UCF Baseball's 2009 Season Wrap-Up

May 26, 2009

Postseason Notes in PDF Format

It certainly was a wild ride through the 2009 campaign for the UCF baseball team. Led by a first-year coaching staff of Terry Rooney, Cliff Godwin, Jeff Palumbo and Aaron Smith, the Knights would set plenty of program marks throughout the season. They would conclude `09 with a 22-35 overall record and went 9-15 in Conference USA. In UCF's toughest two months of the schedule (April and May), the Black and Gold posted a 15-15 record with series wins over Houston, UAB and Memphis, along with a 5-0 shutout of No. 2 Rice.

Program Records
- Highest combined team GPA with a 3.2 mark in the fall.
- Highest spring cumulative team GPA at 3.1.
- Nine Conference USA victories.
- Largest attended series - 5,582 vs. Virginia Commonwealth Feb. 20-23.
- Largest single-game crowd - 2,758 vs. Florida March 18.
- Largest single-game attendance average for a season - 1,088 fans per game.
- Most combined home runs - 68.
- Shane Brown reached base in 18-straight plate appearances April 21-24 - also tied an NCAA record.
- Most runs in a game - 29 at UAB April 24.
- Most runs in consecutive games - 42 vs. Stetson April 21 and at UAB April 24.
- Most runs in a three-game league series - 49 at UAB April 24-26.
- Most hits in a game - 28 at UAB April 24.
- Largest victory in a league game - 20 at UAB April 24.
- Most individual runs scored in a game - 6 by D.J. Hicks at UAB April 24.

Team Notes - Season
- Most doubles (123) and highest slugging percentage (.469) since 2001.
- Offense struck out just 316 times, the second-fewest by the Knights since 1995.
- Thirteen saves by the relief corps was the third-most by the bullpen.
- A total of 11 different players posted at least two home runs.
- Strength of schedule consistently ranked in the top 50 as UCF played NCAA regional hosts LSU, Florida, East Carolina and Rice during the year, along with NCAA postseason teams Monmouth, Army, Southern Miss and Jacksonville in 2009.

Team Notes - Game
- With two home runs vs. ECU May 20, recorded its first two-homer game in a conference tournament contest since May 19, 2001, against Jacksonville in the Atlantic Sun Tournament. It also was the first time since the NCAA Tournament vs. Oklahoma State June 5, 2004, that the Knights had two homers in a postseason game.
- The 5-0 win at No. 2 Rice marked the second time in school history it defeated a program ranked in the top two in the country. It also was the first time since a 5-0 triumph vs. No. 24 Clemson on Jan. 30, 2000, the Knights shut out a ranked opponent, and the fourth road win over a top-10 team since 2000.
- The three ninth-inning homers at Memphis April 5 was the first time since April 15, 2006, at No. 23 Tulane that the Knights crushed three dingers in the same inning. UCF's five hits in the ninth tied the school's all-time record for most hits in a ninth inning.
- Won all three games against Stetson, giving the Black and Gold six-straight over the Hatters and four in a row in DeLand.
- Took the non-conference series against Monmouth, which went on to win the Northeast Conference Tournament title.
- Not only defeated Houston for the first time in C-USA regular-season play, but took the series against the Cougars.

Awards and Academic Notes
- A total of 23 student-athletes were named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll for having a GPA of 3.0 or better.
- Two of those Knights, senior Gil Gomez and freshman Austin Smith, received the C-USA Academic Medal by recording a GPA of 3.75 or higher.
- Senior Kiko Vazquez was voted onto the C-USA All-Academic Team for the second time in his career.
- Senior outfielder Brandon Romans and junior second baseman Shane Brown were honored with spots on the All-C-USA Second Team.
- Freshmen Beau Taylor and D.J. Hicks also were given postseason recognition by being named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
- Senior Caleb Graham selected as the C-USA Pitcher of the Week after defeating No. 2 Rice May 8.
- Shane Brown tied the NCAA record with 18-straight times on base April 21-24. That helped him receive the C-USA Hitter of the Week award, as well as national player of the week honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper/Louisville Slugger, NCBWA Pro-Line Athletic and CollegeBaseballInsider.com.

Player Notes - Offense
- Team Leaders:
Batting Average - Shane Brown - .341
Hits - Shane Brown - 73
Doubles - Shane Brown - 20
Triples - Colin Arnold - 3
Home Runs - Brandon Romans - 14
Runs - Kiko Vazquez - 43
RBI - Brandon Romans - 49
Slugging - Brandon Romans - .595
On-Base - Shane Brown - .431
Walks - Brandon Romans and Kiko Vazquez - 25
Hit By Pitch - Kiko Vazquez - 21 (UCF record)
Stolen Bases - Colin Arnold - 7
Fielding Percentage - Kiko Vazquez - .996
- Freshman Beau Taylor led all Knights with a .371 batting average in C-USA regular-season games. The Knights hit .302 as a team in league contests.
- Brandon Romans handled left-handed pitchers, posting a .364 mark against southpaws, while Colin Arnold demolished righties with a .395 average.
- Romans paced UCF with 21 multi-hit and 15 multi-RBI games.
- Brown and Arnold both nailed down hitting streaks of at least 20 games. Brown's 22-game stretch ranked as the second-longest in UCF history, while Arnold's string of 20-straight contests with a hit was the third-longest.
- Senior first baseman Kiko Vazquez was the lone Knight who played in all 57 games, a year after he missed 40 games due to an injury.
- Junior Chris Duffy took off when April hit. The outfielder held a .208 batting average and raised it all of the way to .285 at the end of the year by hitting .354 in the last two months.
- The Memphis series at the beginning of April also was the launching pad for freshman D.J. Hicks' bat. The DH/RHP went .349 in his final 28 games played, hitting all eight of his homers during that period. It was the most home runs by a UCF freshman since Duffy's eight in 2007.
- Romans (14) and Vazquez (13) became the first pair since Dee Brown (18) and John-Michael Howell (15) in 2005 to both have double-digit home runs in a season.
- During the East Carolina series, Romans dominated Pirate pitching, going .455 at the plate with two homers and a 1.455 OPS.
- Arnold notched a base hit in 31 of his first 33 games played, including going off on a 20-game streak March 17-April 15.
- Josh Siebenaler reached base by way of a hit in each of his first six at-bats in 2009.
- Stephen Branca made quite an impression in his 2009 debut March 8 vs. Monmouth after recovering from an injury. 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. However, Branca suffered another injury March 13 and he would only get to play in four games.
- Senior Eric Kallstrom had 752 career at-bats to rank seventh on the all-time list. The shortstop also led UCF in each of the last four years in assists.

Player Notes - Pitching
- UCF's stellar play during the final two months of the year in C-USA games can certainly be credited to its three senior starting pitchers. The trio of Caleb Graham, Jaager Good and Kyle Sweat posted 13-straight C-USA starts of at least 5.0 innings, and then Graham and Sweat went at least 6.0 frames in the C-USA Championship.
- Graham evolved into the Friday night starter and went 3-0 with a 3.08 ERA in his final four starts of the regular season, including a 6.1-inning performance in a 5-0 win at No. 2 Rice.
- Sweat was masterful in the months of April and May. He started eight games and served as the closer for Friday night affairs, and finished the final two months with a 1-1 record, one save, a 2.92 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 49.1 innings.
- Good began the year trying to recover from an injury, and when he started to feel close to 100 percent he looked like the pitcher of old. In his final five appearances of the year, he made four starts and went at least 5.0 innings each time en route to one victory and a 4.39 ERA.
- Senior Justin Weiss may have ended the season with an injury, but he still collected five saves to rank in a tie for second on the UCF career list with 21 saves.
- A pair of freshman began to anchor the bullpen towards the end of 2009 with Jordan Rasinski and D.J. Hicks combining to make 25 relief appearances in April and May.
- Rasinski notched a 2-0 record and a 2.38 ERA along with 13 strikeouts in 11.1 innings and a save in his final 11 stints on the hill.
- Hicks, meanwhile, owned a 2-2 record and two saves in his last 10 appearances with opponents batting just .260 from April 15-May 21. Hicks also led the offense with a .360 average at the plate during that time frame (21 games).
- Junior Cory Weech made a team-high 27 appearances which was tied for the fifth-most in a single-season at UCF.