UCF Heads to Tampa to Face South Florida Tuesday

April 5, 2010

By Brian Ormiston

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF makes its only trip to Tampa this year on Tuesday when it meets South Florida in a 7 p.m. showdown on Bright House Sports Network. The game was originally scheduled for Steinbrenner Field but has been moved to USF's campus.

UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

Tuesday at South Florida - Tampa, Fla. - 7 p.m.
South Florida - 13-15 Overall, 5-1 Big East
UCF - 18-12 Overall, 2-4 C-USA
Red McEwen Field
USF leads, 55-50
Live Stats and Audio:
Bright House Sports Network

UCF vs. UAB Series Recap
-UAB plated five in the second inning, but UCF countered with 16 unanswered runs en route to a 16-7 victory in game one.
-But the Blazers replied in a doubleheader April 3 as their starting pitching shut down the Knights offense, holding it to three runs in the two outings to take the series over the Black and Gold.

Upcoming Opponent
-Holding a 13-15 record, South Florida is coming off a series win at Cincinnati and is 5-1 in conference play overall.
-The Bulls are 10-3 in their last 13 outings.
-Offensively, USF is hitting .281 with 16 homers, while its pitching staff has turned it on as of late, and is holding opponents to a .251 clip at the dish.

The Series
-South Florida enters Tuesday with a 55-50 lead in the series thanks to a 4-0 victory vs. the Knights in Orlando March 16.

Duff Man Just Wants to Have Fun
-Not many Knights have put together hitting streaks of 20 games or more since the program's inception in 1973.
-Entering 2010 only three players had ever accomplished the feat, but Chris Duffy has now joined that elite group.
-UCF's longest hitting streaks:
1) 26 - Mike Myers - 4/3/01-5/19/01
2) 22 - Shane Brown - 3/4/09-4/7/09
3) 20 - Colin Arnold - 3/17/09-4/15/09
20 - Chris Duffy - 3/5/10-current
-Duffy opened the year on an eight-game streak, as the only time he has not registered a hit was against North Florida March 3.
-During the current streak, Duffy is hitting .481 with nine homers and 32 RBI.

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?
-Opposing pitchers are struggling to find holes in the UCF lineup.
-When head coach Terry Rooney fills out his lineup card, one of his combinations features all nine of his sticks carrying batting averages of at least .297.
-Five players have averages of .359 or better. In this situation, the only hitter under .300 is Ronnie Richardson who sits at .297, but the freshman was at the .225 mark on March 6, proving that he has been able to find his stroke at the plate in the last month.
-A detailed look at a recent UCF batting order (16-7 win vs. UAB April 2) with current stats:
*1) CF Ronnie Richardson - .296, 20 BB, 6 SB
2) 3B Derek Luciano - .362, 23 RBI, 23 R
3) RF Shane Brown - .444, 52 H, 24 RBI, 29 R
*4) DH Ryan Breen - .359, 14 RBI, 19 R
5) LF Chris Duffy - .478, 54 H, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 31 R
*6) 1B Chris Taladay - .381, 29 RBI, 26 R
*7) 2B Austin Johnston - .302, 11 RBI, 20 R, 9 2B
8) C Beau Taylor - .308, 17 RBI, 19 R
*9) SS Darnell Sweeney - .336, 17 RBI, 24 R, 11 SB

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 .297, led by Taladay (.381) and Breen (.359).

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 7, Sweeney has gone 31-for-74 at the dish for a .419 average, scoring 19 runs and driving in 15 in 19 games.

We Got the Beat
-As UCF enters the second half of the regular-season, it carries an 18-12 overall record.
-Last year, the Knights sat at 9-21 through 30 games.