Baseball Continues Eight-Game Homestand This Weekend vs. UAB

April 21, 2006

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ORLANDO - UCF continues its eight-game homestand this weekend at Jay Bergman Field as UAB comes to town for a three-game Conference USA series. The first two games of the season will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday before Sunday's 1 p.m. series finale.

? The Golden Knights (21-19, 4-5 C-USA) lost for the second time this season in extra innings Tuesday after a 6-4 setback to USF in 11 innings. The Blazers (13-25, 0-9 C-USA) lost 5-4 at Troy Tuesday evening to extend their losing streak to 18 games.

? The Golden Knights have lost six of their last seven games heading into the weekend series vs. UAB. At Jay Bergman Field, the Golden Knights are just 13-12 this season.

? Despite their recent struggles, UCF is still among the top six teams in C-USA. The league has moved up to No. 5 in conference RPI according to the college baseball website, Boydsworld.com.

? As of April 16, UCF ranked 46th nationally in ERA (3.68). The Golden Knights are ranked 125th in batting average (.291) and 84th in fielding percentage (.964) in the latest NCAA standings.

? Individually, junior RHP Tim Bascom is fifth nationally in ERA (1.25) and 25th in strikeouts per nine innings (11.1). Senior RHP Dominic Petracca is 15th in saves (8) and junior IF Matt Ray is 23rd in the NCAA in stolen bases per game (0.64).

? Friday and Sunday's games will air live on the UCF ISP Sports Network (740-AM The Team). The "Voice of the Golden Knights" Marc Daniels will have the call from Jay Bergman Field. The pregame show begins at 6:15 p.m. on Friday and 12:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

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

Inside the UAB Series
? UCF and UAB will meet for the first time on the baseball diamond Friday at Jay Bergman Field. UAB is one of three C-USA opponents UCF is playing for the first time in 2006.

? Going into the season, Marshall, Memphis and UAB were the only three schools UCF has never played in baseball. The Golden Knights won two-of-three from host Marshall earlier in the year in Charleston, W.Va.

The Book on UAB
? The Blazers of UAB enter Friday's game with an overall record of 13-25, including an 0-9 mark in C-USA.

? UAB has lost 18 straight games entering the weekend series vs. the Golden Knights.

? The last win for UAB came on March 19 with a 12-1 decision over North Carolina A&T.

? UAB is batting just .269 as a team, but has hit 26 home runs on the season. The Blazers are ranked No. 216 in the nation in batting.

? On the mound, the Blazers sport a team ERA of 5.42 in 339 innings of work. UAB is 170th nationally in ERA.

? Junior OF John Donahue leads the team with a .343 batting average in 25 games. The Texas native is tied for the squad lead with four home runs.

? UAB is scheduled to start senior LHP Jacob Legg on the mound Friday night. Legg is 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA in 36 innings. Opponents are batting .260 vs. the southpaw.

? Sophomore RHP Jim Crew gets the call Saturday on the mound for the Blazers. Crew is 3-2 with a 2.80 ERA in 45 innings. He has held opponents to a .224 batting average and totaled a team-best 38 strikeouts.

? Freshman RHP Kyle Robinson is the game three starter for UAB. He is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in eight appearances, including three starts. Robinson has 13 strikeouts in 15 innings of work and opponents are batting just .208 against him.

? Larry Giangrosso is in his sixth season as head coach of the UAB baseball program in 2005. Giangrosso was named the third head coach in school history on June 16, 1999. The first Blazer baseball head coach to have earned a degree from UAB, Giangrosso was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches' Hall of Fame on Jan. 12, 2001.

? In 2004, Giangrosso led the Blazers to a 30-29 overall record and their first appearance in the Conference USA Tournament since the 2000 season. The Blazers' 30 victories in 2004 were the most by any UAB squad since 1997.

Starting on the Mound for UCF
? Preseason C-USA Pitcher of the Year Tim Bascom will start the series opener for UCF. Bascom has lived up to the preseason hype, going 5-3 on the season with a 1.25 ERA.

? In 65 innings, Bascom has 80 strikeouts and opponents are batting just .175 against him.

? Bascom is first in the conference in ERA, third in opponent batting average, third in strikeouts and fourth in innings pitched.

? Freshman All-America candidate Mitch Houck gets the start on the bump in game two. The southpaw has been brilliant since being moved to the starting rotation.

? Houck is 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 44 innings pitched. He has 48 strikeouts and has limited opponents to a .213 batting average.

? He ranks eighth in C-USA in ERA and leads the league with six pickoffs.

? Freshman LHP Mitch Herold closes out the series on the mound for the Golden Knights. Herold is 1-4 with a 5.35 ERA in nine appearances, including eight starts.

? The Merritt Island native has held opponents to a .224 batting average this season. He has totaled 32 strikeouts in 35.1 innings.

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 215 punch outs.

? For his career, Bascom is 19-8 with a 2.75 ERA in 206 innings. His 2.75 career ERA is third in the UCF annals.

Make Way for Mitch
? Mitch Houck has turned a string of impressive starts into a spot in UCF's weekend rotation.

? Houck was outstanding in his first weekend start April 15 at No. 23 Tulane. The left-hander earned the win as he allowed just two runs on four hits in 7.2 innings of work.

? Houck struck out nine Green Wave batters en route to UCF's only win of the series.

? The freshman has enjoyed his time as a starter in 2006. In six starts, Houck is 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 41 innings. He has 45 strikeouts and opponents are batting .179 against him.

? Out of the bullpen, Houck has a 12.00 ERA in three appearances in 2006. In 3.0 innings, Houck yielded eight hits as a reliever with just three strikeouts.

The Dominator
? Senior closer Dominic Petracca has been nearly untouchable to start the 2006 campaign. The Sanford native has appeared in 19 games and totaled eight saves, while posting a perfect 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA.

? Petracca is one of 30 players named to the midseason watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award, presented by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

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

? In 28.1 innings, Petracca has yielded 13 hits, one unearned run and opponents are batting .141 against him.

? He has registered 27 strikeouts and only two walks in 19 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.

April's Top Stars
? Ryan Bono leads UCF with a .419 batting average in 11 games during the month of April. Bono is first on the squad in April in hits (18), RBI (9) and total bases (25).

? Senior 1B/DH Dave Lambert is hitting .333 with two home runs and four RBI in April.

? UCF is 4-7 in the month of April. The Golden Knights are batting .265 as a team and sport a 4.04 ERA during the month.

? Tim Bascom is 1-1 with a 0.60 ERA in two starts in April. In 15 innings, Bascom has 15 strikeouts and opponents are batting .170 against him.

? Mitch Houck is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in April. In 16.2 innings, Houck has 17 strikeouts and has held the opposition to a .160 batting average.

Welcome Back Chadd
? After missing 24 games with a broken bone in his hand, freshman outfielder Chadd Hartman has played well in his return. In seven starts since his return on April 7, Hartman is batting .286 (8-for-28).

? Hartman is third among UCF's regulars in batting average during the month of April. He has scored three runs and collected four RBI in seven games since his return from the injured list.

Big Game Eric
? Freshman shortstop Eric Kallstrom is fourth on the team with 20 RBI. He has three multi-RBI games in 2006, including six RBI in a win over Siena and five RBI in a victory at No. 23 Tulane.

? Kallstrom has collected 13 of his 20 RBI in three games this season.

? He recorded his first multi-home run game of his career with two homers in a 9-2 win at No. 23 Tulane on April 15. Kallstrom was the first Golden Knight in 2006 to hit two home runs in a game.

Power Surge for Horwath
? Junior IF Matt Horwath is a streaky hitter when it comes to hitting home runs. As a sophomore in 2005, Horwath hit eight home runs, including a homer in three straight games during the regular season.

? Horwath hit a dinger in the final two games of the Tulane series (April 14-16) for his first two home runs of the season.

Terrific Tyson
? Tyson Auer has turned into an offensive force in his sophomore season at UCF. The Lake Mary native leads UCF in batting (.361), triples (6) and slugging percentage (.556).

? Auer recorded a career-high six RBI in UCF's 18-1 win in the series opener at Marshall.

? He was named C-USA Hitter of the Week on April 3 after hitting .538 with 11 RBI in three games vs. Stetson and Marshall.

? Auer made his return to the lineup April 18 vs. USF, after missing nine straight games due to a finger injury. Auer hit a home run in his first game back vs. the Bulls.

Wear It!
? Ryan Bono became UCF's all-time leader after he was hit by a pitch for the 47th time in his career at Tulane on April 15. Bono moved past current assistant coach Rich Wallace (2000-03) for the top spot in the UCF annals.

? Bono is fourth in UCF history with 50 doubles.

? The Lake Mary native has appeared in 209 career games, 10th all-time in UCF history.

? Bono is also closing in on the top-10 career lists for at-bats, RBI and hits at UCF. He needs just one at-bat, four RBI and 11 hits to move into a tie for 10th place at UCF in the respective categories.