Baseball Visits the Lone Star State for Three Games at TCU

March 22, 2006

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ORLANDO - UCF heads to the state of Texas this weekend for a three-game series at TCU. The three-game set begins Friday at 8 p.m. ET at Lupton Stadium on the campus of TCU. The series continues Saturday at 3 p.m. ET and finishes Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

? The Golden Knights (14-10) have tied their longest winning streak of the season with four straight victories after Tuesday's 10-8 win at Bethune-Cookman. UCF rallied from an 8-6 deficit in the seventh inning with four unanswered runs for the victory.

? UCF has scored 10 or more runs in three of its last four games.

? The Golden Knights are batting a season-best .296 as a team entering the TCU series. As a team, UCF has hit 13 home runs and stolen 32 bases in 40 attempts.

? On the mound, UCF's pitching staff owns an ERA 4.10 in 215 innings of work. The Golden Knights have 216 strikeouts as a pitching staff and opponents are batting just .236 vs. the staff.

Inside the TCU Series
? Friday's game marks the first-ever meeting between UCF and TCU on the baseball diamond. The Golden Knights will be making their first appearance in the state of Texas since visiting Rice for a three-game tournament in 2001.

? UCF has one Texas native on its roster in sophomore infielder Danny Kash. The Sugar Land product has been a valuable contributor off the bench this season, appearing in 11 games. He has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 13 chances.

? The Golden Knights are 3-4 all-time vs. schools from the Mountain West Conference. The last time UCF played a team from the MWC, the Golden Knights hosted a three-game series vs. Utah in 2004, winning two of three from the Utes.

The Book on TCU
? The Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University own a record of 11-12 heading into Friday's series opener. TCU lost 10-4 at No. 21 Baylor Tuesday evening in Waco.

? TCU is 2-2 vs. Conference USA schools in 2006. The Horned Frog moved from C-USA to the Mountain West Conference last July, topped Tulane and Houston earlier in the year. The Horned Frogs have lost a pair of games to Rice in 2006.

? TCU has played one school from the state of Florida this season in Florida Atlantic. The Horned Frogs won two of three from the visiting Owls in early March.

? TCU has faced one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2006. The Horned Frogs have already faced seven ranked teams this season, going 1-6.

? In its first year of competition in the Mountain West, TCU was picked to win the regular season Mountain West Conference baseball championship. In a vote of the seven MWC head coaches and a select media panel, the Horned Frogs received 11 of a possible 13 first-place votes and 89 points.

? Five Frog starters are batting over .300 as TCU owns a team batting average of .282. Keith Conlon leads the team with a .346 average, including three home runs and 17 RBI.

? After a successful start to his career at TCU, Jim Schlossnagle enters his third season as the leader of the Baseball Frogs. In his first year, Schlossnagle led the Frogs to a school-record 39 victories, a conference tournament title and their first berth in the NCAA Regionals in 10 years.

? In 2005, he has accomplished those feats again, setting a new single-season wins record with 41, leading them to their second straight C-USA Tournament title as co-champions with Tulane and guiding them to their second straight NCAA Regional. He owns a career coaching record of 168-105 in just four years of coaching.

Starting on the Mound for UCF
? For just the third time ever under head coach Jay Bergman, UCF will start two freshmen on the mound this weekend at TCU.

? UCF starts the series with junior RHP Tim Bascom on the mound Friday. The Preseason Conference USA Pitcher of the Year is 3-1 on the season with a 1.47 ERA.

? In 36.2 innings, Bascom has totaled 46 strikeouts, including two games with 10-plus strikeouts. In his last two starts, Bascom has 26 strikeouts in two winning efforts.

? Opponents are batting .164 vs. the right-hander in six starts.

? Freshman LHP Mitch Herold gets the call Saturday on the bump for UCF. The Merritt Island native is 0-3 with a 7.07 ERA in five appearances.

? In 14 innings, Herold has allowed 10 hits and opponents are batting just .192 against him.

? Herold has struggled with his control, walking 19 batters on the season. The southpaw has registered 22 strikeouts.

? Freshman RHP Kyle Sweat is the scheduled game three starter for the Golden Knights. Sweat is 2-1 with a 4.41 ERA in 34.2 innings.

? Sweat and Bascom are tied for the team lead in starts with six. Sweat has 16 strikeouts and six walks on the season. Opponents are batting .277 vs. the right-hander.

The Dominator
? Senior closer Dominic Petracca has been nearly untouchable to start the 2006 campaign. The Sanford native has appeared in 14 games and totaled seven saves, while posting a perfect 1-0 record and 0.00 ERA.

? In 18.1 innings, Petracca has yielded seven hits and opponents are batting .117 against him.

? He has registered 18 strikeouts and only one walk in 14 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 sixth in UCF single-season history with seven saves. Jason Arnold owns the single-season record with 12 saves, set in 1998.

Marching in the Right Direction
? UCF is 10-4 in the month of March after starting the season with a 4-6 mark in February.

? The Golden Knights are a season-high four games over the .500 mark entering the TCU series.

? UCF is batting .325 as a team in the month of March. Six starters are hitting over .300, led by freshman OF Dave DiNatale's .373 average. Junior IF Matt Horwath (.368) and freshman DH/C Steve Stropp (.353) are also batting above .350 during the 14-game streak.

? On the mound, UCF has a team ERA of 3.00 in March. Opponents are batting .220 in March vs. UCF.

? After an 0-1 record in February, Tim Bascom has pitched extremely well in March. The Dunedin native is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA during the month. He has 32 strikeouts in 19 innings.

Help is on the Way
? UCF's bullpen has been terrific over the last 14 games. The bullpen is 3-0 with a 2.47 ERA in 54.2 innings of work.

? The unit has allowed just 40 hits and opponents are batting only .207 vs. the Golden Knight relievers.

? The bullpen has totaled 63 strikeouts and 18 walks during the 14-game streak.

? Junior Derek Abriola has been pitching the best baseball of his career over the 14-game stretch. The Orlando native has thrown 18.2 innings and totaled 24 strikeouts during the span, including a 2.41 ERA. Opponents are batting .161 against him.

Instant Impact
? UCF freshman C Steve Stropp has made an instant impact offensively for the Golden Knights. Despite only playing in 15 games, including 12 starts, Stropp leads the team with 19 RBI.

? Stropp is batting .352 with two doubles and a team-high four home runs. He has scored 16 runs and owns a .611 slugging percentage.

? He set a career-high with four hits in a 5-2 victory over Wagner, including a three-run home run. He tied a career-high with four RBI.

? Opponents have stolen just two bases in six attempts with Stropp behind the plate.

Take Three for the Team
? Kiko Vazquez was hit by a pitch three times in the series opener vs. Wagner, which tied a single-game record at UCF.

? Current volunteer assistant coach Rich Wallace was also hit by a pitch three times in a game in 2002 vs. Tempe. Wallace owns the UCF career record after getting hit by a pitch 46 times during his four-year career.

? Vazquez was hit five times during the series vs. Wagner. He has been hit by a pitch seven times in 2006, tops on the team.

Knight Notes ...
? Matt Ray is 10th in UCF history in career stolen bases with 61.

? Ryan Bono is tied for second in UCF history after being hit by a pitch 45 times.

? UCF is 4-5 in one-run games in 2006.

? The Golden Knights are 10-0 this season when leading after six innings of play.

? UCF is 13-2 when it out-hits the opposition.