts in his season-opening start at Florida International.

? Freshman Kyle Sweat (0-0, 4.76 ERA) is the scheduled game two starter. The Apopka product had a strong start to the season at Bethune-Cookman, pitching 5.2 innings vs. the Wildcats. Sweat yielded six hits, three of which did not leave the infield. He struck out two and did not issue a walk in his first career start.

? Freshman left-hander Mitch Herold (0-0, 4.50 ERA) will take the mound in game three for UCF. The Merritt Island native will make his first career start for the Golden Knights after coming out of the bullpen at Florida International.

? Herold is the first freshman left-hander to start a game for UCF since Burt Clark started the 2001 Atlantic Sun Championship game vs. Jacksonville.

Two Freshmen Starters a First
? For the first time ever, UCF head coach Jay Bergman will start two freshmen in a weekend series on the mound. Now in his 24th season at UCF, Bergman has not had a freshman in the weekend rotation since 2002, when Taylor Cobb made just three starts in the weekend rotation.

Quite a Debut
? Freshman first baseman Kiko Vazquez made quite a debut in the first series of the season at Florida International. The Sebring native led UCF with three hits and a .429 batting average.

? Vazquez crushed a two-run home run in the eighth inning of the season-opener at FIU for his first career hit.

? Vazquez also flashed the leather at first base, making several highlight plays with the glove.

? The Sebring native is third on the team in batting (.273) and tied for second in RBI (2).

Young Knights in 2006
? The Golden Knights have a roster filled with youth. Over half of the team (69 percent) is either freshmen or sophomores, including just four seniors.

? Five of UCF's 14 freshmen were drafted coming out of high school last June in the Major League Baseball draft. The five drafted Knights in one recruiting class is the most in UCF history.

? UCF has started 10 freshmen this season both in the field or on the mound. Dave DiNatale (right field) and Kiko Vazquez (first base) have started all three games.

Tyson's Big Bat
? Sophomore center fielder Tyson Auer has been sensational both in the field and at the plate to start the season. The Longwood native leads the team in batting (.500) with six hits in 12 at-bats.

? Auer is coming off a strong summer season in the Valley League in Virginia for the Luray Rangers. He finished second on the club in batting with a .312 average in the wooden-bat league.

? Auer hit .240 in 51 games, including 34 starts, in 2005 for the Golden Knights. He stole 15 bases in 18 attempts a season ago.

Bono's Back Behind the Dish
? Senior catcher Ryan Bono has excelled in the early going at his natural position behind the dish for the Golden Knights. The Lake Mary product is second on the team in batting (.462) and first in RBI (3).

? Bono has thrown out 50 percent (3-of-6) of opposing players attempting to steal this season.

? In 2005, opponents were successful 73 percent of the time (8-of-11) attempting to steal vs. Bono. Bono spilt time behind the dish last season with Drew Butera, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the New York Mets.

Welcome to the Hot Corner
? Junior Matt Ray has played second base, shortstop and now third base for the Golden Knights in 2006. The Tennessee native has made a smooth transition to the hot corner.

? Ray made several terrific defensive plays at third at Bethune-Cookman (Feb. 7), his first start of the season.

? He also had a big day at the plate going 2-for-5 with two runs, one stolen bases and a RBI.

UCF Tabbed Fifth in C-USA
? UCF was selected fifth in the Conference USA preseason poll, as voted on by the league's nine head coaches. Rice was the unanimous choice the win the league championship, followed by Tulane, Southern Miss, Houston, UCF, East Carolina, UAB, Memphis and Marshall.

Bascom Named C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year
? Tim Bascom was named C-USA's Preseason Pitcher of the Year, as voted on by the league's nine head coaches.

? In 2005, Bascom led UCF with a 10-2 record and a 3.10 ERA in 16 games. He also topped the staff in innings pitched (113.2) and strikeouts (113).

? The 113 strikeouts ranked sixth in UCF single-season history while his 10 victories tied for sixth in the Golden Knights single-season annals.

Bascom Garners Preseason All-America Honors
? Tim Bascom was named a preseason All-American by two media outlets.

? The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) named Bascom to its third-team preseason All-America squad.

? Collegiate Baseball News also selected Bascom to its third-team preseason All-America team.

Welcome Back
? Redshirt sophomores Taylor Meier and Brett Bordwine both made their returns in the FIU series after missing all of last year due to injury. Meier missed the season with an arm injury while Bordwine dislocated an ankle and was out all of 2005.

? The return of the two right-handers is much needed in the UCF rotation. Both pitchers are in line for spots in the weekend rotation in 2006.

? Meier was named a freshman All-American in 2004 after a strong rookie campaign. The 6-foot-7 right-hander was 6-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 74 innings of work in 2004. He fanned 56 batters and was one of three All-Americans on the pitching staff, joining Matt Fox and Kyle Bono.

? Bordwine was in the mix to land a spot in the weekend rotation or as the team's closer in preseason camp last year before the ankle injury ended his season. With a good fastball and devastating slider, Bordwine is one of several pitchers in the running to earn a spot in the weekend rotation in 2006.

Bergman in the NCAA Record Books
? Legendary UCF head coach Jay Bergman continues one of the best coaching careers in NCAA history. Bergman ranks 22nd all-time in NCAA history in victories (1,134).

? Bergman trails former Washington State skipper Chuck Brayton by 24 wins for 21st in the NCAA all-time annals.

? Bergman is eighth among active coaches in the NCAA in coaching wins. He is 26th among active coaches in winning percentage (.645).

One of the Nation's Best
? UCF enters the 2006 season with 255 wins during the decade, tied for the 17th-best total in the nation.

? Four C-USA teams are on the list: Rice, Tulane, UCF and East Carolina.

? UCF faces five teams in 2006 that rank among the top-24 winningest programs of the decade. The Golden Knights play Rice, Tulane, East Carolina, Stetson and Florida this season, including home games vs. each of the schools except Tulane.

Home Field Advantage
? UCF enters its sixth season of play at Jay Bergman Field. The Golden Knights are 125-43 all-time at the friendly confines, including a 28-8 record in 2005.

Off to the Races
? Matt Ray is 10th in UCF history in career stolen bases with 54.

? Ray led UCF with 32 stolen bases in 38 attempts in 2005. He finished 12th in the nation in steals in 2005.

Hit Me with Your Best Shot ? Ryan Bono is third in UCF career history after being hit by a pitch 40 times. Bono trails current volunteer assistant coach Rich Wallace by six for the school record.

? Wallace was hit by a pitch 46 times during his four-year career from 2000-03.

? Bono set a single-season school record after getting plunked 18 times in 2005.

On Deck
? UCF continues its 11-game homestand with a three-game series vs. Stony Brook Feb. 24-26 at Jay Bergman Field.