Baseball Heads to the Bayou to Face No. 23 Tulane

April 13, 2006

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ORLANDO - For the first time since 1990, UCF and Tulane will meet on the baseball diamond this weekend at Zephyr Field, just outside of New Orleans. The Golden Knights look to snap a three-game losing streak and move above the .500 mark in Conference USA this weekend.

? Tulane has won three of its last five games entering the weekend series. The Green Wave (21-14, 3-6 C-USA) beat Nicholls State 7-4 on Tuesday.

? UCF (20-16, 3-3 C-USA) enters Friday's game with a batting average of .293. The Golden Knights have stolen 50 bases in 64 attempts.

? The Golden Knights own a team ERA of 3.61 in 322 innings of work. The UCF pitching staff has totaled 303 strikeouts and opponents are batting .233 vs. the Golden Knights.

? UCF is ranked 92nd in the NCAA rankings in batting, 40th in ERA and 91st in fielding percentage (.964).

? The Golden Knights are among the nation's best in strikeouts per nine innings. UCF is 18th in the NCAA rankings with 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings as a team.

? Saturday and Sunday's game will air live on the UCF ISP Sports Network. The "Voice of the Golden Knights" Marc Daniels will have the call from Zephyr Field.

? Audio of the entire series is available on UCFAthletics.com as part of the "Golden Knights All-Access" package. Friday's game is an Internet broadcast only.

Inside the Tulane Series
? For the first time since 1990, UCF and Tulane will meet on the baseball diamond this weekend. The all-time series is tied at two. UCF will be making its first appearance at Zephyr Field.

? The last time the two schools met, Tulane swept a two-game series from the Golden Knights in New Orleans. Tulane swept a doubleheader 13-2 and 2-1 on April 20, 1990.

? UCF stopped the Green Wave in the only two meetings in Orlando. The Golden Knights swept a doubleheader from Tulane, 5-2 and 5-0 on April 16, 1989.

The Book on Tulane
? Ranked No. 23 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Tulane brings a record of 21-14 into this weekend's series vs. UCF. Tulane is 3-6 in C-USA, seventh in the league standings.

? Tulane was picked to finish second in the final 2006 Conference USA standings, in a vote by league coaches in January.

? The Green Wave, who have won more C-USA regular-season and tournament titles than any other league team, was picked to finish runner-up to league newcomer Rice.

? The Tulane baseball team will have a new home field - well, sort of - for the 2006 season as the Green Wave will play all 38 regular-season home games at Zephyr Field in Metairie.

? Dubbed "The Shrine on Airline" due to its location on Airline Highway near the Louis Armstrong International Airport, Zephyr Field has been Tulane's home-away-from-home since its construction in 1998.

? The Green Wave have played a combined 51 games at Zephyr Field, and sport a 35-16 record on the home field of the Washington Nationals' Triple-A affiliate New Orleans Zephyrs, including an 15-9 mark at the Shrine this season.

? Tulane is batting .280 as a team in 2006 with 19 home runs and 193 RBI.

? On the mound, Tulane's pitching staff owns a 3.92 ERA in 312 innings of work.

Starting on the Mound for UCF
? Preseason C-USA Pitcher of the Year Tim Bascom gets the starting nod Friday for the Golden Knights. Bascom, the current C-USA Pitcher of the Week after a complete-game, two-hit shutout of East Carolina last weekend, is 5-2 on the season with a 1.22 ERA.

? Bascom is eighth nationally in ERA and 24th in strikeouts per nine innings (11.3).

? In 59 innings, Bascom has 74 strikeouts and opponents are batting .163 vs. the Dunedin native.

? Freshman LHP Mitch Houck gets his first crack in the weekend rotation this season with a starting assignment on Saturday. Houck has pitched well all season, going 2-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 36.1 innings.

? The Weston native has 39 strikeouts and opponents are batting .217 against him. In his last start at USF on April 4, Houck tossed a complete-game, four-hit shutout to lead UCF to an 11-0 victory.

? UCF closes out the weekend with freshman LHP Mitch Herold on the bump. The Merritt Island product is 1-3 with a 5.04 ERA in eight appearances this season. In 30.1 innings, Herold has 31 strikeouts and 27 walks while opponents are batting .205 against him.

Bascom Climbing the Charts
? Tim Bascom is just one of eight players in school history to record 200 strikeouts. Bascom is seventh in school history with 209 punch outs.

? For his career, Bascom is 19-7 with a 2.92 ERA in 200 innings. His 2.79 career ERA is third in the UCF annals.

Moving to the Weekend
? Mitch Houck has turned in a string of impressive starts into a spot in UCF's weekend rotation.

? In his last two starts vs. Stetson and USF, Houck is 1-0 with a 0.53 ERA in 17 innings. He has allowed just five hits and totaled 19 strikeouts over the two starts.

? Opponents are batting .093 in his last two starts. The five hits allowed have all been singles.

? Houck is second on the club with 39 strikeouts.

The Dominator
? Senior closer Dominic Petracca has been nearly untouchable to start the 2006 campaign. The Sanford native has appeared in 18 games and totaled eight saves, while posting a perfect 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA.

? Petracca is tied for the lead in C-USA in saves with eight.

? In 25.1 innings, Petracca has yielded 12 hits, one unearned run and opponents are batting .145 against him.

? He has registered 23 strikeouts and only one walk in 18 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 second in UCF single-season history with eight saves. Jason Arnold owns the single-season record with 12 saves, set in 1998.

UCF vs. Ranked Teams
? The Golden Knights are 0-1 vs. ranked teams in 2006. The lone game vs. a ranked opponent this season was a 10-3 setback at home to then-No. 13 Florida on March 14.

Playing In Minor League Parks
? The Golden Knights are 4-1 in minor league ballparks this season. UCF is 2-0 vs. Bethune-Cookman at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach and 2-1 vs. Marshall at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va.

? The Golden Knights are 14-3 in minor league parks since 2003.

Fighting the Injury Bug
? Perhaps the busiest person within the UCF baseball program this season has been athletic trainer Eric Gunderson. The Golden Knights have had 10 position players and five pitchers miss games due to injury or illness.

? UCF was without its two best hitters in the East Carolina series. Tyson Auer did not have an at-bat in the series after breaking his finger at Marshall. He currently leads the team with a .369 batting average and is the team's top defensive outfielder.

? Freshman OF Ryan Williams made just one at-bat vs. the Pirates after sustaining a lower leg injury vs. USF one week ago. Williams is batting .345 on the season.

Who's Hot in C-USA Action?
? Freshman first baseman Kiko Vazquez leads UCF with a .400 batting average in six C-USA games. Vazquez is 6-for-15 with six runs scored in conference action.

? Senior catcher Ryan Bono is second on the club with a .360 average in league play. Bono has three doubles, four RBI, five runs scored and a homer in C-USA action.

? Despite starting in only one C-USA series, Tyson Auer is hitting .667 with four runs, six hits, two doubles, two triples and nine RBI. Auer started the first two games of the Marshall series before getting hit on the hand by a pitch.

? As a team, UCF is batting .307 in league play. On the mound, the Golden Knights have a 3.74 ERA in six conference games.

Playing Under the Lights
? UCF is 12-6 in night games in 2006 and 8-10 during day contests.

? At night, Tyson Auer leads the team with a .451 batting average. He has four triples, two doubles and 19 RBI under the lights.

? As a team, UCF hits .321 at night, compared to .264 in the day.

? UCF has three regulars who bat over .345 at night. Along with Auer's .451 average, Matt Horwath is second with a .375 average and .Eric Kallstrom is batting .345 under the lights.

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 12 freshmen this season both in the field or on the mound. Kiko Vazquez (first base) has started all 36 games.

? The only two freshmen who have not started a game this season are relief pitchers Tyler Bunnell and Justin Weiss.

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 (1,153).

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

? Bergman is eighth among active coaches in the NCAA in coaching victories.

Ray Races Up the Record Books
? Junior IF Matt Ray moved into a tie for fourth place in UCF career history with his 70th career stolen base at USF on April 4. Ray is fourth in the UCF annals with 73 stolen bases.

? Ray is third in C-USA in stolen bases with 21 stolen bases in 24 attempts. For his career, Ray has 73 steals in 84 attempts.

? Ray is 20th nationally in stolen bases per game.

Wear It!
? Senior C Ryan Bono is tied for first in UCF history after being hit by a pitch 46 times.

? Bono is tied for fourth in UCF history with 49 doubles.

First Inning Magic
? UCF has started on a good note in 2006, outscoring the opposition 33-15 in the first inning.