UCF Baseball Practice Update: Week One in the Books

Feb. 7, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Jay Bergman Field has seen plenty of activity during the last seven days. The UCF baseball team opened February practices Feb. 1 and wrapped up week one Thursday afternoon. The Berg also witnessed its original scoreboard taken down in favor of a new board which is set to start going up next week.

UCF typically has been hitting the field at 2:30 p.m. each day and holds morning practices on Saturdays while using Sundays as off days. The Knights have two weeks remaining before opening day Feb. 22 when Florida A&M ventures to Orlando for a three-game set. They also welcome No. 6 Missouri Feb. 25 as the Tigers will be the third-highest ranked team to visit Jay Bergman Field since it opened in 2001.

The following are some thoughts from a few of the Knights during their practice on Thursday.

Senior Catcher Tim Russell
"As a team we are coming along really well. We've been working very hard in the fall and in the early parts of the spring to get our defense and pitching together, and the hitting will follow. I think we've looked good in our intra-squad games and we hope to just take it from there.

"For me I think I could do better. I'm not hitting the ball the way I'd like to, but that all comes with time and taking as many extra swings as I can after practice. It's kind of frustrating to have a great summer and then struggle in the fall and spring, but I'm trying to stay relaxed and simply do the little things so the hits will eventually fall."

Junior Catcher Brandon Romans
"I feel good and I'm pretty much ready to go. I just think I need to get better every day. There is something every day that you can do, whether it is behind the plate getting better defensively or trying to improve your hitting. Even once the season starts you keep on improving each day.

"I think a lot of the older guys are itching and anxious to get this season going."

Senior Outfielder Matt Lambert
"I'm excited right now and practices have gone relatively well. I think we are making a lot of progress on the field and we have a lot of positives things to look forward to this season. The late start hasn't really affected me personally, but it will be interesting to see how our team responds with all of the extra mid-week games. It will be interesting to see how our staff responds, I'm sure they are going to do great. As far as the hitters go, it will be a different ballgame for us because we are going to be taxed physically as well. But everyone in the country is starting late, so it's an even playing field for everyone.

"I feel confident in our pitching staff and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they can do out there. I know that Mitch Houck redshirted last year, and we return all of the guys who did have success for us last year or who have put in a lot of work in the offseason to help turn things around for us."

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.