UCF Tangles with Mount St. Mary's, Boston College in Midweek Action

March 7, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - A five-game week is in store for UCF and it begins Tuesday vs. Mount St. Mary's at 6:30 p.m. The Knights also welcome Boston College to Orlando Wednesday with first pitch also slated for 6:30 p.m.

Game Notes for Tuesday in PDF Format

Tuesday vs. Mount St. Mary's - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday vs. Boston College - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Mount St. Mary's - 1-1 Overall, 0-0 Northeast
Boston College - 5-4 Overall, 0-0 ACC
UCF - 9-2 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
First meeting with Mount St. Mary's - 2-0 vs. Boston College
Live Coverage:
UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_Baseball

More information on the Boston College game will be in the updated game notes at UCFAthletics.com following Tuesday's clash with Mount St. Mary's

Upcoming Opponent
-After a season-opening loss at George Mason, Mount St. Mary's (1-1) is spending time in Winter Haven where it defeated Miami (Ohio) in extra innings Saturday. The Mount plays Xavier and Yale Monday before facing the Knights.
-Last year the Mount was 20-31 overall and 14-18 in the NEC with a .300 team batting average.
-Senior righty Max Brittenham started vs. George Mason and went 3.0 innings, giving up four runs on five hits with four walks.

The Series
-This will be the first meeting between UCF and Mount St. Mary's. The Mount is one of two schools the Knights will face this year from the Northeast Conference (Wagner).

Analyzing the Record
-The Knights are 4-1 against teams that went to the NCAA Tournament last season, with wins against Alabama and Bethune-Cookman along with a 2-1 record vs. Dartmouth. UCF's only other loss was to Southeastern Louisiana, which was on the bubble a year ago and is receiving votes in the national polls this season.

Winning the Last Three
-Head coach Terry Rooney preaches to his players to win the last three innings of every game.
-So far the Knights have responded, as they are outscoring opponents 27-3 in the eighth inning, and 39-7 from innings seven to nine.
-UCF pitchers have issued just five walks this year in the final three innings (total of 33.0 innings).

All the Tools
-Ronnie Richardson is proving to be one of the best all-around players in the nation this year.
-Along with boasting a 10-game hitting streak, the sophomore leads UCF with a .409 average, legging out three triples (leads C-USA), scoring 16 runs (leads C-USA), stealing four bases and drawing 10 walks.
-Richardson has scored at least one run in 10 of UCF's 11 games this season, and has two outfield assists from center.

Two-Way Dominance
-Missing the majority of 2010 with an injury, two-way player D.J. Hicks is back in fine form in 2011.
-UCF's primary designated hitter has busted out for a .400 average with 11 RBI and a 1.059 OPS, and currently boasts a nine-game hitting streak.
-Out of the bullpen, the righty claims a 1.69 ERA with a 1-0 record and a save. That save came in a 3.0-inning, one-hit performance where he struck out seven in an 8-0 win vs. Dartmouth.

Just Get On Base
-UCF's .425 on-base percentage ranks second only to Memphis in C-USA.
-The Knights have three players ranked in the top-10: Derek Luciano (third, .538), Ronnie Richardson (fifth, .518) and D.J. Hicks (10th, .488).

Putting Up Zeros
-After UCF did not post a shutout, the pitching staff already has two in 2011: a combined two-hitter by seven-different pitchers at Bethune-Cookman Feb. 22 and a five-hitter by two different pitchers in game one of a DH vs. Dartmouth March 5.

No Free Passes!
-Six Knights who have seen time on the mound have yet to issue a walk, while several other hurlers are limiting the free passes this season.
-In all, UCF's staff is averaging 2.36 walks per game. And in a 56-game regular season, the Knights are on pace to finish with only 132, which would set a school record for lowest amount of walks given up.
-The current record for fewest walks in a season is 141 in 42 games in 1977.
-The record for lowest amount of walks per game is 2.39 in 1995 (148 walks in 62 games).

But the Offense Wants Free Passes!
-UCF's hitters have drawn 62 walks in 11 games (5.64 average), with Ronnie Richardson, Derek Luciano and Darnell Sweeney each having 10.
-Projected to have 316 walks based on a 56-game regular-season schedule, the Knights would finish with 316 walks this year, the most dating back to 328 in 1999.

A Freshman on Top of C-USA
-A 26th round draft pick last summer, Ben Lively did not look like a freshman in his first-collegiate start.
-Facing No. 29 Alabama, 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.
-In his next start, Lively went 6.0 shutout frames with three strikeouts in an 8-0 win vs. Dartmouth.
-Lively currently leads all C-USA pitchers (who meet the minimum innings requirement) with a perfect 0.00 ERA.

Remaining Aggressive
-Collecting just 24 stolen bases in 45 attempts in 2009, the Knights have been a dangerous team on the basepaths the last two seasons.
-In 2010, UCF stole 70 bases in 90 tries, and this year it has 25 steals in 28 attempts. Leadoff hitter Travis Shreve is 9-for-10, No. 2 hitter Ronnie Richardson is 4-for-6 and No. 3 hitter Darnell Sweeney is 5-for-5.