Baseball Clashes with Defending Ivy League Champs This Weekend

March 3, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Defending Ivy League champion Dartmouth travels to Orlando to face UCF in a three-game set beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. Game two is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. while the series finale takes place Sunday at 12 p.m. (original game time was at 1 p.m.).

UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

Friday - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday - Orlando, Fla. - 4 p.m.
Sunday - Orlando, Fla. - 12 p.m.
Dartmouth - 0-0 Overall, 0-0 Ivy League
UCF - 7-1 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
First Meeting
Live Coverage:
UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_Baseball

Parking Information
Due to an event at the UCF Arena Saturday night, parking for the baseball game will be located:
-Option #1: Baseball grass lot behind the baseball scoreboard: Alafaya Trail to McCulloch Rd. to Orion Blvd. to West Plaza Dr. to Baseball Lot (grass lot behind baseball scoreboard).
-Option #2: E8 surface lot located off of Orion Blvd: Alafaya Trail to McCulloch Rd. to Orion Blvd. to E8 Surface Lot.

March 5 Parking Map in PDF Format

Upcoming Opponent
-A favorite to repeat as Ivy League champions, the Big Green are opening their season this weekend against the Knights.
-Dartmouth went to the Coral Gables Regional last season where it outscored its opponents 26-25. It dropped game one to Miami, 12-8, defeated FIU, 15-9, but was eliminated by Texas A&M, 4-3, even though Dartmouth was ahead 3-2 in the eighth.
-Friday starter Kyle Hunter went 6.1 innings with seven strikeouts in that tough loss to A&M, giving up just one earned run.
-Dartmouth hit .306 as a team in 2010 and finished with a .975 fielding percentage.

The Series
-This weekend marks the first meeting between UCF and Dartmouth.

Pitching Comparison
-Through eight games, UCF has a 2.75 ERA, its lowest to start a season since 2005.
-Check the PDF of the game notes for a more detailed breakdown from 2005-11.

Keep on Walking
-UCF's top four hitters this year also have several more walks than strikeouts, causing their on-base percentage to hover around .500.
Darnell Sweeney - .467 BA - 7 BB - 3 K - .538 OBP
Derek Luciano - .444 BA - 8 BB - 2 K - .593 OBP
D.J. Hicks - .360 BA - 6 BB - 3 K - .469 OBP
Ronnie Richardson - .355 BA - 9 BB - 4 K - .512 OBP

The Lefty is Hard to Figure Out
-Senior southpaw Nick Cicio has a 0.00 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 6.0 innings this year.
-Opposing hitters are 0-for-7 against him with runners on base and 0-for-6 with two outs. Meanwhile, right-handed hitters are just 1-for-11 against Cicio.

Recapping the South Alabama Classic
-Facing a strong field in Mobile, UCF went 2-1 at the South Alabama Classic Feb. 25-27, taking down the host Jaguars as well as No. 29 Alabama and falling to Southeastern Louisiana.
-UCF hit .330 as a team in the three games, collecting 18 extra-base hits including three homers against the Crimson Tide. Darnell Sweeney paced the Knights by going 8-for-12 with four doubles.

Strong Numbers from the Three Hole
-After starting every game at shortstop as a freshman, Darnell Sweeney put on some muscle in the offseason and it is showing this year.
-Batting in the No. 3 hole, the sophomore leads the team with a .467 average, six doubles and 12 RBI.
-He was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week when he was 11-for-17 for a .647 average against B-CU, South Alabama, SLU and Alabama Feb. 22-27.

A Solid First Start for the Freshman
-A 26th round draft pick last summer, Ben Lively did not look like a freshman in his first-collegiate start.
-Facing No. 29 Alabama Feb. 27, the righty went 5.0 innings for the victory giving up just three hits and an unearned run in the first inning, striking out a pair.