Tulane Tangles with the Knights for the First Time in Orlando Since 1989

April 26, 2007

ORLANDO - UCF welcomes Tulane to Jay Bergman Field for the first time ever this weekend as the Knights resume Conference USA play. Both games Friday and Saturday will begin at 6:30 p.m. while Sunday's finale is set for 11 a.m. All three contests will be featured on 740-AM The Team.

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Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
Tulane leads, 4-3
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This Weekend's Opponent
Tulane shot off to a perfect start in Conference USA this season, sweeping Marshall and taking the first two over then-No. 19 East Carolina. Since then, however, the Green Wave are 3-7 in league play and are coming off being swept by Houston in New Orleans. Similar to UCF, Tulane did rebound to post an 11-5 win over Nicholls State during the week, aided by a nine-run fifth inning.

Brad Emaus has been doing it all this year for the Green Wave. The junior leads the team with a .350 average, 57 hits (tied), four homers (tied), 77 total bases, .472 slugging percentage, 29 walks and a .447 on-base percentage. He also has a .972 fielding percentage at first base. On the mound, Sean Morgan, Shooter Hunt and Brandon Gomes make up a solid weekend rotation, and they have combined to strike out 208 hitters.

The Series
The Green Wave hold a slim 4-3 lead over the Golden Knights after taking two of three in New Orleans last season. Tulane was ranked No. 23 in 2006 as UCF was able to take the second game, 9-2, before falling in the rubber match, 7-6.

Going Back to 1989
UCF and Tulane met for the first time in 1989, a doubleheader at the old UCF Baseball Complex. Here's a recap of those two games.

Game One - Noon - April 16, 1989
UCF made an impressive comeback over Tulane after being behind 2-0 in the first two innings. With help from Golden Knight pitcher Brain Athern who pitched seven innings striking out eight, UCF was able to hold Tulane scoreless over the final six innings. Catcher Bobby Kiser had a great performance earning two runs, a RBI and a base hit. First baseman Steve McClellan also had an outstanding day earning a run, two hits and two RBI. The Knights pulled out the victory by taking the lead in the sixth, scoring three runs for the final 5-2 margin.

Game Two - 2:25 p.m. - April 16, 1989
UCF left Tulane scoreless in the second contest of the day with a 5-0 victory over the Green Wave. Golden Knight pitcher Brandon Turner allowed only three hits in his outing, striking out four. Shortstop Carlos Agurto went 2-for-2 scoring two runs and accumulating one RBI. Third baseman Randy Katchman had one run, one hit and two RBI while right fielder Jim Crone contributed a run, two hits and a RBI.

USF at UCF Recap - April 24, 2007
Putting a four-game losing skid behind itself, UCF jumped out to a 10-1 lead vs. USF April 24 thanks to eight runs in the third en route to an 11-5 victory. The Knights sent 14 batters to the plate in the third, which would be the most productive inning of the season. Pacing a 14-hit offensive outburst, Kiko Vazquez set a personal-high with a 5-for-5 effort and added five RBI, while Tyson Auer scored four runs and stole two bases. Brian Brooks got the win in relief, tossing 3.2 innings without giving up an earned run.

Earning Some Chances
This season, a total of 11 different pitchers have made at least one start for the Knights. The most recent hurler to get the nod for the first time in 2007 was Kyle Maulbetsch, who earned his first collegiate start vs. USF April 24. The freshman lasted 4.1 innings and struck out three to help the Black and Gold defeat the Bulls, 11-5.

Smooth Operators
UCF tied a season-high with 14 hits vs. USF April 24, led by Kiko Vazquez's five singles in the win. In all, Vazquez, Matt Horwath, Tyson Auer, Chris Duffy and Ryan Richardson all had at least two hits against the Bulls.

Everyday I Write the Brooks
With a relief outing vs. USF April 24, senior Brian Brooks tied for third place on the UCF all-time list for career appearances with 78. In that outing, the lefty went 3.2 innings in relief to earn the victory. Two more appearances will move Brooks into a tie for second with Von Stertzbach.

The Streak Concludes
Tyson Auer had his UCF season-high 15-game hitting streak come to a halt April 22 at Rice. Over that stretch, though, the junior was 24-for-67 (.358) with eight RBI. The following is the top Golden Knight hitting streaks from each of the last five seasons:
2007 - 15 - Tyson Auer - March 24-April 21
2006 - 9 - Ryan Bono - April 9-23
2005 - 14 - Drew Butera - April 19-May 13
2004 - 19 - Clay Timpner - Feb. 13-March 17
2003 - 19 - Ryan Bear - March 1-29

More With No. 3
Tyson Auer has at least one hit in 22 of his last 24 outings dating back to March 10. He also has made the most of his move to the No. 3 hole in the order. Since switching from the leadoff spot before game one of a twin-bill at UAB March 31, the center fielder has gone 20-for-51 (.392).

Heat of the Moment
Three Knights have fared pretty well in pinch-hitting situations this season. Shane Brown leads the way with four hits in 12 at-bats, Matt Horwath is a perfect 3-for-3 off the bench and Tim Russell also has three hits in 10 at-bats.