UCF Hosts Monmouth for Fifth Consecutive Season at Jay Bergman Field

March 2, 2006

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ORLANDO - UCF welcomes Monmouth to Jay Bergman Field for a three-game series this weekend. The series begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. and continues Saturday at 3 p.m. before the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.

? Monmouth (0-3) visits Jay Bergman Field for the fifth consecutive season. The Hawks are the only opponent from the state of New Jersey UCF will face in 2006.

? The Golden Knights (4-7) lost their second straight game Wednesday with a 6-3 loss to Michigan. UCF lost earlier in the week to Bethune-Cookman 14-2, ending a nine-game winning streak vs. the Wildcats.

? UCF's 21-game radio schedule on the UCF ISP Sports Network (WQTM - 740 The Team) begins Friday vs. Monmouth. The first two games of the Monmouth series will air on the UCF ISP Sports Network with Marc Daniels on the call. Radio coverage begins 15 minutes prior to first pitch with the pregame show.

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

? Tickets are available for all three games of the Monmouth series by calling 407-823-1000.

Inside the Monmouth Series
? UCF leads the all-time series 12-0 vs. Monmouth. This weekend's three games mark the fifth straight season the two teams have faced each other in Orlando.

? The Golden Knights have outscored the Hawks 76-27 in the all-time series.

? UCF is 25-12 vs. schools from the Garden State of New Jersey.

The Book on Monmouth
? For the second straight weekend, Monmouth visits a Conference USA school for a three-game series as the Hawks come to UCF. Last weekend, the Hawks opened the season with a three-game series at Houston.

? Monmouth lost its season-opener 3-1 to the Cougars before dropping the final two games of the series, 9-1 and 6-0.

? Monmouth has been selected as the preseason favorite to capture the 2006 Northeast Conference Baseball Championship, according to a poll of league head coaches. The Hawks received four first place votes, just ahead of second place Quinnipiac, which also received four first place votes. Sacred Heart was chosen third and claimed the remaining first place vote, followed by Central Connecticut State, Wagner, Mount St. Mary's, Fairleigh Dickinson, Long Island and St. Francis (N.Y.).

? The Golden Knights play two teams from the Northeast Conference in 2006. After the three-game set vs. Monmouth, UCF hosts Wagner next weekend at Jay Bergman Field.

? Monmouth finished 2005 with a 30-24 record, including a 15-8 mark in league play. The Hawks have made eight straight NEC Tournament appearances, the longest streak in league history, though the Hawks are seeking their first league title since 1999.

? Senior closer Kevin Schneider was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Watch List prior to the 2006 season. Schneider was brilliant in 2005 for the Hawks, posting a 0.74 ERA in 26 appearances.

? Schneider finished the season with a 3-1 record and a NEC-leading eight saves. He ranked 49th in the nation in saves and opponents hit .208 vs. the right-hander in 36.1 innings of work.

Starting on the Mound for UCF
? Tim Bascom looks for his first win of the season on the mound Friday for the Golden Knights. The preseason All-American has pitched well in the early going, but has yet to post a win due to low run support.

? Bascom is 0-1 with a 1.02 ERA in 17.2 innings. He has yielded just six hits on the season and opponents are batting .107 against him.

? Bascom leads UCF in strikeouts (14) and innings pitched (17.2).

? In Bascom's three starts, UCF has only scored four runs.

? Saturday the Golden Knights will turn to sophomore right-hander Jeremy Thorne on the mound. Thorne will be making his first career start on the bump.

? Thorne is 1-1 on the season with an 8.10 ERA. In 3.1 innings of work, Thorne has five strikeouts.

? Senior RHP Taylor Cobb was slated to start Saturday, but will miss his scheduled start due to arm stiffness.

? Freshman RHP Kyle Sweat (0-1, 5.82 ERA) is Sunday's scheduled starter for UCF. Sweat has pitched 17.0 innings this season, second on the team. The Apopka native has totaled nine strikeouts and just two walks.

? UCF's starting pitchers have yet to record a win on the season. Combined, the starters are 0-5 in 2006.

The Dominator
? Senior closer Dominic Petracca has been nearly untouchable to start the 2006 campaign. The Sanford native has appeared in eight games and totaled four saves, while posting a perfect 0.00 ERA.

? In 9.1 innings, Petracca has yielded four hits while opponents are batting .125 against him.

? He has registered nine strikeouts and only one walk in eight games.

? In the Stony Brook series, Petracca saved all three games, including two one-run wins. He struck out the side on 13 pitches in the series-opening 1-0 victory on Feb. 24.

? Petracca is tied for fifth in UCF career history with eight saves.

"Dino" Heats Up
? Freshman OF Dave DiNatale currently has a team-best six-game hitting streak. The Parkland native is batting .563 over the last five games (9-for-16) with three runs scored, two stolen bases and two doubles.

? DiNatale has caught fire at the plate after starting the season on a cool note. The freshman outfielder hit .125 in the first five games of the season (2-for-16).

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 with a .367 batting average.

? Auer ranks first on the club with five stolen bases in five attempts. He tied a career-high with three stolen bases vs. Michigan (March 1).

? He 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
? Ryan Bono has excelled in the early going at his natural position behind the dish for the Golden Knights. A candidate for the Johnny Bench Award, Bono is second on the team in batting (.350). He leads the squad in hits (14), doubles (4) and total bases (21).

? Bono has thrown out 43 percent (6-of-14) 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.

Injury Report
? Junior IF Jon Cooper is doubtful for the Monmouth series with an arm injury.

? Junior IF Matt Horwath is questionable for the series with a wrist injury.

? Freshman OF Chadd Hartman (hand) and Taylor Cobb (arm) are out for this weekend's three-game set vs. the Hawks.

This Weekend in UCF Baseball History
? March 3, 2000 - UCF scored a victory over No. 11 LSU in 2000. The Golden Knights pounded out a 14-13 victory over the Tigers at Tinker Field in Orlando to begin the three-game series.

? March 4, 1973 - UCF, known as Florida Technology University in 1973, posted its first shutout of a Sunshine State opponent in a 10-0 victory over FIT.

? March 5, 2004 - Opening Atlantic Sun Conference play on the road in 2004, the Golden Knights defeated Lipscomb 4-1 in six innings in a rain-shortened game in Nashville. All-American Matt Fox threw a complete game with six strikeouts for the victors.