Baseball Resumes C-USA Play by Hosting UAB Friday-Saturday

April 1, 2010

By Brian Ormiston

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Back into Conference USA play, UCF gets ready to host UAB in a three-game set beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. The two clubs will then play a day-night doubleheader Saturday with the first contest scheduled for 2 p.m. and the series finale to take place at 6:30 p.m.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Friday - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday - Orlando, Fla. - 2 p.m.
Saturday - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
UAB - 15-8 Overall, 2-1 C-USA
UCF - 17-10 Overall, 1-2 C-USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
UAB leads, 7-5
Live Stats:
Live Video:
UCFAthletics.com and 740-AM (Marc Daniels on the Call)

This Weekend's Festivities
-On Friday, the first 100 fans will be able to pickup the 2010 set of UCF baseball cards at the marketing kiosk.
-For Saturday's doubleheader, there will be an Easter egg hunt in between games, and Chick-Fil-A Kids Club members get in free.

UCF vs. B-CU Midweek Recap
-Trailing 7-3 in the bottom of the fifth, UCF stormed back to score eight unanswered runs to claim an 11-8 victory Tuesday.
-Seven different Knights posted two hits or more, while Chris Taladay, Jonathan Griffin, Derek Luciano and Austin Johnston each homered.
-It was more of the same in Daytona Beach one day later where UCF scored four in the seventh, four in the eighth and one in the ninth in a 9-7 win.
-Darnell Sweeney produced four hits, while Matt Manning struck out three in 2.0 perfect innings for the save.

Upcoming Opponent
-Coming off a 6-4 win over No. 23 Alabama Wednesday, UAB stands at 15-8 on the year. The Blazers took two of three from Southern Miss last weekend and have won eight of their last nine.
-With a .283 team average, Luke Stewart leads the power numbers with nine homers and 25 RBI.
-On the mound, the Blazers have a 5.16 staff ERA.

The Series
-UCF has taken two of three from UAB in each of the last two seasons to cut the Blazers' lead in the series to 7-5.

While You See a Chance
-Projected to have two freshmen in the starting lineup to begin the season (CF Ronnie Richardson and SS Darnell Sweeney), UCF used five in its lineup in both games against Bethune-Cookman March 30-31.
-And they all took advantage. The Knights banged out 32 hits in the pair of victories, and the freshmen combined for 21 of those hits (66 percent of the output).
-Along with Richardson and Sweeney, UCF has used Chris Taladay, Ryan Breen and Austin Johnston in key roles throughout the year.
-Each member of the quintet is hitting at least .286, led by Taladay (.395) and Breen (.392).

Into the Groove
-Holding an even .200 average through March 6, freshman Darnell Sweeney found his rhythm.
-The shortstop needed just eight games to lift his average over .300, and he did not stop there.
-Since March 6, Sweeney has gone 28-for-63 at the dish for a .444 average, scoring 16 runs and driving in 14 in 16 games.

We Got the Beat
-As UCF hovers around the halfway point to the regular-season, it carries a 17-10 overall record.
-Last year, the Knights sat at 7-20 through 27 games.

Staying Consistent
-Once again Shane Brown is proving he is one of the best hitters in the country in 2010.
-The senior is on a 10-game hitting streak, marking his fifth streak of at least eight games in his career. That includes a 22-game spurt last year, the second longest in UCF history.
-Brown has at least two hits in 19 of UCF's 27 games.
-For the year, the right fielder boasts a .457 average with four homers, 24 RBI and 28 runs.

Talk About Streaking
-After starting the year on an eight-game hitting streak, Chris Duffy continues to pound away. The senior is currently riding a 17-game streak, the longest of his career.
-During the streak, Duffy has amassed 33 hits with eight homers and 31 RBI.

All it Takes is a Freshman
-The first batter of an inning can really set the stage for the sticks. And for UCF, four of its top six hitters when it comes to leading off an inning are freshmen.
-Chris Taladay (.625, 5-for-8) and Austin Johnston (.571, 8-for-14) each own batting averages over .550, while Darnell Sweeney (.500, 10-for-20) and Ryan Breen (.375, 6-for-16) also rank in the top six in those situations.