Baseball Travels to Southern Miss to Open C-USA Schedule

March 20, 2008

ORLANDO - The Conference USA schedule is finally here as the No. 16 UCF baseball team travels to Hattiesburg to battle Southern Miss Friday-Sunday. This weekend serves as the Knights' first lengthy road trip of the season, with game one's first pitch set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Baseball America Previews the Series

UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

Friday - 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday - 4 p.m. ET
Sunday - 2 p.m. ET
No. 16 UCF - 19-1 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
Southern Miss - 12-6 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
Pete Taylor Park (3,678)
Southern Miss leads, 7-2
www.UCFAthletics.com (Courtesy of Southern Miss)
Live Stats:
www.UCFAthletics.com (Courtesy of Southern Miss)

Upcoming Opponent
Playing in Hattiesburg to begin C-USA action certainly will be a tough task for the Knights. Southern Miss has been ranked as high as No. 29 and is riding a six-game winning streak, including weekday victories over Southeastern Louisiana and Louisiana-Monroe. The Golden Eagles' pitching staff holds a 3.92 ERA, as fans will get to see two members of the 2007 C-USA All-Tournament Team do battle with UCF senior Jaager Good and Southern Miss senior Barry Bowden meeting on Friday. The USM offense has delivered with 16 homers, but has just nine stolen bases with 143 strikeouts.

The Series
UCF, which trails in the series 7-2, has mixed memories of Southern Miss. Last year, the Knights erased a 4-1 deficit with two outs in the ninth inning in game one of the series in Orlando for a 5-4 win. But the Golden Eagles outscored the Black and Gold 31-6 in a sweep in Hattiesburg in 2006. The two programs also met in a three-game series in 1988 with Southern Miss taking two of three on its home field.

UCF vs. Wagner - Series Recap
The series with Wagner opened in memorable fashion March 18. Mitch Houck and Austin Hudson combined to pitch a no-hitter to help head coach Jay Bergman win his 1,200th career game. The 6-0 victory witnessed the pitching duo strike out 18, while Josh Siebenaler and Shane Brown each posted two hits.

UCF made the most of its scoring chances in game two March 18, scoring one in the first, two in the fifth and two more in the eighth for a 5-1 win. Caleb Graham pitched 5.0 shutout innings as the staff hurled 13 strikeouts. To complete the sweep, Brandon Romans crushed two homers while Chris Duffy and Tyson Auer also had dingers in a 9-3 win. Matt Goodyear notched his first win in his debut collegiate start.

Sweeping Up Around the Berg
UCF opened the season with five-consecutive three-game series sweeps. The last time the Knights accomplished that task was during the 1995 campaign when UCF won six-straight series during a 29-game winning streak.

Lovin' That Home Cookin'
The Knights played 20 non-conference games before the Conference USA schedule kicked in at Southern Miss, with 18 of those contests at Jay Bergman Field. In the end, UCF prevailed all 18 times, including an upset win over No. 5 Missouri. The 2008 season marks the eighth for The Berg, and the 18 wins already has surpassed UCF's total of 15 home wins it posted in 2006.

A New Year Makes a Big Difference
It has taken just 20 games for UCF to reach the 19-win mark this season. In 2007, the Knights had to play 42 games before reaching 19 victories, while in 2006 it took them 32 outings.

Just as impressive, UCF has already swiped 52 bases in 2008 in 60 attempts, led by Dwayne Bailey with 12 and Tyson Auer and Josh Siebenaler who each have 10. In 2007, the Knights collected 77 steals out of 94 tries. UCF is only seven shy of matching the entire total from the 2006 campaign when it posted 59 stolen bases.

Double H = Zero H
Mitch Houck and Austin Hudson will never forget the events of March 18. Houck started the series opener against Wagner at Jay Bergman Field, and proceeded to strike out a career-high 13 batters. What was more impressive was that he career a no-hitter into the eighth inning. After Houck already had 109 pitches to his credit, sophomore Austin Hudson came on an did not lose a step, striking out five to preserve the no-no. It was the first combined no-hitter in UCF history and just the second overall (Pete MacLaughlan vs. Columbia in 1973).

Meanwhile, the 18 strikeouts by Houck and Hudson tied a school record for most Ks in a game by a staff. The feat has now been accomplished six times.

Talk About a Way to Remember No. 1,200
Head coach Jay Bergman picked up career win No. 1,200 in a 6-0 victory over Wagner March 18, and he will not have trouble forgetting the date due to Mitch Houck and Austin Hudson combining for a no-hitter. Bergman became just the 17th coach in Division I history to pick up 1,200 career victories, and the 21st coach at all levels in the NCAA to reach the milestone. The skipper also has the seventh-most wins of active D-I coaches.