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Feb. 2, 2006

UCF Baseball Game Notes in PDF Format
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ORLANDO - UCF begins the 2006 season at Florida International Saturday, February 4 for a two-game series vs. the Golden Panthers. The Golden Knights have played FIU (0-2) in their season-opening series the past five seasons and six times overall.

? Both games of the series begin at 1 p.m. with the series finale set for Sunday, February 5.

? The last time UCF played at Florida International, the Golden Knights swept both games from the Golden Panthers. UCF opened the 2004 campaign with a 6-2 win followed by an 8-6 victory over FIU in Miami. It marked the first series win over FIU since the 1996 campaign for UCF.

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

? UCF returns 19 letterwinners from last season's 42-18 club that finished tied for second in the Atlantic Sun conference. The Golden Knights move to Conference USA in 2006, one of the premier baseball conferences in the nation.

Inside the FIU Series
? UCF and Florida International have met 88 times on the baseball diamond, with FIU leading the all-time series, 46-42. The Golden Panthers are UCF's second most frequent rival on the diamond, trailing only Stetson (102 games vs. UCF) in the record books.

? UCF has won four straight games in the series, including last year's two-game sweep in Orlando. The four-game streak is the longest since 1992-93, when UCF won four consecutive games vs. the Golden Panthers over two seasons.

? The Golden Panthers were also the first opponent at Jay Bergman Field in 2001 when the Golden Knights opened their state-of-the-art facility. The two teams split the two-game series, with FIU spoiling the opener at Jay Bergman Field, winning 6-2 on Feb. 3, 2001. UCF cruised to an easy 9-0 victory, in game two, to earn a series split in 2001.

UCF in Season Openers
? UCF is 20-13 all-time in season openers, including a 13-10 mark under head coach Jay Bergman. The Golden Knights defeated FIU 3-2 in 10 innings to open the 2005 campaign.

? The Golden Knights have won four straight season-openers dating back to the 2002 season. In three of the four victories over FIU during the streak, the winning margin was one run.

? UCF's largest margin of victory on opening day was in 1998 after a 17-0 win over Rollins.

? The series also marks the seventh time in school history that UCF has opened a season vs. FIU. The two teams have met in each of the last five seasons and in 1979, when FIU topped UCF 9-4 and 6-5 in Orlando in the first series of the year for UCF.

The Book on Florida International
? Florida International opened the season Saturday with a 17-3 loss at cross-town rival Miami. The Golden Panthers ended the home-and-home series with a 5-0 loss at University Park in Miami.

? FIU struggled offensively in its first two games vs. the Hurricanes. The Golden Panthers sport a team batting average of .175.

? On the mound, FIU has a team ERA of 10.06 in 2006.

? In 2005, the Golden Panthers ended the season with an overall record of 38-21, including a 14-10 mark in the Sun Belt. FIU finished third in the Sun Belt standings last season.

? In Baseball America's college baseball preview, the magazine selected FIU to finish third in the Sun Belt in 2006. Senior Michael Lopez was named to the magazine's preseason Sun Belt All-Conference Team. In 2005, Lopez hit .312 with five home runs and 47 RBI.

? The Golden Panthers hit .313 as a team in 2005, 32nd in the final NCAA rankings. FIU scored an average of 7.4 runs per game, good for 39th in the nation.

? FIU's team ERA a year ago was 4.59, 101st in the nation. The Golden Panthers swiped an average of 2.08 bases per game, which placed them 15th in the NCAA.

Young Knights in 2006
? When UCF takes the field in 2006, the Golden Knights will 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.

2005 Drafted KnightsPlayer (Round) -- TeamDave DiNatale (22) -- PittsburghKiko Vazquez (30) -- MinnesotaKyle Sweat (42) -- PittsburghChadd Hartman (43) -- ClevelandMitch Houck (50) -- Los Angeles Dodgers="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/pre%3E%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%3Cp%3E%3Cstrong%3EUCF%20Tabbed%20Fifth%20in%20C-USA%3C/strong%3E%3Cbr%3E%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20?%20UCF%20was%20selected%20fifth%20in%20the%20Conference%20USA%20preseason%20poll,%20as%20voted%20on%20by%20the%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20league's%20nine%20head%20coaches.%20Rice%20was%20the%20unanimous%20choice%20the%20win%20the%20league%20championship,%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20followed%20by%20Tulane,%20Southern%20Miss,%20Houston,%20UCF,%20East%20Carolina,%20UAB,%20Memphis%20and%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Marshall.%3C/p%3E%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%3Cp%3E%3Cstrong%3EBascom%20Named%20C-USA%20Preseason%20Pitcher%20of%20the%20Year%3C/strong%3E%3Cbr%3E%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20?%20UCF%20junior%20right-handed%20pitcher%20%3Ca%20href="/roster.aspx?rp_id=2403" class="imported_story_link" oldlink="/sports/m-basebl/mtt/bascom_tim00.html">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
? UCF junior right-handed pitcher 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 return for the 2006 season 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.

Starting on the Mound for UCF
? Tim Bascom will start his second consecutive season-opener for the Golden Knights vs. Florida International. Last season vs. FIU, Bascom made his first career start and went 7.1 innings with five strikeouts for the victory.

? UCF has yet to name a starter for game two of the series.

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 (1,133).

? Bergman trails former Washington State skipper Chuck Brayton by 25 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.

Year-by-Year at Jay Bergman Field="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/strong%3EYear%20%20%20%20Record2001%20%20%20%2030-72002%20%20%20%2023-62003%20%20%20%2020-152004%20%20%20%2024-72005%20%20%20%2028-8Totals%20%20125-43%20(.744)%3C/pre%3E%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%3Cp%3E%3Cstrong%3EOff%20to%20the%20Races%3C/strong%3E%3Cbr%3E%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20?%20Junior%20IF%20%3Ca%20href="/roster.aspx?rp_id=2379" class="imported_story_link" oldlink="/sports/m-basebl/mtt/ray_matt00.html">Matt Ray enters the season 10th in UCF history in career stolen bases with 53.

? Ray led UCF with 32 stolen bases in 38 attempts in 2005.

? The Tennessee native moves from second base to third base in 2006. Ray, who has also played shortstop during his career in Orlando, had an excellent fall season at the hot corner.

By the Numbers ...
? UCF returns 28 percent of its home run production from 2005. The Golden Knights hit 63 home runs last season and return four players who combined to hit 18 homers a year ago. Junior IF Matt Horwath is the team's leading returning home run hitter with eight dingers in 2005.

? UCF returns 33 percent of its RBI production from a year ago. Senior C Ryan Bono is the returns with the most RBI from 2005 after totaling 44 RBI.

? The Golden Knights return 41 percent of their stolen base totals from 2005. Matt Ray led UCF with 32 stolen bases last season.

? UCF has six pitchers returning who won 21 games in 2005, 50 percent of its win total from last season. Tim Bascom led the Golden Knights with 10 victories last season.

? UCF welcomes back five pitchers who combined to save 12 games last season, 80 percent of the team's total. Senior RHP Dominic Petracca led the squad with four saves last season. As a team, UCF totaled 15 saves in 2005.

? UCF returns seven pitchers who combined for 228 strikeouts, 48 percent of the team's total of 479 strikeouts. Tim Bascom led UCF and ranked sixth in single-season history with 113 punch outs.

Hit Me with Your Best Shot
? Ryan Bono enters the season 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 travels to Daytona Beach Tuesday to face Bethune-Cookman at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.