News & Notes from Baseball Practice - Feb. 18

Feb. 18, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Practice may have begun at 2:30 p.m. Monday, but it was not until 3 p.m. that the gloves were put on and the UCF baseball team started warming up. After stretching, a long team meeting in right field and some long toss, the Knights focused on defensive drills for 15 minutes.

During the Black and Gold's session, UCF held batting practice for 45 minutes before playing an intra-squad scrimmage with six scouts in attendance. The intra-squad opened up with redshirt sophomore Mitch Houck on the mound for the gray team, and sophomore third baseman Chris Duffy helped retire the first batter, junior Nick Choto, by snagging a sinking line drive on his backhand side for the first out. Behind Houck, sophomore Shane Brown took over first base for the injured Kiko Vazquez.

Senior righty Paul Cinder started for the black squad and was mixing up his slider with a fastball to mow down the gray team, including striking out the side in his second inning. However, he eventually gave up the first run on a two-out bases-loaded walk to Duffy. Junior outfielder Colin Arnold kept the scoring going with a two-run bloop single into left-center. That would conclude the scoring as UCF wrapped up the day at approximately 5:25 p.m.

Monday also witnessed the concrete foundation for the new scoreboard start to take shape as construction crews spent the day behind the right-center fence.

The energy level among of the Knights has grown with every practice as they are set to welcome Florida A&M in a three-game set beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Jay Bergman Field.

While the Knights continued preparing for Friday's opening day, four student-athletes were selected for All-Conference USA preseason teams. Senior outfielder Tyson Auer and junior first baseman Kiko Vazquez earned SEBaseball.com first-team accolades and junior closer Justin Weiss and Duffy were named to the second team. Auer picked up All-C-USA Preseason Team honors from Baseball America as well.

Season tickets as well as single-game tickets to check out UCF baseball this year are currently available by contacting the UCF Ticket Office at 407-823-1000, or by going online at www.ucfathletics.com, the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.