Baseball Tore Apart the Record Books in 2010

May 26, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF produced an amazing turnaround from 2009 to 2010. Backed by some of the most talented returning players in Division I as well as head coach Terry Rooney's first recruiting class, the Knights finished the 2010 campaign with a 33-22 record and a 10-14 mark in Conference USA (UCF was 22-35 and 9-15 in 2009).

2010 Final Notes in PDF Format

2010 In the Books
-The 33 wins were the most by the Black and Gold since 2005, while the 10 league victories set the UCF record for the most wins since joining C-USA in 2006.
-To prove how close UCF was at finishing near the top of the C-USA standings, it completed the year just two games back of third place.
-Those 10 wins included its first C-USA road sweep (second-place Southern Miss) and its first series win at Tulane.

Even More Comparisons from 2009 to 2010
-The Knights finished 2009 with a RPI from No. 146-150. After the 2010 regular season, they were No. 77 according to WarrenNolan.com and No. 78 by BoydsWorld.com.
-That RPI was also the fourth-highest in C-USA at the conclusion of the `10 regular season.
-UCF's batting average swelled 46 points from .297 to .343.
-Its team ERA dropped from 7.47 to 6.01.
-The 2010 freshmen alone stole more bases (47) than UCF attempted as an entire team in 2009 (45).
-The fielding percentage rose from .958 to .963.
-That .963 mark is the second-highest in the last five years.
-UCF turned 61 double plays in 55 games, tying the school record set in 1985, and that season it played 87 games.
-A good chunk of those numbers came from freshmen infielders Austin Johnston (2B), Darnell Sweeney (SS) and Chris Taladay (3B), along with a sophomore behind the plate in Beau Taylor. Add in one of the best defensive first baseman in the game, junior Jonathan Griffin, and UCF's infield looks very strong for 2011.

UCF's Single-Season Record Book
-In a nutshell, several of UCF's offensive records were shattered in 2010.
-The 2010 Knights set the school record for:
-Batting Average - .343
-Home Runs - 78
-Slugging Percentage - .538
-Hit By Pitch - 96
-Individually, Chris Duffy broke the school records with a .447 batting average, 21 homers, 81 RBI and .850 slugging percentage. He also finished in the top-10 with 92 hits, 175 total bases and a .539 OBP.
-And looking at Shane Brown, he set a school mark with 22 HBP, and completed his senior year in the top-10 with a .428 batting average, 89 hits, 25 doubles, 144 total bases, .692 slugging percentage and a .541 OBP.
-Freshman Austin Johnston placed fourth with 12 sacrifice bunts and ninth with 15 HBP.
-Freshman Joe Rogers collected eight saves, moving him into a tie for third.

UCF's Career Record Book
-The Chris Duffy and Shane Brown show ended in 2010, but not before they destroyed the old UCF career record charts.
-Duffy finished: first in homers (43), fourth in slugging (.585), fifth in RBI (182) and total bases (416) and ninth in hits (235).
-Brown ranked: first in HBP (55), second in doubles (63), third in OBP (.464) and sac flies (14), sixth in batting average (.363) and total bases (391), seventh in hits (251), eighth in slugging (.565) and RBI (148) and ninth in runs (152) and homers (25).
-And amazingly a freshman made his way onto the career register as well, as Joe Rogers notched eight saves, good for seventh already on the all-time saves list.

C-USA's Record Book
-Shane Brown (.428) and Chris Duffy (.447) became the first teammates to both finish with at least a .400 batting average in C-USA history.
-In fact, Duffy's average was the highest ever in the league, while Brown's mark placed him fourth on the single-season chart.
-Duffy's .850 slugging also gave him the C-USA record.
-Brown's .541 on-base percentage, along with Duffy's OBP of .539, were both a little shy of Kevin Youkillis' (Cincinnati, 2001) all-time record of .549. The next highest OBP in C-USA history is below .520.
-As a team, UCF's .343 batting average also set a C-USA record, and it became just the second team all-time to post an average of at least .340 (Tulane, .340, 1998).
-Not satisfied with the batting average title, UCF's .435 on-base percentage also gave it first place.
-Duffy's 182 career RBI, 43 homers rank among the top-20 players in C-USA.
-Meanwhile, Brown's 63 2B also placed him in the top-20.

What if you Take Away Brown and Duffy's Stats?
-UCF's .343 average certainly was helped out by the senior duo. But since they have now completed their careers in Black and Gold, it's interesting to see what the UCF offense still has left.
-Minus Brown and Duffy, UCF combined to hit .318. That would still rank as the fifth-best average in C-USA at the close of the regular season.
-UCF also hit 47 homers without the duo, which would be the third-most by the Knights in the last nine seasons.

Always Room for More Home Run Notes
-Last year, the Knights set the single-season home run mark with 68 homers. One year later in 2010, they shattered it again by blasting 78 out of the park, all in 55 games.
-Chris Duffy (21), Shane Brown (10) and Jonathan Griffin (13) became the first UCF trio since 1998 to each hit at least 10 homers. It marked just the third time in school history the Knights had three hitters with 10 dingers or more.
-The Knights hit four long balls in a game four different times in 2010, and went back-to-back on four different occasions.
-Three Knights also hit grand slams: Derek Luciano vs. Hartford March 14, Ronnie Richardson vs. Memphis April 30 and Chris Duffy at Tulane May 22.
-A total of six players hammered out at least five homers.
-On March 17 at Stetson, Duffy recorded his 10th homer in game No. 18, becoming the fastest UCF player in history to reach that plateau.

The Top C-USA Freshmen are Right Here at UCF
The following notes only include C-USA freshmen and their stats at the conclusion of the regular season:
-UCF boasted the top three freshmen hitters in C-USA, as Darnell Sweeney (.358), Chris Taladay (.352) and Ryan Breen (.348) finished 1-2-3 in the league's freshman batting average race.
-In other categories, Sweeney led all C-USA freshmen in at-bats (232), hits (83) and stolen bases (17).
-Taladay paced the league in doubles (19), total bases (117), slugging (.557) and OPS (.960).
-Johnston had the most sac bunts with 12 and HBP with 15.
-Richardson posted the highest on-base percentage at .441.

-UCF's single-season home-run record holder with 21, left-handed hitting Chris Duffy proved that he is not just your typical home run hitter who loves pulling the ball.
-Of his 21 homers, the senior went the opposite way to left six times while putting three over the wall in center.
-Of his 92 hits this year, 30 of them were to left or left-center, 11 were to center and 47 were to right or right-center (four hits were on the infield). That means 45 percent of Duffy's hits in 2010 were either to center field or slugged the opposite way.

Larger Than Life
The 2010 Seniors
-Shane Brown: One of the purest hitters UCF has ever seen...Lifetime .363 hitter with 25 homers and 63 doubles.
-Chris Duffy: A sweet swing with exceptional power who finished his UCF career as the top home run hitter of all-time.
-Matt Goodyear: The vocal leader appeared in 23 games in four seasons, including his career-long 4.2-inning outing last week vs. JU.
-Matt Manning: Left his mark in just two years on the mound with his passion for the game and sidearm delivery...Appeared in 22 games with four saves this year.
-Cory Weech: After joining UCF as a sophomore, appeared in 27 games last year which was the fifth most in school history...He is 4-1 lifetime as a Knight.

2010 C-USA Postseason Awards
-UCF placed two players on the All-C-USA First Team for the first time since joining the league in 2006.
-Chris Taladay, meanwhile, was selected as the Freshman of the Year, becoming the first Knight since Dee Brown in 2002 when he played in the Atlantic Sun to earn a league's freshman of the year award.
-UCF's Awards:
Fr. 3B Chris Taladay - Freshman of the Year, All-Freshman Team
Sr. OF Chris Duffy - All-C-USA First Team
Sr. OF Shane Brown - All-C-USA First Team
Fr. SS Darnell Sweeney - All-Freshman Team
Fr. LHP Joe Rogers - All-Freshman Team

Top UCF Hitting Streaks
-Beau Taylor was one of two Knights (Chris Duffy) who put together streaks of 20 games or more. Let's take a look at the five longest in UCF history:
1) 26 - Mike Myers - 4/3/01-5/19/01
2) 22 - Shane Brown - 3/4/09-4/7/09
3) 21 - Beau Taylor - 4/13/10-5/22/10
4) 20 - Chris Duffy - 3/5/10-4/3/10
20 - Colin Arnold - 3/17/09-4/15/09

-UCF had seven different players with at least 10 doubles, led by Shane Brown with 25.
-The last time the Knights produced a stat like that was when the 2005 squad had eight players connect for double-digit two-baggers.
-Meanwhile,UCF also had eight Knights with 20 or more walks. The last time that happened was in 1995 when it had nine players receive at least 20 free passes.

This is How We Do It
-A 2009 Freshman All-American, Beau Taylor entered 2010 as a sophomore with two promising freshmen catchers backing him up in Chris Taladay and Ryan Breen. With Taylor owning the starting job, it was not sure how much playing time the newcomers would receive. But that quickly changed.
-Taylor went .354 at the plate, while Taladay earned the starting gig at third base en route to a .352 mark. And since Breen took advantage of early opportunities at the plate, he was locked into the designated hitter role and hit .348 with 11 stolen bases.
-Combined, the trio belted out 20 homers and drove in 111.

-Not only did Shane Brown and Chris Duffy become the first UCF and C-USA duo to hit at least .400 in the same season, they also enabled the Knights to serve as the only team in the country in 2010 to have two players with averages of at least .420.

Duffman Says "Oh Yeah" One Final Time
-UCF fans certainly got used to hearing the Simpsons character Duffman's voice from the video board at home games thanks to senior Chris Duffy.
-Unfortunately one of his greatest performances came on the road, though. With one game remaining of the 2010 season and needing two homers to tie the UCF career record, Duffy did provide those Knights fans in the Tulane stands one last memory May 22.
-In the seven-inning win over the Green Wave, Duffy was walked twice. Then in the fourth, he hit career HR No. 42. After a double in the sixth, the stage was set.
-The first four Knights reached base in the seventh as they tried to run-rule the home team, setting the stage for Duffy to come to the plate with the bases juiced and nobody out.
-Of his previous 42 dingers, none of them were of the grand slam variety. That quickly changed, as in Duffy's final collegiate at-bat, he drilled a 1-0 offering over the center field wall. That not only helped defeat Tulane 17-6, it secured Duffy of the title as UCF's all-time home run king.

U Can't Touch This
-UCF ended the season with a 14-game non-conference winning streak. That was the longest since a 14-game spurt in 2001 (the 1995 club had an 18-game streak). In 2010, the 14-game stretch included wins against seven different Florida programs (Miami, FAU, Jacksonville, South Florida, Stetson, Bethune-Cookman, North Florida).
-UCF went 23-8 in non-league tilts. In those 31 games, Chris Duffy was 57-for-115 for a .496 average along with posting 14 homers, 50 RBI and 14 doubles.
-As a team, the Knights had a .566 slugging percentage and a .443 on-base percentage for a 1.009 OPS.
-Freshman Joe Rogers was 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA and four saves outside of C-USA, as opposing teams had a combined 8.47 ERA against the Knights offense.

Are You Gonna Go My Way
-First baseman Jonathan Griffin made a statement from April 10 at Southern Miss to the end of the year.
-The junior brought his average up from .261 to .299 in the last 23 games.
-Griffin amassed at least two hits in 12 of those outings, along with crushing eight home runs. That included dingers in three-straight games from May 2-11, and then from May 15-20.
-He was 32-for-93 for a .344 average dating back to the Southern Miss series.

I Want it That Way
-In his second year sporting the tools of ignorance, catcher Beau Taylor certainly picked up his game when the calendar turned to April.
-After a quick start where he opened the year hitting .485, Taylor saw his average drop to .304.
-Since April 2 to the end of 2010, the Freshman All-American was 44-for-114 for a .386 average, driving in 21 runs while scoring 27.
-That stretch also included at least one hit in 26 of 27 games, as he improved his average from .304 to .354.
-He also will ride a 21-game hitting streak into the start of the 2011 campaign. That is not only the longest of his career, but it is the third-longest in UCF history. During that stretch, he hit .382 (34-for-89) with 10 doubles, two homers and 18 runs scored.

Baby One More Time
-Sophomore Bryan Brown was certainly a steady rock in the bullpen this year.
-The righty made 22 relief outings (one start), and did not give up an earned run in 10 of those appearances.
-Brown ranked second on the UCF staff with a 4.81 ERA.

-A pair of Knights racked up the walks this year, while their strikeout totals remained slim.
-Senior Shane Brown had 34 free passes compared to just 19 strikeouts, while freshman Ronnie Richardson was issued 34 walks and was sat down on strikes only 23 times.

-The UCF pen combined for 15 saves this year. That was the second most in school history.
-Joe Rogers, who made three starts as well, owned eight of those saves, while senior Matt Manning had four.

Aluminum Produced vs. Top Teams
-From April 30-May 22, UCF faced ECU, Tulane, Memphis, FAU and JU. And during that stretch, it posted at least 10 hits in all 12 of those games, scoring 10 or more runs seven times.
-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.
-The Black and Gold delivered 15 hits at Florida Feb. 24, its most hits vs. the Gators since 1999.

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 and remained in that spot up to th end of 2010.
-The national recognition continued when on May 20 Duffy was named one of 25 semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, given annually to the nation's top player.

Making a Statement
-UCF lost to Southern Miss a year ago by a three-game tally of 51-14. But the tables turned in 2010.
-The Knights swept the Golden Eagles in Hattiesburg April 9-11, giving them their first-ever series win over USM. It also marked UCF's first road sweep since joining C-USA in 2006.
-The last time it swept a conference opponent on the road was at Atlantic Sun foe Belmont in 2005. The only C-USA sweep by the Knights before the USM weekend was at home against Tulane in 2007.

Putting it All Together
-Pitching, offense and defense all showed up during the six-game winning streak March 17-26.
-The arms limited opponents to an average of 3.0 runs on 7.2 hits.
-The fielders committed only four errors.
-The bats combined for 80 hits and 55 runs.

Start Me Up
The lines from UCF's starting pitchers in the series vs. Presbyterian College March 19-21:
-Fri. - Owen Dew - WP, 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
-Sat. - Nick Cicio - WP, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K
-Sun. - Joe Rogers - WP, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
-Cicio was the first UCF pitcher since 2008 to amass at least 10 strikeouts in a game.

Home Plate Took a Beating vs. Hartford
-A total of 54 runs were scored between UCF and Hartford in a twin-bill March 13. The next day, the Knights took down the Hawks, 24-4, to tally 57 runs as a team in the series, marking the most runs scored in a consecutive three-game series in UCF history.
-The 24 runs in the finale were the most UCF scored in a non-conference game since a 24-2 win over Cleveland State in 1991.
-Meanwhile, UCF rapped out 28 hits in the 24-4 victory, tying the school record for most hits in a game.
-And the 46 combined runs by UCF in games two and three set the school mark for most runs in back-to-back games.

UCF's Best Season in C-USA Play
-Along with posting its most C-USA victories since joining the league in 2006, the Knights also produced some of its best numbers in C-USA-only games as well.
-2006: .264 BA, 108 R, 15 HR, .383 SLG, .353 OBP
-2007: .278 BA, 108 R, 14 HR, .383 SLG, .344 OBP
-2008: .294 BA, 144 R, 17 HR, .418 SLG, .380 OBP
-2009: .302 BA, 158 R, 27 HR, .468 SLG, .386 OBP
-2010: .325 BA, 174 R, 29 HR, .499 SLG, .424 OBP