Knights Finish Non-Conference Slate at Stetson Tuesday on BHSN

May 11, 2009

ORLANDO (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF's non-conference schedule wraps up Tuesday and it comes against the Knights' most-storied rival as they will travel to DeLand to face Stetson at 6:30 p.m. The contest is a make-up game from March 31, and will be televised by Bright House Sports Network (tape-delayed to 8 p.m. and live on CSS) with Tom Morgan and Dennis Rasmussen in the broadcast booth.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Tuesday at Stetson - DeLand, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Stetson - 26-26 Overall, 15-12 Atlantic Sun
UCF - 19-32 Overall, 7-14 C-USA
Melching Field at Conrad Park (2,500)
UCF leads Stetson, 64-48
Live Coverage:
Bright House Sports Network - Tape-Delayed to 8 p.m.
CSS - Live
Tom Morgan and Dennis Rasmussen Will Call the Action

UCF vs. Rice Series Recap
Taking one game of the series at No. 2 Rice last weekend, Kiko Vazquez and D.J. Hicks each batted .500 vs. the Owls, while on the mound, UCF's ERA of 4.32 was slightly better than Rice's (4.33) for the three-game series. The staff issued just nine walks compared to the Owls' 14. The Black and Gold took the first game but after falling in game two, Rice grabbed the rubber match by just one run, 8-7.

Upcoming Opponent
Stetson secured its third-straight Atlantic Sun series victory when it swept East Tennessee State May 8-10 to move to 26-26 overall and 15-12 in league action. The Hatters outscored the Buccaneers, 36-11, and own a .322 season batting average led by Sean Emory's mark of .403. With an ERA of 6.06, the pitching staff has amassed 351 strikeouts in 462.0 innings with opponents batting .309.

The Series
With two victories over Stetson in Orlando earlier this year, UCF claims a 64-48 all-time mark vs. the Hatters. In those meetings, the Knights hit .352 paced by Chris Duffy and Brandon Romans who each went 4-for-7. Although he did not start either game, D.J. Hicks earned the win in relief both outings, combining for 5.0 innings with just one earned run against.

The Heat is One
Once the temperature really began to rise across the Southeast, Chris Duffy's output at the plate also has heated up. Since his five-RBI affair at Memphis April 4, the junior has gone 29-for-78 for a .372 average. In that 20-game stretch, Duffy drove in 25 with seven doubles, two triples and four homers.

Wanna Be Startin' Something
Going up against the No. 2 team in the land did not affect the Knights, as they came very close to taking the series in Houston May 8-10. UCF secured a 5-0 win in game one and fell by just an 8-7 margin in the finale. Statistically, the Black and Gold matched the Owls in several categories:
- ERA: UCF 4.32, Rice 4.33
- Shutouts: UCF 1, Rice 0
- Earned Runs Against: UCF 12, Rice 13
- Walks: UCF 9, Rice 12
- Caleb Graham worked 6.1 shutout innings and grabbed the C-USA Pitcher of the Week for the win in the opener.
- Kyle Sweat earned the save in game one and pitched 5.0 innings with just one earned run allowed in the finale.

Let's Dance
Highlights from UCF's 5-0 upset win at No. 2 Rice May 8:
- Marked the second time in school history it defeated a program ranked in the top two in the country
- First time since a 5-0 triumph vs. No. 24 Clemson on Jan. 30, 2000, the Knights shut out a ranked opponent
- Fourth road win over a top-10 team since 2000
- UCF has defeated a top-five team once in each of the last two years (No. 5 Missouri in 2008)

Shake it Up
It was a back and forth affair against Stetson May 6 until D.J. Hicks put matters into his own hands. The freshman designated hitter/pitcher entered in relief to pitch a scoreless seventh inning, setting up a seven-run frame by the Knights' offense. After they took a slim 10-9 lead in that inning, Hicks strode to the plate with the bases juiced and promptly crushed a grand slam over the right-field scoreboard. He then also hurled a quick eighth to solidify his win on the mound.

Hicks has now hit all seven of his homers since April 24 at UAB, a game in which he set a UCF record with six runs.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Three senior starting pitchers have been stepping up in a big way lately for the Knights, as Caleb Graham, Jaager Good and Kyle Sweat have posted 10-straight C-USA starts of at least 5.0 innings.Graham opened up the UAB series with six frames in game one, allowing just one run for the win, while Sweat gave up three earned runs in five innings of work in the next day. Taking the hill for the rubber match, Good delivered 6.0 strong innings with four strikeouts to grab the important victory.

The following weekend vs. Marshall May 1-3, the trio proceeded to work at least 6.1 innings each. Graham opened the series with 6.1 frames and three strikeouts, Good lasted 7.1 innings and left with the game tied at 4-4 and Sweat fanned six with just one walk in 7.0 in the finale.

And in game one at No. 2 Rice May 8, Graham proceeded to go 6.1 shutout innings with Sweat coming in to pitch the final 2.2 frames for the save in a 5-0 upset of the Owls. The following afternoon, Good hurled 5.0 stanzas with just four hits against and five strikeouts at Rice. To conclude the series, Sweat held Rice to just one earned run in five frames.

Sign Your Name
With all of the accolades Shane Brown received from across the nation for tying an NCAA record with 18-straight times on base, he received a request that will put his name on display among several other greats in college ball. The College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas, will be displaying game-worn batting gloves signed by Brown in its museum, honoring the junior for his memorable performance April 21-26. To learn more about last year's collection, head to collegebaseballfoundation.org and click on Museum. One of those pieces of memorabilia is a ball used during Mitch Houck and Austin Hudson's combined no-hitter in 2008 vs. Wagner.

Big Time
Senior Jaager Good began the year trying to overcome a lengthy injury, and lately it appears he has worked his way back to his old self. The righty picked up the victory with 6.1 innings at UAB April 26, sitting down four on strikes. Against Marshall May 2, he went 7.1 innings and left in a 4-4 tie. Good struck out five in the process. The next weekend at No. 2 Rice, he tossed 5.0 frames with five strikeouts May 9.

Hurts So Good
By being plunked twice vs. Marshall May 1, senior Kiko Vazquez took over the UCF single-season HBP record. The first baseman has now been hit 21 times on the year, while he also has been popped 48 times at UCF, which ranks second in the Knights' career list. Vazquez trails Ryan Bono for the program record, who was hit 50 times from 2003-06.