Baseball Prepares for Home Games with FAU Tuesday, Florida Wednesday

April 18, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - It will be a busy week for UCF as it hosts Florida Atlantic Tuesday and No. 5 Florida Wednesday before traveling to Memphis for a weekend C-USA series. The home contests with the Owls and Gators both get underway at 6:30 p.m.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Midweek Schedule:
Tuesday vs. Florida Atlantic - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday vs. No. 5 Florida - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Florida Atlantic - 23-13 Overall, 10-5 Sun Belt
No. 5 Florida - 28-9 Overall, 11-4 SEC
UCF - 22-14 Overall, 4-8 C-USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
UF leads UCF 20-13
UCF leads FAU 37-26
Live Coverage:
UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_Baseball
Wednesday's game is on Bright House Sports Network and 740-AM

A more detailed preview on the UCF-Florida game will be online following the Knights' contest with the Owls

-Fans can purchase the Sunshine State 2-Pack where for only $12 you can get a ticket to both the FAU and UF games.
-Also, fans are encouraged to arrive early Wednesday due to an event at the UCF Arena. Free parking will be located: Baseball grass lot behind the scoreboard, E8 surface lot and E6 and E7 grass lots. Garage F will be open at $10 per car.

April 20 Parking Map in PDF Format

Upcoming Opponent
-Florida Atlantic has won six in a row including last week's 3-2 win vs. UCF in Boca Raton to hold a 23-13 record on the year (10-5 in the Sun Belt).
-Five Owls hold batting averages above .300, led by Alex Hudek's mark of .414.
-Tuesday starting pitcher Jake Meiers went 6.0 innings in last week's start vs. the Knights, giving up just two runs while not earning a decision. Meiers is 2-3 on the year with a 3.83 ERA.

The Series
-FAU's win April 12 cut UCF's all-time series lead to 37-26.
-The Knights and Owls were rained out in Orlando last year, and the last time the two teams played on the UCF campus was in 2005 when FAU took two of three in an Atlantic Sun series.

A Consistent Lineup
-UCF and Southern Miss are the only two C-USA programs which boast seven consistent starters with batting averages above .300.
-D.J. Hicks sits atop the UCF chart with a .336 average.

Nothing Extra Please
-The Knights have allowed only 54 extra-base hits all season (just 1.5 per game). Only East Carolina (53) has allowed less.
-Six C-USA programs have surrendered 54 doubles alone this year (UCF has given up just 34 two-baggers).
-In the ECU series, UCF's pitchers allowed just three extra-base hits all weekend.
-UCF's offense, meanwhile, has 122 extra-base knocks which leads C-USA.

Inheriting Runners
-Late in the game, a pitching staff stranding runners leads to momentum. For UCF, closer Joe Rogers has faced the most runners on base when he has entered games at 14, and has only allowed three of them to score.
-For a complete breakdown of the pitching staff, click on the PDF of the game notes.

Hard Work Paying Off
-With freshmen almost everywhere in the field last year, the summer and fall of 2010 were crucial in development.
-And the Knights have definitely improved with the leather, holding a .976 fielding percentage. If the year ended today, that would set the UCF single-season record.
-Top fielding percentages this year (minimum 20 chances):
C Beau Taylor - .996 - .986 in 2010
1B Jonathan Griffin - .991 - .992 in 2010
CF Ronnie Richardson - .986 - .992 in 2010
LF/3B Chris Taladay - .980 - .955 in 2010
RF Erik Hempe - .967
2B Travis Shreve - .966
IF Austin Johnston - .960 - .961 in 2010
RF/C Ryan Breen - .957 - .979 in 2010
3B Derek Luciano - .956 - .841 in 2010
SS Darnell Sweeney - .942 - .905 in 2010
-Sweeney has played every game at shortstop since his freshman campaign in 2010, and among the eight C-USA schools with natural grass surfaces, his fielding percentage ranks fourth among all of the top shortstops in the league.

Useless Stat of the Day
-UCF has posted 10 hits or more in 11 of 17 night games.

Coming Down to the Wire
-Eight of UCF's last nine games have been decided by three runs or less.
-In UCF's 14 defeats this season, it has lost by a combined margin of just 43 runs, as its average loss is by only 3.1 runs per game.
-UCF has lost only four games by four runs or more.