UCF-UH Series Preview: Video Feature and Game Notes

March 25, 2010

By Brian Ormiston

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Conference USA action officially gets underway this weekend when UCF travels to Houston to face the Cougars Friday-Sunday. The Knights (14-8) are riding a five-game winning streak, their longest since the start of 2008, and the series with the Cougars (10-9) will mark the third-straight season they will begin C-USA play on the road.

In the Dugout Video Feature From Houston

UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

Friday - Houston, Texas - 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday - Houston, Texas - 7:30 p.m. ET
Sunday - Houston, Texas - 2 p.m. ET
Houston - 10-9 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
UCF - 14-8 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
Cougar Field (3,500)
First Meeting
Live Stats:
Live Audio/Video:

UCF vs. Miami Recap
-Both teams were coming off weekend sweeps and carried a lot of momentum into the March 23 showdown in Coral Gables, but the Knights played impressive fundamental baseball to grab the 6-3 win.
-It was UCF's first trip, and victory, at Miami since 1995. Several of the Knights who made important contributions in the 2010 win were not even in elementary school in `95.
-UCF outhit UM, 10-8, and did not commit an error. Five pitchers were used, including Brian Adkins and Chase Bradford wrapping it up in the final 4.0 frames.

Upcoming Opponent
-Houston got off to a slow start before defeating Missouri, Texas and Texas Tech in the Houston College Classic and sweeping a road series at Cal Poly.
-The Cougars bring in a 10-9 record after dropping three at No. 1 Arizona State last weekend and defeating Stephen F. Austin in midweek play.
-Hitting .294 as a team, UH is led by Joel Ansley who has a .383 mark at the dish with 17 runs.
-On the mound, righty Michael Goodnight headlines the rotation. The Friday night starter is 3-2 with a 4.56 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 25.2 innings.

The Series
-UCF will be looking for its first win at Houston since 1998, but last year the Knights took two of three from the Cougars in Orlando, as UH holds a 16-6 lead.

Turn Around (Bright Eyes)
-Terry Rooney admitted UCF's 19-2 loss to Miami March 9 was a different team than when it traveled to Coral Gables March 23.
-He was not kidding. The Knights upset No. 12 UM 6-3 to give them a win over a top-17 team for the fourth-consecutive season.
-But an explanation for UCF's turnaround may have happened one week prior when the Knights persevered through a collision between Derek Luciano and Beau Taylor at Stetson. The duo had to be helped off the field, and the Black and Gold regrouped to come from behind for the win. That started a five-game winning streak, including the victory at Miami.

Putting it All Together
-Pitching, offense and defense has all shown up during the five-game winning streak March 17-23.
-The arms have limited opponents to an average of 2.8 runs on 6.4 hits.
-The fielders have committed only four errors.
-The bats have combined for 72 hits (1.4 avg) and 48 runs (9.6 avg).

Hitting in the Clutch
-Led by Chris Duffy's .563 average and 19 RBI, the Knights are hitting .344 as a team with two outs. Shane Brown (.419), Chris Taladay (.421) and Derek Luciano (.400) also are stepping up in key situations, as 10 different players are hitting at least .300 with two away.
-Meanwhile, Duffy and Alex Friedrich are perfect when bringing in the runner from third with less than two outs, and Luciano is batting .643 with runners in scoring position.

The Big Inning
-UCF has scored at least five runs in an inning eight times this season.
-That includes an 11 spot in the first inning of the series finale against Hartford March 14.
-The Knights have produced the most in the first inning, scoring 39 times, and are 8-2 when they do score in the first frame.