Freshmen Right-Handers Set to Do Battle as Baseball Travels to USF Tuesday

April 2, 2007

ORLANDO - The first lengthy road trip of 2007 comes to a close Tuesday when the UCF baseball team travels to Tampa to take on USF at 6 p.m. Austin Hudson was scheduled to get the start, but sophomore right Eric English will now get the nod, and he will meet the Bulls' Matt Quevedo (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic HS).

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USF - 22-9 Overall, 6-3 Big East
UCF - 16-16 Overall, 0-6 Conference USA
Red McEwen Field (1,500)
USF leads, 47-46
740-AM The Team and www.UCFAthletics.com
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This Week's Opponent
Winner of six of its last seven outings, USF brings a 22-9 overall mark into the game against the Golden Knights. The Bulls are coming off a 2-1 weekend at Connecticut, and have gone 1-1 against both Stetson and Michigan State this year. USF claims a .303 team batting avergae with 31 stolen bases, while its pitching staff owns a 3.65 ERA. Matt Quevedo (2-0) has a 3.51 ERA in six starts with one complete game.

The Series
The two programs have split their last 10 meetings, 5-5, and USF will be looking to extend its slim advantage over UCF as it is 47-46 all-time against the Knights. The Black and Gold won the only meeting in Tampa last year, an 11-0 decision April 11.

UCF at UAB Series Recap
Although UCF was swept for the second-straight C-USA series, the Knights had many players who shined against the Blazers. Ryan Richardson went a combined 7-for-10 with four RBI, including four base hits in the finale, and Matt Horwath pounded out three hits in the second game. Also noteworthy on the offensive side, Tyson Auer extended his hitting streak to seven games, while Chadd Hartman moved his to six. On the mound, Brian Brooks was solid in relief in the final game of the weekend, pitching 5.0 innings of scoreless ball and gave up just three hits.

Field of Dreams Information
There are only four open dates left for little league players to join the UCF baseball team for starting lineups and the National Anthem at Jay Bergman Field in 2007. Each kid also receives an autographed piece of memorabilia from the team. For more information, teams can contact the UCF Sports Marketing Office at (407) 823-6165.

Listen While Enjoying that Bowl of Rice
UCF and ISP Sports announced the addition of three games to the 2007 broadcast schedule. The Knights' three-game series at Rice will now be available with the last two contests featured on 740-AM The Team. Fans will have access to all three outings at www.UCFAthletics.com.

The Thrills of Mills
After seeing time in just one game before the UAB series March 30-31, freshman Kyle Mills appeared in all three contests with the Blazers and earned his first two collegiate starts. The second baseman notched a base hit in both games of a doubleheader March 31, and had two RBI and a run scored in the series finale.

Richie Richardson
UCF's right fielder could not be contained at UAB March 30-31. Ryan Richardson finished the series 7-for-10 (.700) with four RBI and three runs scored. He also had three doubles, three walks and a stolen base. Richardson concluded the weekend with a 4-for-4 performance and scored three runs.

The Magic Number
Matt Horwath reached an important milestone against UAB March 30. The senior came in as a pinch-hitter and cranked out a double to left center, which was his 100th career base hit (20 came while he was with LSU). Horwath became the second Golden Knight to reach the illustrious mark this season (Tyson Auer).

Horwath's double was in the middle of a string of three-straight doubles he recorded in as many at-bats. His 99th career base hit was a two-bagger in his only at-bat vs. Houston March 25, and after hit No. 100 March 30, Horwath banged a double on the first pitch of game one of a doubleheader March 31 vs. UAB.

Into the Night
UCF played its second-longest game dating back to 1998 when it collided with Stetson for 4:06 in DeLand March 27. Here is the top-10 longest contests the Knights have played in the last 10 years:
1) 4:13 - April 2, 2005 - UCF18, Stetson 11
2) 4:06 - March 27, 2007 - UCF 4, Stetson 3 (11)
3) 4:04 - March 22, 2005 - Florida 17, UCF 6
4) 4:01 - April 24, 2001 - USF 13, UCF 12 (10)
5) 3:59 - April 18, 2006 - USF, 6 UCF 4 (11)
6) 3:52 - April 4, 2003 - UCF 10, Campbell 9 (12)
6) 3:52 - May 25, 2001 - UCF 13, Princeton 12 (12)
6) 3:52 - March 3, 2000 - UCF 14, LSU 13
9) 3:51 - April 27, 2002 - UCF 14, Stetson 5
10) 3:46 - April 9, 2004 - FAU 7, UCF 6

One Thing Leads to Another
The eighth-inning triple play turned by the Knights' defense at Stetson March 27 may have been the first since 2001, but it became a turning point in the game. Down 3-2, Jeremy Cruz blasted a line drive off the leg of pitcher Justin Weiss and into second baseman Dwayne Bailey's glove for the first out. Bailey stepped on second since the runners were moving and threw to first baseman Kiko Vazquez to complete the triple play. As the Knights came to the plate in the top of the ninth and the game still within reach, Tyson Auer tied it on a 1-2 pitch with two down. Weiss pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom half, and Matt Horwath scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the 11th inning to hand UCF the amazing 4-3 win.

Weiss Shuts the Door
Closer Justin Weiss was given another title at Stetson March 27: savior. Weiss pitched a career-high 4.0 innings to allow UCF to make a ninth-inning come back against the Hatters. The Knights eventually won it in the 11th and Weiss was there to limit Stetson to just two hits while striking out a personal-best five batters.

Reaching 100
In 2006, UCF hurlers reached the 100-pitch mark just five times (three by Tim Bascom, and one by Mitch Houck and Mitch Herold). This season, the Knights have had their starters get to the 100 mark on eight occasions already (three by Jaager Good, twice by Mitch Houck and Brett Bordwine and once by Kyle Sweat). Even though pitchers have done it eight times in 2007, the 2005 campaign saw it occur in 31 games, and in 27 games in 2004.