Baseball Meets FGCU in Home-and-Home This Week

April 13, 2009

ORLANDO (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF concludes a stretch of 31 games in 41 days when it takes on Florida Gulf Coast in a home-and-home this week. The Knights first meet the Eagles in Fort Myers Tuesday at 6 p.m. before playing in Orlando Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Following the two-game series with FGCU, the Black and Gold will return to the diamond April 21 when it hosts Stetson.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Tuesday at Florida Gulf Coast - Fort Myers, Fla. - 6 p.m.
Wednesday vs. Florida Gulf Coast - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Florida Gulf Coast - 17-14 Overall, 10-5 Atlantic Sun
UCF - 12-24 Overall, 3-9 C-USA
Tuesday: Swanson Stadium (1,500)
Wednesday: Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
Tied, 1-1
Live Coverage:

UCF vs. Tulane Series Recap
The pitching staff surrendered just two runs on eight hits to help UCF capture game one vs. Tulane, 4-2. However the Green Wave stormed back to take the final two outings for the series win. Both Beau Taylor (6-for-12) and Eric Kallstrom (4-for-8) hit .500 on the weekend, while on the mound Caleb Graham (4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER Friday) and Kyle Sweat (7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER Sunday) gave UCF a pair of solid starting pitching performances.

Upcoming Opponent
Off since an 11-9 win over Florida International April 8, Florida Gulf Coast owns a 17-14 record after playing 11-straight games on the road. The offense has produced a .305 average with third baseman Tim Roberson leading the way at .410 and 11 homers. For the pitching staff, it carries a 5.45 team ERA with 270 strikeouts in 277.2 innings.

The Series
Last year was the first meetings between UCF and Florida Gulf Coast, with the road team claiming the win in those two games. In Fort Myers March 26, the Knights scored seven times in the first two innings for an 8-4 victory. Later on April 2 in Orlando, the Eagles returned the favor by taking a 5-0 lead through three en route to a 6-4 triumph.

Never Too Much
Colin Arnold continues his trek up the UCF record book, as his current 19-game hitting streak ranks in a tie for the third-longest all-time for the Knights. The senior outfielder has hit .367 over that stretch with 18 runs and four doubles, while connecting for at least two hits in nine of those outings.

In all, Arnold has notched a base hit in 23 of his 24 games played. He missed 12 contests from Feb. 28-March 15 due to an injury suffered at LSU Feb. 27.

Pump Up the Volume
Five games were all it took for Beau Taylor to remove his freshman jitters. The catcher was batting .100 through his first five contests until he went on a six-game hitting streak from March 8-18. Taylor eventually started really heating up during the Southern Miss series, and banged out at least two hits in six of nine games March 28-April 12. For the season, Taylor has four three-hit games along with a .341 batting average, three homers, 10 doubles and 15 runs.

Behind the plate, the backstop has thrown out 11 would-be basestealers, including two of the nation's top runners. At Florida April 8, he removed Matt den Dekker to snap a streak dating back to 2007 of 29-straight stolen bases for the UF junior. Taylor also threw out Tulane's Josh Prince on April 11, as it was just the third time in 29 tries Prince was nabbed in 2009.

Hungry Eyes
Kyle Sweat posted his second-straight C-USA start of 7.0 innings, as the righty walked just one and sat down four on strikes in seven frames vs. Tulane April 12. The only time the Green Wave got the leadoff batter on base against Sweat came in the seventh inning, and he was still able to keep him from scoring.

Overshadowed by UCF's late-inning heroics at Memphis April 5, Sweat entered the game hoping to give his team a shot at claiming the series against the Tigers. He did just that. The senior went 7.0 innings and struck out a career-high nine. Sweat retired the side in order in five of those innings, did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and sat down 10 in a row at one point. Memphis posted all four of its hits and three runs in the fifth frame, the only inning the Tigers put a runner in scoring position.

Going back to March 28, Sweat has only walked one batter in his last 17.0 innings.

Any Way You Want It
Tulane suffered the task of dealing with both a stellar UCF pitching staff and some clutch bats April 10. The Knights answered a solo homer in the top of the first when Colin Arnold led off with a dinger of his own. Eventually, they took the lead in the fifth inning when Shane Brown cranked out a two-run single, and Kiko Vazquez blasted another homer for some insurance. While it was just a 4-2 lead, the Green Wave could not muster the big hit against the bullpen, which combined to shutout Tulane in the final 4.2 innings with eight strikeouts.

Hard Habit to Break
It lasted from March 4 to April 7. Over a month. And during that time, it was all Shane Brown. The junior went on a hitting streak that can compare to only one other Knight in UCF history. Brown posted a 22-game hitting streak, and had a .386 batting average in that span, to become just the second player to have a streak 20 games or longer. Mike Myers holds the school record with a 26-game streak in 2001.