UCF Faces Marshall in Inaugural Conference USA Series

March 30, 2006

UCF-Marshall Game Notes in PDF Format
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ORLANDO - UCF visits the state of West Virginia for the first time in school history as the Golden Knights face Marshall in their inaugural Conference USA series. The first two games of the series are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday before the series finale Sunday at 12 noon.

? The Golden Knights (16-12) lost 5-2 Tuesday at home vs. local rival Stetson. The Thundering Herd (8-11, 0-3 C-USA) won two mid-week games over No. 25 James Madison in Huntington.

? Marshall plays its non-conference home games in Huntington and its 12 conference home games at Appalachian Power Park in the state capital of Charleston. Appalachian Power Park is the home of the West Virginia Power, the class-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

? UCF has won six of its last eight games, including three victories on the road. The trip to Charleston is just the second three-game road series of the season for the Golden Knights.

? UCF is batting .290 as a team with 13 home runs and 151 RBI. The Golden Knights are averaging 5.89 runs per game and have stolen 36 bases in 47 attempts.

? On the mound, UCF has a team ERA of 3.69 in 251 innings. The Golden Knights allow 4.39 runs per game and have totaled 242 strikeouts on the season. Opponents are batting .229 vs. UCF.

Inside the Marshall Series
? Friday's game marks the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the baseball diamond.

? The Golden Knights are 5-1 all-time vs. schools from the Mountain State. UCF is 1-0 all-time vs. West Virginia, 2-0 vs. West Virginia-Wesleyan and 2-1 vs. West Liberty. The Golden Knights have not played a team from the state of West Virginia since a 14-3 victory over the Mountaineers of West Virginia in 1993.

Opening vs. the Herd
? The schedule makers at Conference USA have slotted UCF to play its first league game vs. Marshall in four different sports - football, men's basketball, men's soccer and baseball.

? The Golden Knights are 1-1-1 vs. Marshall in league openers in the other sports.

? The football team defeated Marshall 23-13 to snap the nation's longest losing streak at 17 games and propelled the Golden Knights to the C-USA East Division championship.

? Men's basketball lost to the Thundering Herd 73-69 in Orlando in the first C-USA contest for both schools.

? Men's soccer tied Marshall 4-4 in Orlando in the first conference game for both schools.

? Friday's baseball game marks the first road game for UCF vs. the Thundering Herd in a C-USA opener in any sport.

The Book on Marshall
? Marshall is 8-11 overall and 0-3 in Conference USA entering this weekend's series vs. UCF. The Thundering Herd won two mid-week games over 25th-ranked James Madison.

? The win marked Marshall's first over a ranked team since Feb. 22, 1995, ironically also against James Madison. The Thundering Herd won, 9-6, in Harrisonburg, Va., over the then-No. 19 Dukes.

? Marshall scored just two runs in three games in its inaugural C-USA series at Houston last weekend. The Cougars outscored the Herd 26-2.

? Marshall is batting .316 as a team with 19 home runs and 122 RBI. The Herd entered the week first in C-USA in batting.

? On the mound, Marshall owns a team ERA of 6.75 153.1 innings of work. The Herd are last in the league in ERA and opponents are batting .298 against them.

Starting on the Mound for UCF
? Preseason C-USA Pitcher of the Year Tim Bascom gets the start for UCF on the mound Friday. The junior has pitched well this season, going 3-2 with a 1.50 ERA in 42 innings.

? Bascom is second in ERA, third in strikeouts, and third in opposing batting average in C-USA.

? In game two of the series, freshman left-hander Mitch Herold gets the starting nod. The rookie southpaw was brilliant in his last start in a win over TCU, allowing just one run on four hits in seven innings of work en route to his first career win.

? On the season, Herold is 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 21 innings of work. He has totaled 23 strikeouts and 21 walks while opponents are batting just .182 against him.

? Freshman right-hander Kyle Sweat is UCF's game three starter. Sweat is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA in seven starts this season. The rookie has pitched 39.2 innings, the second-highest total on the team.

? Sweat has 20 strikeouts and 10 walks while opponents are batting .259 against him.

? UCF is 6-1 when Sweat starts on the mound.

The Dominator
? Senior closer Dominic Petracca has been nearly untouchable to start the 2006 campaign. The Sanford native has appeared in 15 games and totaled seven saves, while posting a perfect 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA.

? In 21.2 innings, Petracca has yielded 10 hits, one unearned run and opponents are batting .141 against him.

? He has registered 21 strikeouts and only one walk in 15 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 12-6 in the month of March after starting the season with a 4-6 mark in February.

? UCF is batting .314 as a team in the month of March. Five starters are hitting over .300, led by junior IF Matt Horwath's .340 average.

? On the mound, UCF has a team ERA of 2.61 in March. Opponents are batting .214 vs. the Golden Knights during the month.

Help is on the Way
? UCF's bullpen has been terrific during the month of March. The bullpen is 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 65.1 innings of work.

? The unit has allowed just 50 hits and opponents are batting only .219 vs. the Golden Knight relievers.

? The bullpen has totaled 66 strikeouts and 21 walks during the 18-game streak.

? Junior Derek Abriola has been pitching the best baseball of his career over the 18-game stretch. The Orlando native has thrown 21.1 innings and totaled 24 strikeouts during the span, including a 2.53 ERA. Opponents are batting .183 against him.

Houck's Heroics vs. Stetson
? Freshman left-hander Mitch Houck was nearly untouchable in his first career start vs. Stetson on March 28. Houck limited the Hatters to one earned run and one hit over eight innings of work.

? He set a career-high with 11 strikeouts.

? At one point, Houck retired 13 straight batters and he finished sitting down 17 of the final 18 batters he faced.

Terrific Tyson
? Tyson Auer has turned into an offensive force in his sophomore season at UCF. The Lake Mary native is second on the team with a .340 batting average.

? Auer also leads the club in hits (32), triples (4), runs (18) and is tied for the team lead in stolen bases (11).

? In the series finale win at TCU, Auer was 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and scored the game-winning run in the top of the 10th inning to propel UCF to a 5-3 win.

Knight Notes ...
? Matt Ray is 10th in UCF history in career stolen bases with 62. He will move into a tie for ninth place at UCF with his next steal.

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

? UCF is 4-6 in one-run games in 2006.

First Inning Magic
? UCF has started on a good note in 2006, outscoring the opposition 27-9 in the first inning.

? The Golden Knights are 10-4 when scoring first and 6-3 when scoring a run in the first inning.