Baseball Officially Kicks Off Preseason Workouts Friday

Jan. 29, 2010

Baseball Practice Photo Gallery

By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - A comfortable January day greeted the UCF baseball team Friday as it finally opened its preseason workouts at the stadium. The Black and Gold will hold practices six days a week as it prepares for Opening Day Feb. 19 against Savannah State.

Click on the link above for some photos of Friday's practice.

"I'm looking forward to this year a lot," said sophomore infielder Jake Huxtable. "We've been working really hard, and we're a lot more talented this season. For myself now that we're getting back to facing live pitching again, I'm just looking to start making solid contact. Last year I came in and worked on the basics, but as it went along coach Jeff Palumbo worked with me on the infield and coach Cliff Godwin had me in the cages a lot. I just feel like this offseason I worked hard in the weight room and on what they've taught me."

"This is exciting. We've got a bunch of new guys and we're all working the hardest I've seen in the three years I've been here," said senior pitcher Cory Weech. "And we've got a lot of talent this year so it should be a fun season. In these first couple days of practice I just want to stay locked in and do what I need to do to help the younger guys learn the system."

UCF opened the afternoon with head coach Terry Rooney informing his team of an exciting announcement that will be made to fans at Baseball Fan Fest Saturday after the men's basketball game in The Venue which is adjacent to the UCF Arena (NOTE THE LOCATION CHANGE). It will be one of several reasons to attend the event.

After the team meeting, the team did some stretching and pitchers and hitters then split up into groups to warm up. Catchers, infielders and outfielders broke up even more. Godwin brought in catchers Beau Taylor, Keith Simon, Ryan Breen and Chris Taladay and started off by getting them to block balls in the dirt. Meanwhile, Palumbo was going over concepts with the infielders, and volunteer assistant coach Brandon Romans was busy hitting fungos to the outfielders.

In right field and in both bullpens, the pitchers worked on mechanics with Rooney.

UCF eventually began its eight-inning scrimmage with Owen Dew and Brian Adkins starting on the hill. Fans are welcome to attend all of the Knights' practices and scrimmages in the preseason.

Tickets for Saturday's Baseball Fan Fest at The Venue as well as season tickets for the 2010 campaign are already on sale. The Knights will play 36 games at home this year including Opening Day Feb. 19, and reserved chairbacks are just $199, while reserved bleacher 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.