Knights Renew Rivalry with Stetson at Home Tuesday

April 20, 2009

ORLANDO (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF was able to recharge thanks to a bye weekend and now gets back to work when it hosts Stetson Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. In the Knights' last 10 games, Beau Taylor (.405), Chris Duffy (.375) and Colin Arnold (.372) have all hit over .370 and the trio has combined to drive in 22 as well as score 22 runs.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Tuesday vs. Stetson - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Stetson - 17-22 Overall, 8-10 Atlantic Sun
UCF - 12-25 Overall, 3-9 C-USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
UCF leads, 62-48
Live Coverage:
740-AM with Marc Daniels on the Call
-Little League Knights. Kids wearing their little league uniform get in free with a full price adult.
-Trading Card Giveaway.

UCF vs. FGCU Recap
Clinging to a 6-5 lead in the final stages of the game vs. Florida Gulf Coast April 15, UCF witnessed the Eagles tie it in the ninth and grab the win in the 10th on a solo homer. Chris Duffy went yard twice, including the go-ahead homer in the fifth, D.J. Hicks was stellar in relief, tossing 6.2 innings with just two runs against and four strikeouts.

Upcoming Opponent
Stetson took one of three at home to Belmont last weekend, scoring at least seven runs in each contest. A total of seven of the Hatters' consistent starting position players are hitting .300 or better, including Jeremy Cruz who has crushed 13 dingers and drove in 53 this year. The pitching staff claims a 6.12 ERA with opponents batting .312 off the Stetson hurlers.

The Series
UCF grabbed wins in both games against Stetson a year ago. Former Knights Tyson Auer and Dwayne Bailey each posted three hits and current senior Caleb Graham was sharp on the hill in a 7-3 win in DeLand, and in Orlando, future draft pick Mitch Herold tossed a complete-game three hitter in a 4-1 victory. That enabled UCF to take a 62-48 lead in the all-time series.

Party All the Time
Since busting out for five RBI at Memphis April 4, Chris Duffy has continued his tear. The junior collected two more hits vs. Tulane April 11 and then belted two balls over the fence against Florida Gulf Coast April 15. Those two blasts gave Duffy 21 home runs in his three-year career, as he needs just one more to crack UCF's all-time top 10.

Never Too Much
Colin Arnold continues his trek up the UCF record book, as his current 20-game hitting streak ranks as the third-longest all-time for the Knights. The senior outfielder has hit .369 over that stretch with 20 runs and five doubles, while connecting for at least two hits in 10 of those outings.

In all, Arnold has notched a base hit in 24 of his 25 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 .333 batting average, three homers, 10 doubles and 15 runs.

Behind the plate, the backstop has thrown out 12 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.