Baseball Players Return, Start Preparing for the 2010 Season

Jan. 11, 2010

By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With the spring semester kicking off Monday, the UCF baseball team has returned to campus and it has a busy scheduled lined up before Opening Day Feb. 19. The Knights held their first meeting of 2010 Monday, and will have individual practice sessions starting Saturday.

Jan. 29 will mark the first official team practice, as the Black and Gold has scheduled workouts each day except for Mondays.

UCF also will hold its first edition of the Baseball Knight Fest Jan. 30 at approximately 7 p.m. at the stadium. Following the men's basketball game against Tulsa at 5 p.m., fans are invited to come out to the ballpark for an evening of food, fun and festivities with the Knights. The event is free, but for those hoping to enjoy a meal and be eligible for prizes, tickets are only $5 each.

With 21 newcomers, Baseball Knight Fest is the perfect opportunity to meet this year's team. Led by returning players Shane Brown, Chris Duffy, D.J. Hicks and Beau Taylor, the Knights have MLB draft picks at seven of the nine positions on the field, and that does not include Taylor who was a Freshman All-American catcher in 2009.

Here's a closer look at those draft picks:
RHP Alex Besaw - 2009 32nd round by Tampa Bay
RHP J.M. Blake - 2008 32nd round by San Francisco
RHP Owen Dew - 2009 33rd round by Los Angeles (AL)
1B/DH Jonathan Griffin - 2007 41st round by Minnesota and 2008 45th round by Boston
1B/DH D.J. Hicks - 2008 49th round by San Francisco
2B Stephen Branca - 2007 34th round by Minnesota
SS Darnell Sweeney - 2009 41st round by Florida
LF Chris Duffy - 2006 9th round by Chicago (AL)
CF Ronnie Richardson - 2009 11th round by Minnesota
RF Shane Brown - 2009 47th round by New York (AL)

And on UCFAthletics.com leading up to the season-opener, there will be plenty of updates concerning the Knights, such as quick Q&As with the newcomers, an in-depth season preview with head coach Terry Rooney and much more.

Season tickets for the 2010 campaign are already on sale. The Knights will play 36 games at home this year, and reserved chairbacks are just $199, while reserved bleachers seats are only $150. Faculty/staff, youth and senior season tickets are $99. To purchase tickets, call 407-823-1000 or visit UCFAthletics.com.

And 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, and become a follow of the Knights at Twitter.com.