Former UCF Catcher Lara Homers in First Professional At-Bat

June 23, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - With the Major League Draft a thing of the past, former UCF players are beginning to get their taste of professional ball in the minor leagues. Catcher Robert Lara already made an impression with the San Diego Padres as the Fort Lauderdale native homered in his first pro at-bat with the organization's rookie league team in Arizona.

Lara finished 1-for-3 with the Arizona League Padres and had two walks while serving as the catcher and batting seventh. He played one year with the Knights and was a Johnny Bench Award Watch List member. Lara hit .312 at the plate and threw out 11 would-be basestealers. He was drafted in the 19th round.

UCF second baseman Dwayne Bailey has already played three games in the minors for the rookie league Orem Owlz. A 21st round pick by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Bailey went 3-for-5 with four runs scored in his second outing and currently owns a .250 average with five runs.

A pair of UCF pitchers are spending time in Class A but are earning some rest after a long season in the collegiate ranks. Mitch Herold will suit up for the Lowell Spinners after he was a 16th round selection by the Boston Red Sox, and Mitch Houck is staying in Florida as he will compete for the St. Lucie Mets. Houck was drafted in the 17th round by the New York Mets.

Meanwhile, many current Knights are participating in summer leagues across the country. Close to home, fans can check out Caleb Graham, Brennan Dobbins, Evan Stobbs, Eric Kallstrom and Josh Siebenaler, who are all in the Florida Collegiate Summer League. Up north, Austin Hudson and Carmine Giardina have ERAs under 3.00 in the Cape Cod League, and Cody Allen has 18 strikeouts in 14.1 innings in the Cal Ripken Sr. Collegiate Baseball League.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.