UCF Baseball and Michigan State Hook Up for the First Time Tuesday

March 5, 2007

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ORLANDO - For the first time this season, UCF will have two weekday games to contend with. First up for the Golden Knights (6-9) will be Michigan State (2-2) Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Jay Bergman Field. Freshman lefty Carmine Giardina is scheduled to make his second-straight Tuesday start for the Black and Gold.

Michigan State - 2-2 Overall, 0-0 Big Ten
UCF - 6-9 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
First Meeting
Live Stats
UCF Ticket Office - (407) UCF-1000

Monmouth at UCF Series Recap
It looked as though Monmouth was going to give UCF the victory in game one of the series March 2. Three Hawks' errors, all by Kyle Higgins, provided the Knights with four unearned runs in the fifth inning to take a 4-1 lead. However, Monmouth came right back with five runs in the sixth and went on to post a 7-4 victory.

Both teams committed key errors March 3 in a wild affair that saw UCF win on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning, 11-10. The Knights scored six unearned runs in the fourth, while the Hawks plated four unearned runs in the eighth to ultimately tie it at 10-10. Kallstrom's walk-off walk sealed the one-run win.

In the rubber match, Monmouth secured the series win, collecting 17 hits in a 13-4 victory March 4. The Hawks put the game away with seven runs in the top of the ninth.

Tuesday's Opponent
Michigan State is currently in a tough stretch where it plays eight games in eight days. The Spartans opened their season by going 1-2 at the Coca-Cola Classic at South Alabama, and began their Florida trip with a 22-1 win over St. Joseph's in Lakeland March 4. MSU takes on Pittsburgh March 5 before venturing to Orlando.

With a 2-2 overall mark, Michigan State has a .297 average at the dish, pounding out 13 extra-base hits. With a 3.44 ERA, the Green and White has combined to strike out 29 batters in 34.0 innings. In the field, State has committed 11 errors through four games.

The Series
Tuesday marks the first-ever meeting between UCF and Michigan State.

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 Monmouth March 3, he claimed sole possession of 18th on the NCAA Division I coaching list for career wins (1,162). Meanwhile, the March 3 game against Monmouth marked his 1,500th-career game with the 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
Game No. 1,500
2007 - Monmouth - Win, 11-10

A Mixed Lineup
Second baseman Dwayne Bailey is the only Knight to start in every game this season. He has earned 13 nods at second, while making two at shortstop. Offensively, there has not been a player who has seen at least 10 starts in the same spot in the batting order.

Lovey Duffy Stuff
Third baseman Chris Duffy, who had three hits and a .125 average 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.

In his next outing, Duffy added two more hits while also posting a RBI vs. Monmouth March 2, pushing his average back over the .200 mark. He then had his best offensive game as a Knight, going 4-for-6 with five RBI, two doubles, a run scored and his first career stolen base vs. the Hawks March 3. Duffy finished the series March 4 with a 3-for-5 performance and a run scored.

From Feb. 27-March 4, Duffy went 11-for-19 (.579) to take his batting average to .326.

An Impressive Stretch
After starting the season 0-for-2 in three games played, Chadd Hartman has consistently batted above the .300 mark and currently brings a .367 average into Tuesday's game with Michigan State. The outfielder is on a six-game hitting streak, and against the Hawks March 3, Hartman set a career-high with two stolen bases while matching his career-bests with two hits and two runs scored.

Already Setting Career Marks
Junior righty Jaager Good, in just five appearances in 2007, has set career-highs this year with 20.1 innings pitched and 12 strikeouts. Good came out of the pen in the first game of the season, but has since made four starts for the Knights.

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.

A Roman Party
Brandon Romans finished the Monmouth series on a very high note. Over the final two games March 3-4, Romans started at catcher and combined to go 5-for-10 with two RBI, six runs scored, a double and his first UCF home run, all from the clean-up spot in the order.

Getting 100
With two hits against Monmouth March 4, junior Tyson Auer cracked the 100 barrier and now has 101 career hits in a UCF uniform. Meanwhile, senior Matt Horwath is approaching the important milestone as well. Horwath, who recorded 20 hits with LSU from 2003-04, only needs four more base hits to get to the 100 plateau.