UCF Baseball Places Three on the Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-America Team

June 9, 2010

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With a roster loaded with freshmen during the 2010 season, the UCF baseball program was not surprised when it discovered that three student-athletes were honored as Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball Wednesday. Representing the Knights on the All-America Team were left-handed pitcher Joe Rogers (Winter Haven, Fla.), catcher/DH Ryan Breen (Palm City, Fla.) and third baseman Chris Taladay (Windermere, Fla.).

"I'm extremely proud of this accolade for these three freshmen players," said head coach Terry Rooney, who just completed his second year with the Knights. "They all had tremendous first years in our program, and are looking forward to continued success. These three players are part of the nationally-ranked recruiting class that we just brought in, and collectively this group will continue to bring UCF baseball back to the national spotlight."

UCF (33-22 final record) led all of Conference USA with three Freshmen All-Americans, as Rice was the only other program who had one player on the prestigious squad. It is also the first time in UCF history that the Knights have had three different Freshmen All-Americans in the same season. Meanwhile, it is the second-straight year that a catcher has received the accolade, as Beau Taylor (Rockledge, Fla.) earned Freshman All-American status in 2009.

The Black and Gold routinely started five freshmen in the batting order every game, while Rogers served as an occasional starter and the primary closer out of the bullpen. They came into UCF highly regarded, as the 2010 recruiting class was ranked as high as No. 4 in the country, and the freshmen obviously did not disappoint based on the numerous awards they already have received.

Rogers put together a season in which he racked up eight saves, the third-most by a UCF pitcher, while that total also places the southpaw in a tie for seventh on the career chart. Including three starts, Rogers was 4-2 with a team-best 4.50 ERA in 23 appearances. He struck out 43 in 48.0 innings, issuing just 17 walks, and did not give up a run in his first five collegiate outings.

Breen put up some of the best numbers in all of C-USA, yet the league voters decided to leave him off the C-USA All-Freshman Team. But the Collegiate Baseball national media outlet did not look past one of the most skilled freshman hitters in the country.

Breen would finish the regular season ranked among the top-five freshmen in all of C-USA with a .348 batting average, .435 on-base percentage, a .917 OPS and 11 stolen bases. He posted a .979 fielding percentage in 96 chances while starting mostly as the designated hitter, and ended the year on a nine-game hitting streak.

And Taladay had one of the finest years by a UCF freshman in school history, and was rewarded for his efforts by being named the C-USA Freshman of the Year. He anchored the hot corner on his way to leading all C-USA freshmen at the end of the regular season with 19 doubles, 117 total bases, a .557 slugging percentage and a .960 OPS. Taladay hit .352 overall with eight homers, 47 RBI and 49 runs.

Both Breen and Taladay began the 2010 season as backups to Taylor behind the dish. However injuries and other opportunities provided the duo with early playing time and they both took advantage.