UCF Baseball Hosts Houston This Weekend in C-USA Opener

March 22, 2007

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ORLANDO - UCF's second journey into Conference USA begins Friday when it hosts Houston for three games at Jay Bergman Field. The first two contests get underway at 6:30 p.m., with the finale starting up at 1 p.m. The Cougars finished 2006 in second place in C-USA and earned a berth in the NCAA Regionals.

Houston - 11-12 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
UCF - 14-10 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
Houston leads, 9-3
Live Stats
UCF Ticket Office - (407) UCF-1000

This Weekend's Opponent
Houston (11-12) headlines many offensive categories in C-USA, including ranking first in runs scored (158), slugging percentage (.461) and homers (24), while also placing second in batting average (.299) and on-base percentage (.381). On the mound, though, the Cougars are ninth with a 5.30 team ERA. Of Houston's 12 losses, eight of them have come against teams that have been ranked at one point this season.

The Series
After posting a three-game sweep in Houston last year, the Cougars own a 9-3 advantage over UCF. In 1990, Houston and UCF met for the first time with each team winning once during the Olive Garden Classic in Kissimmee, Fla. The only time the two programs met in Orlando came in a one-game showdown in 1997 with the Cougars coming out on top, 11-8. Against teams from the Lone Star State, UCF is 15-27 all-time.

Rutgers at UCF Series Recap
Rutgers scored in each of the first five innings in the series opener March 16, but UCF came back with nine unanswered runs for the 10-8 victory. Tyson Auer went 3-for-5 as all nine starters scored a run. Reliever Brian Brooks picked up the victory by pitching 4.0 scoreless innings.

In game two, three first-inning runs by Rutgers spelled doom for UCF and the Scarlet Knights added the eventual winning run in the seventh for a 4-3 victory. The two teams combined for 11 hits (Rutgers 6, UCF 5), as Eric Kallstrom led the way for the Golden Knights by going 2-for-4 with two RBI.

UCF eventually took the series in the rubber match, claiming its first shutout of the year, 4-0. Jaager Good had his best outing as a Golden Knight, going 7.2 innings with 10 strikeouts, while Shane Brown posted two hits and two RBI.

Let's Dance
Conference USA play opens this weekend with UAB being the lone team who will continue non-conference action. In 2007, C-USA has consistently ranked as one of the toughest in the nation, and UCF has helped that cause by bringing a 14-10 record (.583) into this weekend. Before the 2006 league schedule, the Knights owned a 16-12 mark (.571). Their best record entering conference play came in 2005 when they were 16-3 (.842) before the Atlantic Sun season began.

Meanwhile, UCF is 9-1 in its last 10 conference openers. The Golden Knights claim a 16-7 all-time record in such contests.

Having a Ball in Orlando
In the 23 seasons that UCF has been a member of a conference, the Golden Knights are 151-94 all-time in league games played at home. The Black and Gold's best conference home record came in 2000 when it went 10-2 (.833).

All it Takes is an Auer
Leadoff hitter Tyson Auer has blossomed lately, and after going 8-for-16 from March 13-18, he earned Conference USA Hitter of the Week accolades. The honor was the second-straight received by a Golden Knight (Kiko Vazquez). During that week in which UCF went 3-1, the center fielder scored five runs, had three steals and notched two sacrifice flies to go with his 10 total bases.

Jaager Be Good
Junior righty Jaager Good, in just seven appearances in 2007, has set career-highs this year with 35.0 innings pitched and 25 strikeouts. Good came out of the pen in the first game of the season, but has since made six starts for the Knights. He had his best game in a UCF uniform when he pitched 7.2 scoreless innings against Rutgers March 18, earning the win by giving up just two hits and striking out 10.

Thanks That Was Fun
UCF cranked out seven-straight wins March 6-16, which was the longest since a nine-game stretch March 5-18, 2005. During this year's streak, the Golden Knights had a .303 batting average compared to holding their opponents to a .238 clip. Meanwhile, UCF's fielding percentage was .985, and its pitching staff had an ERA of 3.14.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Through 24 games, UCF hitters have been hit by a pitch 39 times (compared to the pitching staff plunking opponents on just 18 occassions). The Knights are on pace to finish with 91 HBP, which would be 11 more than the record set during the 2002 season.

You Better Run, You Better Take Cover
The Golden Knights became the comeback kids in a 10-8 win over Rutgers March 16. Trailing 8-1 with two outs and runners at the corners, UCF was virtually unstoppable as the next seven batters reached base, capped off by Tyson Auer's single that scored the tying run in Eric Kallstrom. UCF earned its first lead with two runs in the eighth and was able to hold on to complete the win.

Oh, What a Knight
The sound of aluminum rung out across Jay Bergman Field in a 12-4 win over Army March 13. In recording it highest run total of the season, eight of UCF's nine starters posted at least one hit. Leading the way, Tyson Auer went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, while Kiko Vazquez and Chris Duffy each had two hits as the Golden Knights racked up 12 for the game.

Taking Care of Business
While making just two appearances before earning his first start of the year against Northeastern March 7, Brett Bordwine turned it into one of his best games of his career. The righty easily set a career-high with 14 strikeouts and matched his longest outing by pitching 6.2 scoreless innings. Bordwine gave up two walks to open the game, but those were the only free passes he issued, as at one point he fanned six-straight batters on strikes.

Bordwine followed that up with his second-straight weekday start, and notched the victory by going 6.0 innings against Army March 13, striking out four in the process.

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