No. 23 UCF, No. 20 Stetson Renew Special Rivalry Tuesday in Orlando

March 28, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - An old rivalry is rekindled when No. 23 UCF battles No. 20 Stetson in a home-and-home series starting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Orlando on Bright House Sports Network. With each team nationally-ranked, both games will spark memories of the Atlantic Sun days when the Knights and Hatters dominated the conference.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Tuesday vs. No. 20 Stetson - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday at No. 20 Stetson - DeLand, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
No. 20 Stetson - 20-5 Overall, 7-2 Atlantic Sun
No. 23 UCF - 18-6 Overall, 2-1 C-USA
Tuesday - Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
UCF leads, 67-48
Live Coverage:
UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_Baseball
Bright House Sports Network - David Baumann and Dante Bichette on the call

Tuesday's Festivities
-Tuesday's game is presented by Florida Hospital.
-It also will be the annual Pink at the Park day where UCF is working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Young Survivors Coalition of Orlando to help spread awareness of breast cancer. A representative of Susan G. Komen will be on hand with information on how to become a supporter of the foundation, while the first 250 fans will receive a free pink T-shirt.
-$2 Tuesday - popcorn is just $2.

Upcoming Opponent
-Stetson comes into the week with a 20-5 record and a 7-2 mark in the Atlantic Sun.
-The Hatters are 6-3 against common opponents with UCF (Bethune-Cookman, Maine, Columbia, Siena).
-They are 8-1 in their last nine outings including a 6-4 win at No. 4 Florida State last week.
-Junior righty Will Dorsey gets the start Tuesday and carries a 3-2 record with a 4.00 ERA.
-Five Hatters are hitting .300 or better with Robert Crews leading the way at .380 and 25 runs scored.

The Series
-This season marks the 27th-straight year UCF and Stetson have met on the diamond dating back to the Knights' first year at the Division I level in 1985.
-The Knights have played the Hatters more than any other opponent, and own a 67-48 all-time lead in the series.

A Little More on the Knights and Hatters
-It has been almost 10 years exactly when UCF and Stetson last met when both were ranked teams.
-The Knights were No. 12 in the nation when they traveled to DeLand for a three-game Atlantic Sun series May 5-6, 2001, and the visitors swept the No. 8 Hatters en route to the A-Sun title and berth in the NCAA Regionals.
-From 2000-02, UCF served as the No. 1 seed for the A-Sun Tournament, while Stetson was the No. 2 seed in 2001, 2003 and 204. The Knights claimed the tournament trophy from 2001-02, while the Hatters raised the trophy in 2000, 2005 and 2006.

What a Schedule
-The Knights are in the midst of an exciting yet difficult schedule, playing a possible 13-straight games against ranked teams from March 22-April 10.
-That includes No. 29 Miami, No. 23 Rice, No. 20 Stetson, No. 20 Southern Miss, No. 3 Florida and No. 27 Tulane.

Defeating the Best
-UCF already has three victories over ranked teams this year, taking two at No. 23 Rice and one vs. No. 29 Alabama. Overall, it is 3-2 vs. ranked opponents in 2011.
-The Knights have posted at least one win against a ranked team every year since 2003.

Entering the Rankings
-With a 2-2 showing at No. 29 Miami and No. 23 Rice along with an 18-6 record this year, UCF broke into the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll this week at No. 23.
-It was the first time the Knights were ranked since 2008 (as high as No. 16).
-UCF's highest ranking was No. 7 in 2001.
-Baseball is one of six UCF programs which achieved a top-25 ranking, joining football, men's basketball, indoor track, men's soccer and women's soccer.

Taking Down the Owls
-Claiming two of three at No. 23 Rice March 25-27, the Knights not only won the series over the preseason C-USA favorite, but they also grabbed their first-ever series victory against Rice.
-It was UCF's first series win over a ranked team since taking two of three at No. 13 Clemson in 2004, and the first over a ranked conference team on the road since sweeping No. 8 Stetson in 2001.
-The Knights have won two-straight C-USA road series dating back to 2010 (took two of three at Tulane to finish last year).

Getting Technical
-D.J. Hicks holds a team-high .378 average and 1.076 OPS. Based on offensive statistics and the Bill James formula for runs created, Hicks has created 24.09 runs this year, and Ronnie Richardson has a mark of 24.45.
-On the hill, southpaws Johnny Sedlock (0.82), Nick Cicio (0.88) and Brian Adkins (0.95) all have WHIPs below 1.00 (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched).

Just a Freshman
-Righty Ben Lively made his collegiate-debut in relief against Bethune-Cookman Feb. 22, but has since won five-straight starts.
-That includes victories over No. 29 Alabama and No. 23 Rice. That win against the Owls marked Lively's first-career Friday-night start.
-Lively sits fourth in C-USA with a 1.38 ERA and second by holding opponents to a .167 average.