Baseball Set to Host Army, No. 25 Florida This Week

March 16, 2009

ORLANDO (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF has two games left before it opens Conference USA play at East Carolina this weekend. The Knights will take on Army Tuesday and No. 25 Florida Wednesday with both first pitches set for 6:30 p.m. The game with the Gators will air on Bright House Sports Network and be tape-delayed to 8 p.m.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Updated game notes for the UCF-Florida contest will be available online early Wednesday morning

Tuesday vs. Army - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday vs. No. 25 Florida - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Army - 4-6 Overall, 0-0 Patriot
Florida - 9-7 Overall, 0-3 SEC
UCF - 7-10 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
UCF leads Army, 1-0
Florida leads UCF, 17-12
Live Stats:
Live Video:
Live Audio:
Tuesday - UCFAthletics.com
Wednesday - 740-AM with Marc Daniels on the Call
Wednesday TV:
Bright House Sports Network - Tape-Delay to 8 p.m.
Play-by-Play - Tom Morgan
Color - Dennis Rasmussen

This Week's Festivities
-Tuesday and Wednesday: Little league members wearing their full uniform get in FREE with a full price adult
-Both games also feature the UCF baseball trading card set No. 3 giveaway
-Wednesday: Crush the Gators placard giveaway

Last Week's Recap
The Knights went 3-3 last week with a series win over Hartford and a single-game victory over Northern Iowa. Junior 3B Shane Brown hit .471 with a 1.548 OPS, while senior DH/C Brandon Romans went .421 with a pair of home runs. The offense was issued 29 free passes and struck out only 22 times. Conversely the pitching staff walked only 15 batters and struck out 38.

Upcoming Opponent
Army (4-6) is in the middle of a week-long adventure in the Sunshine State. The Black Knights posted a 2-1 record in Lakeland with wins over Sacred Heart and Northern Iowa, while suffering a loss to Miami (Ohio). The offense holds a .292 average with five homers and 22 stolen bases, while projected starting pitcher Kyle Brueggemann is 0-1 with an 8.00 ERA in 9.0 innings and two starts.

The Series
The two schools have only battled once, with UCF claiming a 12-4 decision March 13, 2007, at Jay Bergman Field. The Knights scored eight runs in the first three innings, and current senior Kyle Sweat pitched the final three scoreless frames for the save.

Leader of the Band
With his two-run homer in the first inning vs. Hartford March 15, senior Brandon Romans took over the Conference USA lead with five dingers. There are 10 players right behind him with four home runs, including UCF first baseman Kiko Vazquez. Romans' previous season-high was two round-trippers set last year.

Everyday I Write the Book
Junior Shane Brown dominated pitching during the week of March 9-15, going 8-for-17 with a .471 average to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Keeping up with Brown, Brandon Romans' hitting streak has reached eight games, and the senior paces the Knights' offense with a .425 average. Both Brown's and Romans' streaks are the longest of their careers.

Take On Me
The Winter Springs freshmen took over in the win over Northern Iowa March 14. Pitcher Bryan Brown cruised through the first three innings in his first start only to face trouble in the fourth. However the Knights remained leading when the inning was over, 6-5, as Anthony Figliolia came on and eventually went 3.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts for the win. At the plate, Jake Huxtable recorded his first homer in a three-RBI affair.

Senior Caleb Graham continuously left Hartford's bats off-balance March 14. The righty went 5.2 innings and matched a career-high with eight strikeouts, not earning a decision. The only runs Graham gave up were on a bloop two-run single in the third inning.

Into the Groove
Josh Siebenaler had two at-bats through 13 games this year, posting a base hit each time. He then got the start in left field against Hartford March 13 and remained on fire. The senior opened his day by making a spectacular diving catch into the fence in foul territory in the first inning before going 4-for-4 at the plate. Siebenaler collected two doubles, a triple and a single at the plate, scoring two runs. That enabled him to reach base by way of a hit in each of his first six at-bats in 2009. His physical play, though, forced him to miss March 14-15 due to an injury.

Time for Me to Fly
Kyle Sweat made three Friday night starts leading up to March 13 vs. Hartford. That was when the senior righty took off. Sweat limited the Hawks to just four singles in his 7.0 innings of scoreless ball to grab the victory. He completed the evening with only two walks while striking out two.

Don't You Forget About Me
After sitting out the first 10 games of the year due to an injury, Stephen Branca made quite an impression in his 2009 debut March 8 vs. Monmouth. Batting leadoff and playing second base, the sophomore went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, all of which were career-highs. Branca's solo homer, his first in a UCF uniform, to open the seventh inning tied it at 5-5 and the Knights cruised to a 10-5 triumph. Three days later, he came through again with a two-run homer against USF March 11.