No. 25 Baseball Clashes with USF Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

March 31, 2008

ORLANDO - Holding a 20-2 non-conference record this year, the No. 25 UCF baseball team will welcome USF to campus Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the first of four midweek games between the two programs. The Knights also will host Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday to wrap up their five-game home stand.

UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

Tuesday - vs. USF at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday - vs. Florida Gulf Coast at 6:30 p.m.
USF - 13-13 Overall, 4-5 Big East
FGCU - 21-7 Overall, 13-2 Atlantic Sun
No. 25 UCF - 22-6 Overall, 2-4 Conference USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
USF leads UCF, 49-47
UCF leads FGCU, 1-0
740-AM (Tuesday only) and www.UCFAthletics.com
Live Stats:

(A preview of Florida Gulf Coast will be available online following UCF's contest against USF)

Upcoming Opponent
USF will bring a 13-13 record into the week after dropping eight of its last 11 outings, including losing two of three at home to Georgetown last weekend. But the Bulls have posted wins over Florida Atlantic, North Florida and Florida Gulf Coast during the year. Four different players are batting over .300, highlighted by Joey Angelberger's .388 average. Redshirt freshman Matt Stull is scheduled to make the start and owns a 1-0 record with a 2.13 ERA. The righty has 12 strikeouts in 12.2 innings with one start.

The Series
With a 1-2 record last year against the Bulls, UCF's all-time record dropped to 49-47, however the Knights were able to claim the lone contest at Jay Bergman Field by an 11-5 margin. This will be the 24th-straight season the two teams meet on the diamond, as the only years they have not played each other was a four-year stretch from 1981-84.

UCF vs. ECU Series Recap
Mitch Houck gave UCF 6.0 shutout innings with nine strikeouts en route to a 3-2 Knight victory over East Carolina March 28. The Black and Gold plated two runs in the fourth and one in the sixth on a Robert Lara RBI single, but witnesses ECU score two in the eighth to make the game interesting. The Pirates got a one-out double in the ninth but UCF closer Justin Weiss left him stranded to pick up the save.

A quick four-run lead through two innings sparked the ECU offense as it went on to post a 10-2 victory in game two March 29. The Pirates posted 21 hits compared to the Knights' seven as Seth Maness pitched 7.0 solid innings.

ECU matched its game-two performance with a 10-1 win in the rubber match March 30. UCF trailed in the hit column by a slim 10-9 margin, but left 12 runners on base as Pirate hurler tossed 8.0 shutout innings. UCF freshman Stephen Branca, however, was able to notch his first hit, RBI and stolen base in the ninth inning.

At the Midway Point
UCF reached the halfway portion of its schedule in a 10-1 loss to East Carolina March 30, and went 22-6 through its first 28 games. Here's a look at previous Knight records at the midway point of the regular season dating back to the opening of Jay Bergman Field in 2001:
2001: 23-5 (NCAA Tournament)
2002: 16-12 (NCAA Tournament)
2003: 19-9
2004: 23-5 (NCAA Tournament)
2005: 23-5
2006: 16-12
2007: 15-13
2008: 22-6

Performing When it Counts
Several Knights have been successful when attempting to drive in a runner at third with less than two outs. Shane Brown has picked up the RBI all 14 times, while Josh Siebenaler is 10-for-13 and Colin Arnold stands at 11-for-16. Brown also leads the way with 14 two-out RBI, followed by Eric Kallstrom who has nine.

Fans are Taking Notice in UCF's Success
A total of 3,709 fans flocked to Jay Bergman Field for the East Carolina series, which ranked as the third-largest attended series in stadium history. The crowd of 1,490 for game two was the 10th largest at The Berg, and the biggest attendance since 1,729 came out to see UCF battle Florida in 2006.

A Look at UCF's Victories
So far in 2008, UCF has played and defeated six different teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year ago: Missouri 1-0, Monmouth 3-0, Stetson 1-0, Jacksonville 1-1, Southern Miss 1-2 and East Carolina 1-2.

Ryno Doing it With Style
Right fielder Ryan Richardson has picked up right where he left off a year ago. In 2007, Richardson hit .313 in 56 starts, and this season he claims a .402 mark with four doubles, three triples and two homers, as well as seven stolen bases. He went on a 13-game hitting streak March 9-28, which matched his season-long streak from last year. During that span, Richardson hit .543 with a 1.380 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS).