UCF Baseball Set for Home-and-Home with USF

March 9, 2009

ORLANDO (UCFAthletics.com) - A six-game week is in store for UCF and it all starts with a home-and-home vs. USF in Tampa Tuesday at 7 p.m. When the Knights return to Orlando, Wednesday's game at 6:30 p.m. is scheduled to air on Bright House Sports Network and will be tape-delayed to 8 p.m. Tom Morgan will be serving as the play-by-play voice while former major league pitcher Dennis Rasmussen, who won 18 games with the Yankees in 1986, is the color commentator.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Tuesday - Tampa, Fla. - 7 p.m.
Wednesday - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
USF - 5-5 Overall, 0-0 Big East
UCF - 4-7 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
Tuesday: Red McEwen Field (1,500)
Wednesday: Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
USF leads, 51-49
Live Stats:
Wednesday Online Video:
Wednesday TV:
Bright House Sports Network - Tape-Delay to 8 p.m.
Play-by-Play - Tom Morgan
Color - Dennis Rasmussen

UCF on the Radio - UPDATE
The Knights' baseball game Wednesday will now not be available on 740-AM or online at UCFAthletics.com. An upcoming game will be added to the 740 schedule, and that will be announced at a later date.

Wednesday's Festivities
-At 9:20 p.m., fans will have a great seat to see Space Shuttle Discovery lift off if they look beyond right field.
-Little league members wearing their full uniform get in free with a full price adult, while there also will be a Beat the Bulls placard giveaway and UCF baseball card giveaways.
-Meanwhile, the best Beat the Bulls outfit will win a baseball prize pack.

UCF vs. Monmouth Series Recap
Monmouth scored first in all three games of last weekend's series, but the Knights were able to pick up two victories with some impressive clutch hitting in games one and three. Seven different players had a .300 average or better, with Stephen Branca, Chris Duffy, Brandon Romans and Evan Stobbs all adding a home run. On the mound, freshman reliever D.J. Hicks earned his first collegiate win in game one then grabbed his first save in the finale.

Upcoming Opponent
USF has won three of its last four games, including taking two of three against C-USA member Marshall last weekend, en route to a 5-5 overall record. The Bulls have amassed a .331 team batting average with 15 stolen bases and two home runs. They will send out junior lefty Teddy Kaufman Tuesday, and he has pitched in one game this year, giving up three runs in 0.0 innings in the season-opener vs. Michigan Feb. 20.

The Series
UCF and USF have met on the diamond every season since 1985, with the Bulls holding on to a 51-49 all-time advantage. The two programs split four games last year with each winning once on the opposing team's field.

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.

Walk On
Also not seeing action until the Monmouth series, walk-on Alex Friedrich shined as well. The freshman outfielder came off the bench as a pinch-hitter and went 1-for-2 the rest of the game on March 7. He then received the start in center field March 8 and completed his afternoon 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

He's Got the Beat
Beginning his career with two starts on the hill, freshman D.J. Hicks was moved to the bullpen for the series against Monmouth and did not disappoint. The righty tossed 1.1 innings March 6 to earn his first collegiate win, and two days later he went the final 2.0 innings, giving up just one hit for his first save.