Baseball's Preseason Practices Open Up on Sunday

Feb. 1, 2009

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - While the winter weather has taken over most of the country, the UCF baseball team was greeted by 60-degree temperatures Sunday as it kicked off its preseason practices. And the Knights had a new look on the diamond to celebrate the occasion, as their white and black uniforms now sport last names on the back.

First year head coach Terry Rooney gathered the squad in the dugout for a quick meeting before the players stretched in right field. The infielders and outfielders then separated to work on defensive drills, while the pitchers stayed in right field for some flatground work.

After an hour of warming up, UCF's first scrimmage got underway, an eight-inning affair which saw senior Jaager Good (Gray Team) and sophomore Brennan Dobbins (White Team) serve as the starting pitchers. Senior Gil Gomez (Gray) and freshman Bryan Brown (White) also saw time on the hill as each pitcher went four innings Sunday.

At the plate, senior Colin Arnold delivered an early blow, hammering a two-run homer in the first inning over the right field wall to give White a 2-0 lead. In the fourth frame, senior Josh Siebenaler and freshmen B.J. Zimmerman and Jake Huxtable all racked up hits to help Gray secure a 3-2 advantage.

Eventually in the sixth, White reclaimed the lead on a leadoff homer from senior Eric Kallstrom and a RBI groundout off the bat of junior Shane Brown. In the top of the eighth and final inning, Siebenaler got plunked with one out and promptly stole second on the next pitch. As Zimmerman faced a 2-2 count with two down, he still managed to drive in the tying run with a single up the middle, making it 4-4.

However, the game ended just like it started, with Arnold serving as the hero. After Kallstrom reached third on a leadoff walk, sacrifice bunt by freshman Austin Smith and a wild pitch, Arnold came through with two down by dropping a single into right for the final 5-4 margin for the White squad.

The Knights will take Monday off before continuing practice Tuesday.

Baseball season and single game tickets are on sale now for the 2009 campaign. Call the UCF Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000 for more information. Fans may also visit UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, and is the home of UCF's online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.