Baseball Heads to New Orleans to Meet No. 27 Tulane

May 2, 2008

ORLANDO - The final lengthy road trip of the regular season gets underway this weekend when UCF travels to New Orleans to square off with No. 27 Tulane. Game one is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. ET at the new Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.

UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

Friday - 7 p.m. ET
Saturday - 7 p.m. ET
Sunday - 2 p.m. ET
UCF - 27-19 Overall, 5-13 Conference USA
No. 27 Tulane - 30-13-1 Overall, 8-5-1 Conference USA
Greer Field at Turchin Stadium (5,000)
UCF leads, 6-4
Live Stats:

Upcoming Opponent
After finishing seventh in C-USA last year, Tulane has returned to the top of the standings in 2008 as it brings a second-place record of 8-5-1 into the series with UCF (30-13-1 overall). Friday starter Shooter Hunt has met expectations this season, going 7-1 with a 1.98 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 63.2 innings to lead a staff that has a 3.67 team ERA. At the dish, third baseman Rob Segedin owns a .356 mark with 45 RBI, while the Green Wave have banged out 41 homers.

The Series
Thanks to a three-game sweep in Orlando a year ago, UCF claims a 6-4 advantage in the all-time series with Tulane. Kyle Sweat and Shooter Hunt, this weekend's Friday night starters, met in game two in 2007. Sweat went 8.0 innings with five strikeouts and no walks, and Hunt delivered 7.1 innings with 13 strikeouts and did not allow a walk as well. But the Knights plated three runs in the eighth, two with two outs, for a 4-3 victory. Away from Jay Bergman Field, though, the Green Wave are 4-1 vs. the Knights in New Orleans.

UCF vs. USF Recap
USF plated four first-inning runs en route to a 14-6 win over UCF April 29. The Knights used a season-high seven pitchers in the loss, which saw the Bulls lead in the hits column, 16-12. Offensively, Shane Brown and Brandon Romans each tied a career-high with three hits.

Setting Career Marks
Shane Brown and Brandon Romans both put the bats to work against USF April 29. Making his first start since April 5 at Houston due to an injury, Brown served as the designated hitter and promptly went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Romans also was 3-for-4 with a double and a RBI, as both tied personal-highs for hits in a game.

Sending Them Yard
Kiko Vazquez has only been in the lineup for six games since his return from an injury, but he has already put one behind the fence three times. Vazquez went deep in his first at-bat vs. Rice April 25, added another dinger two days later vs. the Owls and also went yard at USF April 29. The first baseman now has 16 home runs for his career at UCF.

Hanging with One of the Top Teams in the Country
Although UCF lost the series to No. 4 Rice, 2-1, April 25-27, the Knights proved to be one of the toughest tests the Owls faced all year long. Rice entered the weekend with a 12-game winning streak, including a victory over No. 8 Texas A&M and three triumphs vs. No. 24 East Carolina. But the Black and Gold earned a 4-2 win in game one to end that streak. Meanwhile, it was the first time this season that all three Rice starting pitchers failed to post a victory in a C-USA series.

For the weekend, UCF matched Rice with 13 runs in the three-game set, and the Owls posted just three more hits than the Knights. On the mound, Rice edged UCF in strikeouts by a 29-26 margin, but issued more walks than the Knights' staff, 11-10.

A Positive Sign
In 2006, No. 1 Rice outscored UCF 10-4 in a three-game sweep in Orlando. One year later, the No. 6 Owls swept the Knights by a 22-3 margin in Houston, then earned a 16-6 decision in the C-USA Championship. However, things would change this year, as UCF and No. 4 Rice tied in the runs department, 13-13, and the Knights claimed their first win over the Owls since 1998.

Knight Wins vs. Ranked Programs
This year marks the first season since 2000 that UCF has defeated two different teams that were ranked in the top 10. That season, the Black and Gold toppled No. 5 Alabama and No. 7 Florida State, both on the road.

Dating back to when Jay Bergman Field opened in 2001, UCF has notched nine wins at home against ranked teams: No. 11 Alabama in 2001 (three), No. 15 Florida Atlantic in 2003, No. 2 LSU in 2004, No. 20 Notre Dame in 2005, No. 15 TCU in 2007, No. 5 Missouri and No. 4 Rice in 2008.