Five-Game Week Lies Ahead for UCF Baseball

April 19, 2010

By Brian Ormiston

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Owning a six-game winning streak in midweek contests, UCF (24-14) prepares for a busy schedule from April 20-25. The Knights will travel to North Florida Tuesday before hosting Bethune-Cookman Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. That will set up a three-game C-USA series at Marshall in Charleston, W. Va., Friday-Sunday.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Tuesday at North Florida - Jacksonville, Fla. - 7 p.m.
Wednesday vs. Bethune-Cookman - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Updated notes for the B-CU game will be on the baseball page Wednesday
North Florida - 22-17 Overall, 10-5 Atlantic Sun
Bethune-Cookman - 23-14 Overall, 9-0 MEAC
UCF - 24-14 Overall, 6-6 C-USA
Tuesday: Harmon Stadium (1,000)
Wednesday: Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
UNF leads UCF, 7-5
UCF leads B-CU, 65-14
Live Stats and Video:
Wednesday: UCFAthletics.com
Tuesday: None
Wednesday - 740-AM and UCFAthletics.com

UCF vs. Rice Series Recap
-UCF was unable to convert a scoring chance in the first inning of the series opener, then saw Rice carry the momentum into the second en route to a 9-2 Owl victory.
-Relievers Bryan Brown and Brian Adkins tossed the final 7.0 innings, giving up just one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts.
-But one day later, Owen Dew worked 8.1 innings to give his Knights an 6-4 victory over Rice.
-Shane Brown, Darnell Sweeney and Chris Duffy each produced two hits, while Ryan Breen notched HR No. 5.
-In the rubber match, UCF held a 7-5 lead before Rice went ahead in the seventh inning and was able to hold on.
-The Knights outhit the Owls, 17-14, in the finale.

Upcoming Opponent
-North Florida enters Tuesday with a 22-17 record and is 10-5 in Atlantic Sun play.
-With 46 homers (UCF has 49), UNF has a powerful lineup, while the arms carry an ERA above 5.70.
-The Ospreys will have a long break after playing the Knights as their next game is scheduled for May 1.

The Series
-On March 3 in Orlando, it was a very weird game between UCF and UNF, as the Ospreys scored four in the first then witnessed the Knights answer with five of their own. It would be tied all of the way to the eighth inning where North Florida put it away, 13-6.
-That enabled the Ospreys to take a 7-5 lead in the series.

He's Back, and in a Big Way
-After a quick start where he opened the year hitting .485, catcher Beau Taylor saw his average drop to .304. But when April arrived, he definitely found his rhythm.
-Since April 2, the Freshman All-American is 18-for-44 for a .409 average, driving in 10 runs while scoring 13.
-That stretch also includes at least one hit in 10 of 11 games, as he has improved his average from .304 to .341.

Dew It My Way
-In what was the longest outing by a UCF pitcher since a complete-game by Mitch Herold vs. Stetson April 9, 2008, Owen Dew gave the Knights exactly what they needed vs. Rice April 17.
-The righty lasted 8.1 innings in the victory, giving up just nine singles and walking only two. He would have went the distance if it wasn't for a wicked bounce on the infield on a potential game-ending double play.
-Dew has gone at least 5.0 innings in all nine starts. Meanwhile, he has posted five victories in 2010, which is already more than any UCF hurler had in 2009.
-He is the only pitcher on the staff to have started in every weekend series. The Knights are 7-2 when he's on the hill.

Aluminum Continues to Produce
-Through 38 games, UCF is battling East Carolina for first in all major hitting categories in Conference USA. Currently the Knights are at the top of the league in batting average (.338), hits (462) and total bases (707).
-It places second behind the Pirates in slugging (.517), OBP (.429), runs (305), RBI (282), doubles (88) and homers (49).
-The Knights banged out 17 hits against Rice April 18 who is traditionally a power-pitching program. That was the most hits by UCF vs. the Owls as a member of C-USA.
-Earlier in the year, the Black and Gold delivered 15 hits at Florida Feb. 24, its most hits vs. the Gators since 1999.

We Built This City
(That title doesn't really go with this note - it's just a great song)
-The UCF pen has combined for 13 saves this year. That is tied for the third most in school history. The 2009 squad also had 13 saves, while the record is 16 set in 1998.
-Freshman Joe Rogers, who has made three starts as well, owns six of those saves, while senior Matt Manning has four.
-One more SV will move Rogers into a tie for eighth on the single-season chart (record is 12 by Jason Arnold in 1998).

Senior Duo Surrounding the Speedy CF
-The senior pair of Chris Duffy and Shane Brown form one of the most dynamic tandems in college baseball.
-Combined, they have amassed 128 hits, 29 doubles, 19 HR, 85 RBI and 73 runs scored, while their batting average together stands at .434.
-Add freshman Ronnie Richardson in center field, and the Knights have three MLB draft picks in the outfield who have 162 of UCF's 462 hits (35 percent).

The Adkins Diet
-Opponents are experiencing a painful dose of Brian Adkins lately. In five relief outings from March 26-April 16, the freshman lefty tossed 8.1 scoreless innings, giving up just four hits and striking out seven.
-That stretch included a clutch extra-inning victory in game two at Southern Miss April 10.

Can't Go Higher Than That
-There are 301 teams at the D-I level. That means there are 903 starting outfielders in the nation, at the minimum. And according to Yahoo! Sports, UCF has one of the best of the bunch.
-Throughout the year Kendall Rogers has moved Chris Duffy up his top-10, but on April 14 the senior finally secured the No. 1 position.

Off and Running
-With 21 newcomers, no one was quite sure how long it would take for the Knights to gel. But lately they certainly have come together.
-UCF is 17-7 in its last 24 games, while its off to its best start in C-USA at 6-6 (joined the league in 2006).
-That 17-7 record includes wins over Miami, Rice, Southern Miss (three), South Florida, Stetson (two), UAB and Houston.

Turn it Around
-With 24, UCF has already surpassed its win total from last season.
-UCF, Oregon, UC Davis, NC State, Pacific and UCLA have posted the biggest turnarounds in major college baseball this season. The six programs are the only ones in the six top conferences to have either equaled or surpassed their win total from 2009.

Not Many Like UCF
-UCF is one of only four teams in the top six baseball conferences to have two .400 hitters (minimum 30 starts) in Chris Duffy (.444) and Shane Brown (.424). Arizona has three hitters above .400, while Cal State Fullerton and Kansas State have two.
-Meanwhile, among those with a minimum of 15 starts, the Knights have eight .300 hitters. Only nine schools among C-USA, ACC, Big 12, SEC, Big West and Pac-10 can make that claim.