Baseball Takes Momentum Into Three-Game Series vs. Monmouth

March 1, 2007

Game Notes in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

ORLANDO - For the sixth-straight season, UCF welcomes Monmouth to Jay Bergman Field this weekend for a three-game series beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. Due to numerous events and activities taking place on campus, fans are encouraged to plan ahead to avoid any traffic and parking issues, especially for Friday and Saturday.

Monmouth - 0-0 Overall, 0-0 Northeast
UCF - 5-7 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
UCF leads, 14-1
All three games - www.UCFAthletics.com
Live Stats
All Three Games - www.UCFAthletics.com
UCF Ticket Office - (407) UCF-1000

Michigan at UCF Recap
It was a wild evening at Jay Bergman Field Feb. 27 vs. Michigan. Playing in front of a very loud crowd of 1,085, UCF let the Wolverines jump ahead 2-0 in the first inning before taking the lead after the fifth. The Knights added three in the sixth to take a 6-2 advantage, but lost it when Michigan recorded two in the seventh and two in the ninth. The Wolverines' two runs in the final inning both came off solo home runs with the latter hitting the top of the fence and bouncing over with two outs. After Kyle Sweat kept Michigan scoreless in the 10th, Shane Brown gave UCF the walk-off 7-6 win with a bases-loaded single in the bottom half of the 10th inning.

This Weekend's Opponent
While UCF has already played 12 games this season, it will be taking on a program who will just be getting its 2007 campaign started this weekend. The Monmouth Hawks venture down to Orlando from West Long Branch, N.J., and are looking to improve on a 27-22 2006 record. Monmouth's pitching staff was very solid a year ago, as all three hurlers who are on tap to take the hill vs. UCF this weekend had an ERA of 4.21 or lower. Also, the Hawks walked only 99 batters compared to striking out 308. Offensively, first baseman Nick Niederhaus returns after a freshman season where he went .383 at the plate.

The Series
UCF claimed the first 13 games of the series dating back to 2002, before falling 2-1 March 4, 2006. In all, the Knights bring a 14-1 advantage into Friday's showdown.

Making Headlines in the NCAA
Head coach Jay Bergman is currently in his 25th season as skipper of the UCF baseball team. Thanks to the one-run victory over Michigan Feb. 27, he sits in a tie for 18th on the NCAA Division I coaching list for career wins (1,161). Meanwhile, the second game against Monmouth will be Bergman's 1,500th as head coach of the Golden Knights. Below is a collection of his milestone games with UCF:
Game No. 1
1983 - Rollins - Win, 4-3
Game No. 100
1986 - Villanova - Win, 9-4
Game No. 500
1993 - Illinois - Loss, 5-0
Game No. 1,000
2001 - IUPUI - Win, 8-3

Brownie Bits
Freshman Shane Brown had his first big night at the plate, going 2-for-3 against Maryland Feb. 16. He came on as a pinch-hitter and eventually scored a run and connected for his first collegiate double.

Brown then got his first start at third base at LSU Feb. 25, and made the most of it. In the eighth inning, he delivered with an RBI double to plate the eventual winning run, lifting the Golden Knights to a 5-4 victory.

Two days later, Brown was at it again. He entered the game vs. Michigan Feb. 27 midway through the contest and proved to be the hero once more. With the bases loaded and one out in a 6-6 game in the bottom of the 10th inning, Brown laced a 3-1 pitch from Zach Putnam for a single into left field for the walk-off victory.

Busting Out
Third baseman Chris Duffy, who had three hits entering the game vs. Michigan Feb. 27, racked up his first career extra-base hit, RBI and run scored in the 7-6 win over the Wolverines. The freshman finished with two doubles and helped start an inning-ending double play in the third.

A Tale of Two Teams
Through 12 games this year, UCF has scored most of its runs from the fifth inning on. In the first four frames combined, opponents are outscoring the Golden Knights, 58-18. But after the fourth inning, UCF has a slight 38-33 advantage.

Solid on the Mound
Four pitchers combined in not allowing LSU to score an earned run Feb. 25 as UCF defeated the Tigers, 5-4. Jaager Good got the start and notched a career-high five strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work. Matt McClung came on to sit down all six batters he faced en route to his first collegiate victory. Carmine Giardina recorded an out in the eighth inning, while Justin Weiss picked up the save by getting the final five outs.

Working the Bases
UCF ranked sixth in Conference USA in stolen bases and attempts (59 steals in 79 attempts) in 2006. This season, the Knights are second in both categoris with 17 steals in 22 tries. Individually, Dwayne Bailey ranks first with six stolen bases, while Tyson Auer and Ryan Richardson are right behind with five and three, respectively.