I-4 Rivalry on the Diamond Continues Tuesday Between UCF and USF

April 3, 2006

UCF-USF Game Notes in PDF Format
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ORLANDO - After winning its first Conference USA series over the weekend at Marshall, UCF continues its four-game road trip Tuesday with a non-conference showdown vs. USF. The Golden Knights (18-13, 2-1 C-USA) and Bulls (14-15, 5-4 Big East) will meet three times this season, including two games at Jay Bergman Field.

? The Golden Knights could not secure a three-game sweep of Marshall, losing the final game of the series Sunday 6-5. The Thundering Herd scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally for the win. UCF won 18-1 in the series opener Friday and 7-5 in Saturday's contest over Marshall.

? UCF lost for the first time in 16 games this season when leading after seven innings of play in Sunday's game. The Golden Knights have won five of their last seven road games.

? USF has lost four straight games on the season, including a three-game sweep at Cincinnati over the weekend in Big East play. Prior to the four-game losing skid, USF won a season-high five consecutive games.

? UCF is batting .295 as a team and averages 6.3 runs per game.

? On the mound, UCF has a team ERA of 3.74 in 277 innings. The Golden Knights have totaled 268 strikeouts and allow 4.4 runs per contest. Opponents are batting .235 vs. UCF's pitching staff.

? Tuesday's game vs. USF will air live on the UCF ISP Sports Network. Marc Daniels will call all of the action, beginning with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m. on WQTM-740 AM The Team.

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

Inside the USF Series
? UCF faces its second-oldest rival on the baseball diamond Tuesday at USF. The series is tied at 45 between the two schools after UCF won two of three from the Bulls last season.

? The Golden Knights are 1-4 in their last five games at Red McEwen Field in Tampa.

? UCF went 1-1 at Red McEwen Field in 2005, including an 8-7 victory on April 5.

The Book on USF
? USF looks to snap a four-game losing streak Tuesday vs. UCF. The Bulls are 14-15 overall and 5-4 in the Big East.

? Big East newcomer USF was picked third in the 2006 Big East Coaches' Preseason Poll after finishing the 2005 campaign with a 33-31 overall record. The Bulls finished tied for sixth in the Conference USA standings with a 15-14 league mark.

? USF is batting .292 as a team and has three starters batting over .300. Senior Kris Howell leads the way with a .361 batting average.

? Sophomore Brandin Daniel is the Bulls' leading power hitter with three home runs and 16 RBI. Daniel is third on the club with a .313 batting average.

? On the mound, USF has a team ERA of 4.17 in 267.2 innings of work. Opponents are batting .274 vs. USF.

? USF is scheduled to start either junior RHP Yuri Higgins or sophomore RHP Jim Cassidy on the hill Tuesday.

? Higgins is 3-2 with a 4.79 ERA in 35.2 innings in 2006. The Tampa native has appeared in 15 games and made four starts. Opponents are batting .238 vs. Higgins and his 32 strikeouts are third-best on the club.

? Cassidy is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 20 innings. The sophomore has made all eight appearances out of the bullpen this season for the Bulls. Opponents are batting .289 vs. the right-hander.

Starting on the Mound for UCF
? Freshman LHP Mitch Houck gets the starting nod Tuesday for the Golden Knights. The Weston native is 1-1 with a 3.62 ERA in seven appearances this season.

? 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.

The Dominator
? Senior closer Dominic Petracca has been nearly untouchable to start the 2006 campaign. The Sanford native has appeared in 17 games and totaled eight saves, while posting a perfect 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA.

? Petracca leads C-USA with eight saves and ranks second in the league in appearances.

? In 23.2 innings, Petracca has yielded 12 hits, one unearned run and opponents are batting .154 against him.

? He has registered 22 strikeouts and only one walk in 17 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.

Marching in the Right Direction
? UCF was 13-6 in the month of March after starting the season with a 4-6 mark in February.

? UCF hit .318 as a team during the month, including a team-best average of .357 by junior IF Matt Horwath.

? On the mound, UCF finished with a team ERA of 2.53 in March.

? Junior RHP Tim Bascom had a monster month of March. He went 4-1 with a 1.67 ERA in 32.1 innings. Bascom finished with 51 strikeouts in the five games and opponents hit just .208 against him.

Help is on the Way
? UCF's bullpen has been terrific over the last 21 games. The bullpen is 5-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 73.1 innings of work.

? The unit has allowed just 59 hits and opponents are batting only .228 vs. the Golden Knight relievers during the 21-game streak.

? The bullpen has totaled 75 strikeouts and 22 walks during the 21-game streak.

? Junior Derek Abriola has been pitching the best baseball of his career over the 21-game stretch. The Orlando native has thrown 24.1 innings and totaled 28 strikeouts during the span, including a 2.59 ERA. Opponents are batting .193 against him.

? Abriola is 12th in C-USA in strikeouts on the season with 34.

Hoosier Hitter
? Senior Dave Lambert has been on fire coming off the UCF bench over the last 21 games. The Chesterton, Ind., native is batting .588 (10-for-17) with four doubles and eight RBI as a non-starter since March 1.

? In 13 games since March 1, Lambert has scored four runs and owns an .824 slugging percentage and .611 on-base percentage.

? Lambert leads the team with four pinch hits on the season. He is batting .308 as pinch hitter (4-for-13).

On This Date
? April 4, 2003 - In one of the top comebacks in school history, UCF trailed Campbell 9-0 in the eighth inning, but rallied in extra innings to defeat the visiting Camels 10-9 in 12 innings.

? UCF scored four in the eighth and five in the ninth to force the game to extra innings. In the 12th, freshman Drew Butera singled to left field to bring home sophomore Dee Brown to secure the thrilling victory.

Terrific Tyson
? Tyson Auer has turned into an offensive force in his sophomore season at UCF. The Lake Mary native leads UCF in batting (.369), hits (38), runs (22), triples (6), RBI (25), total bases (56) and slugging percentage (.544).

? Auer is among the C-USA leaders in triples (T-1st), batting average (3rd), hits (T-6th), RBI (T-10th) and stolen bases (4th).

? 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.

Knight Notes ...
? Matt Ray moved into ninth place in UCF history with 65 stolen bases after swiping three bags at Marshall.

? Ray is third in C-USA in stolen bases and eighth in on-base percentage.

? Ryan Bono is tied for second in UCF history after being hit by a pitch 45 times. Bono is tied for seventh in C-USA with 58 total bases.

First Inning Magic
? UCF has started on a good note in 2006, outscoring the opposition 33-14 in the first inning.

Playing Under the Lights
? UCF is 10-4 in night games in 2006 and 8-9 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 .328 at night, compared to .264 in the day.

? UCF has four regulars who bat over .400 at night. Along with Auer's .451 average, freshman OF Ryan Williams is batting .444, Matt Horwath hits .405 and freshman SS Eric Kallstrom is a .400 batter at night.

On Deck
? UCF hosts its inaugural C-USA series at Jay Bergman Field vs. East Carolina this weekend. The Golden Knights and Pirates begin their three-game set Friday at 6:30 p.m.

? Following the three-game series vs. ECU, USF visits Jay Bergman Field Tuesday, April 11.