#23 UCF Collides with #20 Southern Miss at Home This Weekend

March 31, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - No. 23 UCF entertains No. 20 Southern Miss this weekend in one of the Knights' biggest series since joining Conference USA in 2006. Game one is scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m. and freshman Ben Lively (5-0, 1.38) will make his sixth start of the year.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Friday - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday - Orlando, Fla. - 4 p.m.
Sunday - Orlando, Fla. - 12 p.m.
#20 Southern Miss - 19-5 Overall, 2-1 C-USA
#23 UCF - 19-6 Overall, 2-1 C-USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
USM Leads, 13-6
Live Coverage:
740-AM, UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_Baseball
Saturday Promotion:
Saturday Family 4 Pack - Four tickets, four dogs, four drinks and four popcorns for $40

Announcements for This Weekend
-GKC UKnight Friday
-The right-field deck is reserved for a private party during Friday's game, and admission will not be allowed to the general public.
-Due to an event at the UCF Arena Saturday and Sunday, free parking will be located in the baseball grass lot behind the scoreboard or in Lot E8. Garage F will be open at $10 per car.

March 30 at No. 20 Stetson Postponed
-Inclement weather postponed UCF's tilt at No. 20 Stetson March 30, and so far a makeup date has not been announced.

Upcoming Opponent
-Ranked in all four of the major polls, No. 20 Southern Miss is coming off an emotional 4-3 extra-inning win over Ole Miss Wednesday which pushed its record to 19-5. The Golden Eagles also took two of three vs. then-No. 23 Tulane to boast a 2-1 C-USA record.
-Southern Miss scored at least 12 runs in four-straight games (1-0 vs. South Alabama and 2-1 vs. Tulane) before edging Ole Miss, 4-3.
-Paced by B.A. Vollmuth's nine homers and Tyler Koelling's .371 average, USM is hitting .312 as a team with 22 long balls.
-The pitching staff's ERA sits at 3.36, and closer Collin Cargill has four saves with a 0.87 ERA.

The Series
-The road team has swept the series each of the past two seasons, and Southern Miss leads all-time 13-6.
-Last year in Hattiesburg, Jonathan Griffin hit .625 at the plate and Ryan Breen drove in six runs, while Brian Adkins, Johnny Sedlock and Chase Bradford each earned victories in the Knights' road sweep of the Golden Eagles.

Just Get to 10
-In 15 of UCF's 19 victories this year, the Knights have banged out at least 10 hits.
-UCF has won 16-straight games dating back to 2010 when it collected 10 hits or more, and the Black and Gold also has been victorious in 18 of its last 19 outings when posting at least 10 base hits.

Useless Stat of the Day
-The Knights are 5-0 this year when second baseman Travis Shreve records at least four assists in the field.

An All-Around Performance
-UCF used a total of 14 hits, did not commit an error and allowed just two runs on the hill in its 8-2 victory vs. No. 20 Stetson March 29.
-Erik Hempe was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate as five different Knights had at least two hits.
-Chase Bradford made his first D-I start and tossed a career-high 6.0 innings with four strikeouts for the win. Nick Cicio and Ronnie Richardson then combined to keep Stetson scoreless over the final three innings.

The Lowdown on the Freshman
-From 2006-10, UCF did not have a pitcher post more than five victories in a season. But entering Friday night, freshman Ben Lively holds a 5-0 record by grabbing the win in each of his five 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.
-The last Knight to start a season 5-0 on the mound was when Ray Rodriguez and Darren Newlin each opened 2005 at 5-0 (Rodriguez eventually went to 6-0 before his first loss).
-Lively became the first Knight since Mitch Herold in 2008 to toss a nine-inning complete game and the first freshman since Mitch Houck in 2006 to record a complete game when he took down Wagner, 5-1, March 12.

In a Groove
-Starting right fielder Erik Hempe struggled during his first few games as a Knight this year. The junior-college transfer held a .158 average on March 5 with three hits in his first six games.
-Then Hempe started finding his stroke at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance against Boston College March 9 and has since bumped his average up to .333 on the year.
-In UCF's last 13 games, Hempe has the best average on the team with a .429 mark (15-for-38).

What a Schedule
-The Knights are in the midst of an exciting yet difficult schedule, playing a possible 12-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.