Baseball On the Road to Face Memphis Friday-Sunday

April 21, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UCFAthletics.com) - One last series awaits UCF before finals as the Black and Gold hits the road for the second-straight weekend. The Knights will open up a three-game set at Memphis Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, with game two scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. ET and the finale will take place Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Friday - Memphis, Tenn. - 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday - Memphis, Tenn. - 3 p.m. ET
Sunday - Memphis, Tenn. - 2 p.m. ET
Memphis - 23-15 Overall, 6-3 C-USA
UCF - 24-14 Overall, 4-8 C-USA
FedExPark (2,000)
Memphis Leads, 10-6
Live Coverage:
UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_Baseball

Next Weekend
-A reminder to fans for next weekend against Houston. Game two Saturday, April 30, will be Military Appreciation Night at 4 p.m. For all of the details, click HERE.

Upcoming Opponent
-It has been a wild 2011 for Memphis (23-15, 6-3). After getting off to a 10-4 start, the Tigers dropped back to 13-11 before winning six-straight (including two vs. Southern Miss and one vs. Ole Miss). They then swept UAB last weekend.
-Entering the week, Memphis boasts the nation's leading hitter in Chad Zurcher, who currently has a .473 average with 26 walks and only six strikeouts. As a team, Memphis has a .317 average with a .977 fielding percentage.
-All three starting pitchers this weekend have an ERA of 4.25 or better, as the staff has held opponents to a .257 average

The Series
-Memphis holds a 10-6 lead in the series, but the last time UCF visited Tennessee it won the final two games at AutoZone Park to take the series, 2-1.
-In that final contest in Memphis in 2009, UCF trailed the Tigers 3-0 with two outs and nobody on in the top of the ninth. That was when Kiko Vazquez homered, D.J. Hicks drew a four-pitch walk and Chris Duffy crushed a two-run job right. Now tied 3-3 and still two down, Chadd Hartman had a pinch-hit single and Colin Arnold then homered as well for the incredible 5-3 win.

Working His Way to Friday Night
-With a year of valuable experience on the mound as a freshman in 2010, sophomore lefty Brian Adkins is blossoming in 2011 with a 5-2 record and 3.00 ERA.
-Opening up the year as the Knights' primary midweek starter, Adkins proceeded to pick up wins in his first three outings.
-He got his first taste of the weekend in relief at Rice, earning the victory in the rubber match.
-Adkins then made his first weekend start vs. Tulane, going 6.0 innings without earning a decision before grabbing the win at ECU April 16 with 7.0 solid frames.
-Adkins now has lasted at least 6.0 innings in each of his previous six starts (he only went 3.0 at B-CU due to a pitch count).

Sweeping the Gators
-This year, UCF posted its first sweep of at least two games against Florida since 1990.
-Darnell Sweeney lifted the Knights to a 4-3 road victory April 5, drilling a two-out, two-run double to center in the top of the ninth.
-And on April 20, the Knights scored seven two-out runs to jump out to an 8-0 lead and held off a late rally for the 8-6 win in Orlando. They used seven pitchers in all, and kept Florida to just two hits in the first seven innings.

Thank You Fans!
-With No. 5 Florida in town April 20, UCF's game with the Gators certainly became a huge event on campus. And it showed in the final attendance as a record 3,601 packed the park to watch the Knights pick up an 8-6 win.
-That broke the previous record of 2,758 vs. Florida March 18, 2009 (a difference of 843 fans).
-To get an idea of how massive the crowd was, the attendance of 3,601 would rank as the 11th largest series in stadium history.

Two-Out Pitching
-The UCF arms have held opponents to an 0-for-21 mark in the last three games when there have been two outs.
-The last two-out hit the staff has given up was a seventh-inning single in game two vs. ECU last weekend which did no damage.
-Meanwhile, the Knights have not surrendered a two-out RBI in the last four games.
-Conversely, they also allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base only three times combined vs. FAU and Florida this week.

Useless Stat of the Day
-The Knights have been issued four intentional walks in C-USA games, including two to Jonathan Griffin.

RPI Update
-UCF began the week No. 39 in the BoydsWorld.com RPI, yet after midweek victories over FAU and Florida it jumped to No. 27 Thursday.
-C-USA has eight of its nine schools in the top-80.

Random Notes From the Road
-UCF has allowed just two home runs in road games (does not include two neutral site contests) and is 6-5 overall on an opponent's home field.
-Derek Luciano is hitting .385 while Darnell Sweeney has 13 RBI in road tilts.
-Brian Adkins has logged the most innings on the hill, posting a 3-1 record with a 2.84 ERA in 19.0 innings on the road.
-The Knights have allowed two runs or less in four of their last five away games.