UCF Renews Annual Meeting with Monmouth This Weekend

March 6, 2008

ORLANDO - The annual rivalry with Monmouth is renewed this weekend when the No. 25 UCF baseball team hosts the Hawks in a three-game set at Jay Bergman Field. The series is set to get underway Friday with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

Friday - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday - 1 p.m.
Sunday - 1 p.m.
Monmouth - 1-2 Overall, 0-0 Northeast Conference
No. 25 UCF - 8-1 Overall, 0-0 Conference USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
UCF leads, 15-3
Live Stats:

Upcoming Opponent
Monmouth has only played three games this year as it traveled to Greenville, N.C., to battle Conference USA member East Carolina. The Hawks surprised the Pirates with a 4-3 win in game one which saw Monmouth score three in the ninth for the win. However, ECU took the final two games to give the Hawks a 1-2 record entering this weekend. Monmouth hit .202 vs. ECU while its pitching staff had a 6.84 ERA.

The Series
Before 2007, Monmouth trailed in the series 14-1 but took two of three from the Knights last year to make the all-time series 15-3 in favor of UCF. The two programs have met every season since 2002, all at Jay Bergman Field.

UCF vs. Jacksonville - Recap
UCF and Jacksonville traded shots in game one of a home-and-home series March 4, and the Knights eventually prevailed, 5-4. Trailing 4-3 in the seventh, Shane Brown led off the inning with a solo homer, and UCF took the lead in the eighth when Dwayne Bailey plated Robert Lara on a groundout. Austin Hudson got the win in relief while Justin Weiss notched the save.

The following evening in Jacksonville, UCF's first road game did not go as planned, as the Dolphins jumped on the Knights early and did not look back in a 10-5 win. JU scored two in each of the first three innings, and added one in the fourth and three in the sixth with the help of six UCF errors.

A Brotherly Affair
Although Jacksonville 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 inning in his second collegiate appearance for the Knights. But in the eighth, a familiar face strode to the plate with one out and runners at the corners: Brennan's brother Matt. JU's senior first baseman had a chance to spoil 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.

It May be Over, But That Was a Lot of Fun
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.

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 11 RBI and 12 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.

Brownie Bits - The 2008 Edition
With first baseman Kiko Vazquez on the mend with an injury, sophomore Shane Brown has adjusted to the role at first nicely through nine games this year. As a freshman, Brown collected 12 RBI and four doubles in 38 games. So far in 2008, he has already posted four two-baggers while driving in 12 runs, five of which have been with two outs.

Brown also recorded his first collegiate home run when he tied Jacksonville at 4-4 in the seventh inning March 4, blasting a solo homer to left to get the Knights back in the game (UCF won, 5-4). Dating to last year, Brown is on an 11-game hitting streak.