No. 20 UCF Baseball Hosts Pittsburgh Tuesday, Heads to Stetson Wednesday

March 10, 2008

ORLANDO - With an 11-1 record this season, the No. 20 UCF baseball team stays home Tuesday to welcome Pittsburgh to town at 6:30 p.m. After hosting the Panthers, the Knights take a short journey to DeLand to square off against Stetson Wednesday at 7 p.m.

UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

Tuesday - vs. Pittsburgh at 6:30 p.m. - Jay Bergman Field
Wednesday - at Stetson at 7 p.m. - DeLand, Fla.
Pittsburgh - 3-6 Overall, 0-0 Big East
Stetson - 7-6 Overall, 1-2 Atlantic Sun
No. 20 UCF - 11-1 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
UCF leads Pitt, 9-0
UCF leads Stetson, 60-48
www.UCFAthletics.com (Tuesday Only)
Live Stats:

UCF-Stetson Game Notes to be Available Online After the Knights' game vs. Pittsburgh

Upcoming Opponent
Pittsburgh suffered three losses at the Keith LeClair Invitational in Greenville, N.C., and will bring a 3-6 record in Tuesday's action. The Panthers have defeated Virginia Tech and Maryland Eastern Shore twice, and are hitting .248 at the dish with Nick Mullins leading the way with a .379 average. Sean Conley, meanwhile, has a team-high 14 RBI and two homers. Hugh Henry is scheduled to serve as the starter for Pitt, but the freshman righty has only seen time as a reliever twice in his short career.

The Series
UCF and Pittsburgh met every season from 1987 to 1991, but they have not battled on the diamond since then. The Knights were victorious all nine times vs. the Panthers, and will bring a 9-0 series record into Tuesday's meeting.

UCF vs. Monmouth - Series Recap
Rain and lightning put a damper on game one, as UCF and Monmouth played just over four innings before having to finish it up before game two March 8. The Knights were able to take a 3-2 lead before the game was called, then Shane Brown started it back up with a three-run homer in the fifth inning en route to a 10-2 win.

Monmouth's Brad Brach then tossed 7.0 solid innings and helped the Hawks take a 4-3 lead into the eighth. But the MU bullpen surrendered five runs as the Knights walked away with an 8-4 game two win.

UCF had put the sweep in the bag, holding a 4-1 lead with two down in the ninth, but the Hawks managed to tie it as the game eventually reached 16 innings. Eric Kallstrom finally put it away with a two-out RBI single to plate Shane Brown for the winning run.

16 Innings Provides Lots of Random Notes
Here are just some of the highlights from UCF's 5-4 16-inning win over Monmouth March 9:
-The 16 innings were one shy of matching the longest game in UCF history, a 17-inning affair vs. Rollins in 1982.
- The game tied for fourth-longest in C-USA history.
- Eric Kallstrom tied a school record with eight at-bats (Jay Bergman, Jr.).
- UCF had 56 combined at-bats, which also matched a school record.
- It was the third-straight series sweep for UCF.
- Justin Weiss equaled a career-high with 4.0 innings pitched, and did not give up a run.
- 1B Shane Brown set a UCF single-game record with 19 putouts.

Dobs Robs Monmouth's Offense
Monmouth had plenty of chances to take the lead in extra innings March 9, but freshman Brennan Dobbins spoiled the Hawks' fun. With the bases loaded and one out in the 14th, Dobbins struck out the next two batters to escape. In the 16th, he left runners at second and third with two down by picking up another strikeout. The righty finished with seven Ks in 3.0 innings to earn his first collegiate victory.

The Towering Drives of Brown and Lara
The wind may have been blowing out to center, but it set the stage for two memorable homers vs. Monmouth March 8. In the conclusion of game one of the series, Brown clobbered a three-run jack over the center-field fence in the fifth inning to give the Knights a 6-2 advantage. Robert Lara then became the hero in the originally scheduled game that afternoon, driving a grand slam over the giant wall in center to break a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning. Both homers were estimated to have traveled approximately 440 feet or more.

A Brotherly Affair
Although JU got the better of UCF March 5, one Knight will never forget the eighth inning when the game was already in the Dolphins' hands. Freshman pitcher Brennan Dobbins came on in relief in the seventh, and a familiar face strode to the plate in the eighth with one out and runners at the corners: his brother Matt. JU's senior first baseman had a chance to ruin his younger brother's outing, but Brennan got Matt to line into an inning-ending double play as Matt could not help but smile as he walked off the field.

The 8-0 Start
UCF opened the 2008 season with its best start in school history, winning its first eight games before falling to Jacksonville March 5, which was the Knights' first road game of the year. It also was the first time since 2005 that UCF posted a winning streak of at least eight games as well as entered the national rankings.

The Governor of Cleaning Up
Junior Colin Arnold hit in the No. 5 hole for the first three games this year, then switched to cleanup and brought with him his hot bat. Arnold has at least one hit in every game in 2008 while racking up 15 RBI and 13 runs scored.

Houck About That
After surrendering two runs with nobody out in the first inning against Jacksonville March 4, Mitch Houck flipped on a switch and dominated the rest of the way. The southpaw went 6.0 innings, not allowing another earned run and striking out nine, including four-straight at one point. Houck also did not issue a walk as his control left Dolphin hitters off-balance most of the night in the 5-4 UCF win.