Clemson Travels to Orlando for a Three-Game Set vs. UCF Baseball

May 14, 2008

ORLANDO - Having already posted more wins than each of the previous two seasons, the UCF baseball team concludes the regular season by hosting traditional ACC power Clemson Thursday-Saturday. The Knights are hoping this week will set the tone for the 2008 Entergy Conference USA Baseball Championship May 21-25, while the Tigers are trying to keep their streak of 21-straight NCAA Tournament appearances alive.

UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

Promotional Schedule

Thursday - 6:30 p.m.
Friday - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday - 6:30 p.m.
Clemson - 27-25-1 Overall, 11-18-1 ACC
UCF - 31-22 Overall, 8-16 Conference USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
UCF leads, 3-2
740-AM and www.UCFAthletics.com
Live Stats:

Upcoming Opponent
Having tackled a difficult ACC schedule this year, Clemson brings a 27-25-1 overall record and an 11-18-1 league mark into the series at UCF. The Tigers were ranked as high as No. 13 in the preseason polls and held an 18-8 record before dropping 11-straight games April 1-16. That streak, though, included contests vs. No. 2 Miami and No. 4 North Carolina. Leadoff hitter Mike Freeman paces the offense with a .328 average, as Clemson is hitting .285 as a team with 51 stolen bases and 53 dingers. On the mound, the staff claims a 4.78 ERA, and its starting rotation is a combined 12-9 with 163 strikeouts in 184.0 innings.

The Series
UCF and Clemson first met in the 1998 Olive Garden Classic in Kissimmee, a 7-6 Tiger win, then again at the 2000 ACC/Disney Blast at the Wide World of Sports where the Knights picked up a 5-0 shutout. Four years later, UCF made the trip up to Clemson and took two of three when the Tigers were ranked 13th in the country.

UCF vs. UAB Series Recap
A 9-3 deficit through three innings did not concern the UCF offense in game one with UAB May 9. The Knights eventually tied it at 10-10 on a three-run seventh-inning homer from Tyson Auer, then again at 11-11 thanks to a solo job from Shane Brown. The Blazers did take a 12-11 advantage in the 10th only to watch Brown homer again and Eric Kallstrom record a RBI single to win it, 13-12.

Mitch Herold kept the UAB offense at bay for 7.0 innings in a 6-1 win game-two victory. The lefty allowed just two hits and struck out seven for the win, and the Knights scored six times after four innings to help Herold's cause.

UCF could not pick up the sweep in the finale, where UAB plated seven runs in the second inning in a 14-3, seven-inning win. Carmine Giardina did pitch well out of the pen, going 1.2 hitless frames, and Robert Lara added two hits.

Odd Notes between UCF and the ACC
- This will be the second-straight season UCF has hosted a school from the ACC (Maryland in 2007).
- Clemson is the second team from the ACC to visit Jay Bergman Field since it opened in 2001.
- The Knights are 17-9 all-time vs. ACC opponents other than Florida State and Miami.
- Of the 12 ACC programs, UCF has a winning record vs. eight of them (only Florida State 4-19, Miami 5-20 and Maryland 1-2 do not have losing marks).
- The only school UCF has never faced is Virginia Tech.

Nothin' But a Good Time
Junior Robert Lara had little trouble adjusting to Conference USA pitchers in his first season at UCF. The catcher paced the Knights in league games with a .358 average, 18 RBI, 15 walks, two sac flies and a .464 on-base percentage. Lara completed the final 15 C-USA games by posting at least one hit in 13 of them.

Good Vibrations
Sitting on the bench watching UAB post 22 hits in game one vs. UCF May 9, starting pitcher Mitch Herold kept calm when he went to the mound for game two. The lefty continued to find his locations in another dazzling performance, going 7.0 scoreless innings and surrendering just two hits. Herold also struck out seven and did not walk a batter. It was his fifth-straight start in which he gave up three runs or less.

Wicked Game
It took 18 hits, eight doubles and four homers, but UCF needed every one of them to defeat UAB, 13-12, May 9 in 10 innings. The 18 base knocks tied a season-high, while the eight two-baggers were just two shy of tying a school record. All eight doubles came from eight different players, while Shane Brown homered twice in a three-hit affair.

The two programs combined for 40 hits in the Knight win, marking the most hits between UCF and its opponent since the Black and Gold defeated Princeton May 25, 2001, in the NCAA Tournament. In that contest with the Tigers, UCF was outhit 22-20 but still survived in a 13-12 triumph.