Two Weeks Left Until Opening Day

Feb. 6, 2009

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Exactly two weeks remain until the UCF baseball team takes on Virginia Commonwealth at home Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. Getting into the rhythm of playing on Fridays, the Knights held a scrimmage during their practice with senior Kyle Sweat starting on the hill for the Black squad and freshman D.J. Hicks earning the nod for the Gray team.

(Check out the above link for photos from Friday's practice and a look at the outfield fences, which were brought in during the offseason)

Before their scrimmage, the Knights held a meeting in their dugout with Keith Lee, chief operating office for the National Consortium for Academics and Sports and a former NFL player representative with the New England Patriots.

The players then got warmed up for the intra-squad game that started in the bottom of the third. It also had a format where head coach Terry Rooney would give his pitchers some extra time on the hill during certain innings. After Hicks set down the side in the bottom of the third, Sweat got the first three outs on a pop-up and a double-play ball, then had to stay out there for five more batters and only surrendered one hit during that stretch.

An Eric Kallstrom single off Hicks in the bottom of the fourth drove in Chris Duffy to give Black a 1-0 advantage. In the top of the fifth, Sweat again got three outs before Rooney wanted him to remain on the hill. That did not affect Sweat at all as he continued to look sharp in retiring the next three batters in order.

The trend of solid pitching was maintained when Hicks shook off a double to the gap by Shane Brown in retiring five of the six batters he faced. And Sweat kept Gray scoreless with the help of first baseman Kiko Vazquez's defense, as he took a double away from Kyle Mills by diving to his left to snag a hot grounder, quickly got up and stepped on the bag to end the frame.

The bottom of the sixth got underway with Hicks earning a strikeout and a pair of 1-3 putouts. He stayed out there and gave up a double to Colin Arnold but picked up two more outs to keep it 1-0. Sweat got into trouble in his fourth inning of work, the top of the seventh, where Josh Siebenaler reached on a one-out bunt single and scored on a Beau Taylor double. Taylor then came around with a single down the right-field line from Evan Stobbs.

Hicks went on to complete his outing with 5.0 innings of work, five hits, three strikeouts, one walk and one run. An unearned run in the top of the eighth brought it to 3-1 Gray, as Sweat faced 29 batters, picking up four strikeouts and not walking a batter.

Justin Weiss' first inning for Gray went 1-2-3 with one strikeout, and Jordan Rasinski was limited to 15 pitches for Black in the top of the ninth. Recovering from an injury, he faced three batters who were not allowed to swing.

Competing in his second inning, Weiss watched Romans leadoff the bottom of the ninth with a double and Austin Smith drive him in on a sac fly, but that was as close as Black would get as Weiss notched a strikeout for gray's 3-2 victory.

Romans paced the Black offense with a 2-for-4 affair, posting a double and scoring a run. Alex Friedrich led Gray with a 2-for-3 performance and also scored a run.

Keep checking back to UCFAthletics.com during the next two weeks for more information on how the Knights are progressing before Opening Day. The website will feature updates on Feb. 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17, 18 and 19.

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.

Lineups and Stats from UCF's Scrimmage (Started in the Bottom of the Third) on Feb. 6BlackCF Austin Smith - 0-3, BB, RBI, SFRF Colin Arnold - 1-5, 2B3B Shane Brown - 1-4, 2B1B Kiko Vazquez - 0-4LF Chris Duffy - 1-4, 2B, RC Brandon Romans - 2-4, 2B, RSS Eric Kallstrom - 1-4, RBI2B Nick Choto - 0-2
Pitchers - Innings sometimes went over three outsSP Kyle Sweat - 29 BF, 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 KRP Jordan Rasinski - Went 15 pitches with batters not allowed to swing - Rasinski is recovering from an earlier injury
Gray (Does Not Include At-Bats vs. Rasinski)DH Stephen Branca - 1-4SS Josh Siebenaler - 1-3, RC Beau Taylor - 1-3, 2B, RBI, R1B Evan Stobbs - 1-3, RBI, SBLF B.J. Zimmerman - 0-32B Jake Huxtable - 0-3RF Chadd Hartman - 1-3, 2BCF Alex Friedrich - 2-3, R3B Kyle Mills - 1-3
Pitchers - Innings sometimes went over three outsSP D.J. Hicks - 25 BF, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 KRP Justin Weiss - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K ="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="http:>