Pitchers Control Scrimmage in UCF's First Fall Practice

Oct. 1, 2009

By Brian Ormiston

Baseball Practice Photo Gallery

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Perfect weather greeted the UCF baseball team Thursday morning as it officially got fall camp underway for the 2009-10 season. The Knights will practice for just over a month leading up to the Black and Gold World Series Nov. 3, 5 and 6.

While UCF returns several key players from last year's squad, 21 newcomers have joined the program and they quickly got a taste of what to expect in October.

"Overall for our first practice, it was a tremendous effort by these guys," said Rooney. "The first day is just trying to implement the daily practice routine, and to get a chance to compete and scrimmage. I thought we had a very good scrimmage. We threw eight pitchers today, and tomorrow we will throw an additional seven to eight more. Every pitcher threw one inning and it gave our hitters a chance to see some live at-bats.

"I want the guys to understand that we are going to play with a certain level of enthusiasm, a certain level of passion and a certain level of intensity. And they have to bring that every single day, and today I thought we did that."

Beginning his second year as head coach with UCF, Terry Rooney spoke with the team for a few minutes before the Knights went through stretches and warm-ups down the foul lines. He then worked with the pitchers in right field, while associate head coach Cliff Godwin spent time with the catchers.

Team defense was next as the coaching staff went through situationals without using a ball in order to ensure everybody knew where to position themselves in the field. For example they would announce how many outs, how many runners on base and where the ball would be hit. When Palumbo yelled "Go," each player in every position moved to where they were supposed to be, such as backing up third base or serving as the cutoff man.

After the first few rounds of getting a feel for the drill, the Knights went at full speed and eventually Palumbo picked up a fungo bat and began putting balls into play.

At about 10:25 a.m. UCF split up into Gold vs. Gray for a four-inning scrimmage that saw the pitchers surrender a combined six hits and no runs. Those that did see action on the hill were: Brennan Dobbins and Matt Goodyear, along with newcomers Owen Dew, Chase Bradford, Brian Adkins, Gregg Cooke, Alex Besaw and Nick Cicio. Both Goodyear and Cicio struck out two batters each in their respective inning of work.

Check out the box score below from Thursday's intrasquad game.

"Today was all about playing fundamental baseball," said Rooney. "It's more effort related and for them to understand the expectations, and I thought we did a great job of that. I'm not too much worried about the results. Obviously the pitchers did have a tremendous day. We threw strikes, and defensively we made the plays. And our hitters did have some quality at-bats.

"We will continue to mix lineups around and put guys in different spots on the field. So as you look at the lineups they will consistently be different. I would think that as the fall continues to progress in the coming weeks and early in the spring, we'll see the lineups solidify a bit more, but right now I'll put guys in different positions and go from there."

UCF is back on the field Friday morning at 9 a.m. and again Sunday at 5 p.m. Practices are open to the public.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Gold Stats
CF Ronnie Richardson - 0-3
2B Anthony Caronia - 0-2
C Beau Taylor - 1-2, 2B
1B Jonathan Griffin - 0-2
LF Chris Duffy - 0-2
RF Kevin Vasquez - 0-2
SS Michael Holmes - 0-0, BB, SB

Owen Dew - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Chase Bradford - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Brian Adkins - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Matt Goodyear - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Gray Stats
SS Darnell Sweeney - 1-3, 1 SB, 1 CS
C Ryan Breen - 1-2, BB
LF Shane Brown - 1-3, 2B
3B Jake Huxtable - 1-3
CF Alex Friedrich - 0-2
1B Chris Taladay - 1-2
Bullpen catcher Keith Simon - 0-1

Brennan Dobbins - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Gregg Cooke - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Alex Besaw - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Nick Cicio - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

- Anthony Caronia, Chris Duffy and Kevin Vasquez rotated in right field for Gray
- Austin Johnston played third base for Gold and second base for Gray, but did not hit