UCF Travels to Boca Raton for the First Time Since 2004

May 3, 2010

By Brian Ormiston

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Riding an 11-game non-conference winning streak, UCF heads to Boca Raton for the first time since 2004 to take on Florida Atlantic Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The Knights (27-19 overall) are hitting .353 outside of Conference USA, and have belted 46 homers in 28 non-conference games.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Tuesday at Florida Atlantic - Boca Raton, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Florida Atlantic - 27-19 Overall, 17-7 Sun Belt
UCF - 27-19 Overall, 7-11 C-USA
Tuesday: FAU Baseball Stadium (2,000)
UCF leads, 36-25
Live Stats:
Wednesday: UCFAthletics.com
Tuesday: UCFAthletics.com

UCF vs. Memphis Series Recap
-After erasing a 7-0 deficit for a 11-8 game-one victory, the Knights suffered a 10-6 loss in game two and a 9-8 10-inning decision in the rubber match to Memphis last weekend.
-Ronnie Richardson and Jonathan Griffin hit .417 in the series with a combined three homers, 10 RBI and six runs.
-Reliever Matt Manning hurled 2.0 innings in two appearances, striking out five and not allowing a hit.

Upcoming Opponent
-One of the hottest teams in the country, Florida Atlantic is 11-1 in its last 12 outings, and owns a 29-15 record overall.
-The Owls are getting major production from Dan Scheffler (.404, 13 HR) and Andy Mee (.393, 75 H), while the pitching staff claims a 4.58 ERA with 321 strikeouts in 389.1 innings.

The Series
-UCF battled Florida Atlantic as members of the Atlantic Sun from 1994-05, and that 2005 season was the last time the two squads met.
-Entering Tuesday, the Knights hold a 36-25 lead in the all-time series.

Non-Conference Nuggets
-At 11, UCF has its longest non-conference winning streak since it won 11-straight during the 2008 campaign. But that streak only featured one victory over a Florida-based school (Stetson). In 2010, the 11-game stretch includes wins against five different Florida programs (Miami, South Florida, Stetson, Bethune-Cookman, North Florida).
-The 2001 Knights posted a 14-game non-conference winning streak.
-UCF boasts a 20-8 record in non-league tilts. Through those 28 games, Chris Duffy is 53-for-105 for a .505 average along with posting 14 homers, 47 RBI and 14 doubles.
-As a team, the Knights have a .565 slugging percentage and a .441 on-base percentage for a .997 OPS.
-Freshman Joe Rogers is 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA and four saves outside of C-USA, as opposing teams have a combined 8.38 ERA against the Knights offense.

That's Called Offensive Output
-First baseman Jonathan Griffin has come alive since April 10 at Southern Miss.
-The junior has brought his average up from .261 to .295 in the last 14 games.
-Griffin has amassed at least two hits in eight of those outings, along with crushing three home runs.
-He is 20-for-55 for a .364 average dating back to the Southern Miss series.

Beau the Toolman Taylor
-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, the Freshman All-American is 31-for-78 for a .397 average, driving in 17 runs while scoring 21.
-That stretch also includes at least one hit in 18 of 19 games, as he has improved his average from .304 to .350.
-He also is riding a 12-game hitting streak, the longest of his career. During that stretch, he is hitting .396 with six doubles, two homers and 12 runs scored.

The Long Ball
-UCF has pounded out 63 home runs this season, moving closer to the record of 68 set last year.
-The Knights have hit four long balls in a game four different times in 2010, and have gone back-to-back on three different occasions.
-Two Knights also have hit grand slams: Derek Luciano vs. Hartford March 14 and Ronnie Richardson vs. Memphis April 30.
-A total of six players boast at least five homers.

Freshmen Note #1
Knights Using a Lot of Youngsters
-As of May 3, UCF is the only school in one of the top-25 conferences in the nation to have five true freshmen make at least 25 starts in the batting order in 2010.
-Meanwhile, only two programs in all of Division I can make that claim: UCF (five) and Alabama A&M (six).
-Overall, there are just five schools with at least four true freshmen who have made 25 starts or more: Alabama A&M (six), UCF (five), Tulane (four), Stanford (four) and Arizona (four).
-By comparison, just over 200 D-I baseball schools have either one or zero true freshmen with at least 25 starts, while over 80 programs have two or three.

Freshmen Note #2
Taladay Making a Statement
-Windermere's Chris Taladay owns a .349 batting average this season. That ranks among the top-25 true freshmen in country who have made at least 35 starts.
-Taladay's .349 mark also puts him in second among C-USA freshmen (with a minimum of 35 starts). Tulane's Blake Crohan leads the way at .360.

Freshmen Note #3
Sweeney Seeing Plenty of Time at Short
-Shortstop Darnell Sweeney is the only Knight to start all 46 games this year.
-The native of Miramar ranks fifth among all freshmen in the country in games started (LeMoyne's Zach Wiley leads with 50).