Baseball Collides with No. 21 Stetson Tuesday in DeLand

May 16, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Coming off a perfect 4-0 week, UCF concludes its non-conference schedule with a short trip to No. 21 Stetson Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The game is a rescheduled contest after the two teams were rained out March 30.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Midweek Schedule:
Tuesday at No. 21 Stetson - DeLand, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Stetson - 39-13 Overall, 22-5 Atlantic Sun
UCF - 33-19 Overall, 10-11 C-USA
Melching Field at Conrad Park (2,500)
UCF Leads, 68-48
Live Coverage:
UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_Baseball
UCFAthletics.com's All-Access Player - Marc Daniels on the Call

Upcoming Opponent
-Stetson has played solid baseball all year long. Holding a 39-13 overall record and a 22-5 mark in the Atlantic Sun, the Hatters are hitting .301 as a team while carrying a 3.51 ERA and a .967 fielding percentage.
-Four starters are batting at least .322 with Nick Rickles going .363 with 10 homers and just seven strikeouts in 202 at-bats.
-Tuesday's starting pitcher has not been announced, but Will Dorsey got the loss in 3.0 innings March 29.

The Series
-This season marks the 27th-straight year UCF and Stetson have met on the diamond dating back to the Knights' first year at the Division I level in 1985.
-The Knights have played the Hatters more than any other opponent, and own a 68-48 all-time lead in the series, including having won the last eight meetings.
-In Orlando March 29, Chase Bradford went 6.0 innings with two runs against and Erik Hempe was 3-for-3 with two RBI in UCF's 8-2 victory.

Non-Conference Dominance
-As UCF gets set to wrap up its non-conference regular-season schedule, it is time to look at the Knights' top performers in non-league tilts.
-Beau Taylor holds a team-high .345 average in non-conference outings as UCF has a 23-8 record in those games. Ronnie Richardson is right behind him with a .327 mark, and D.J. Hicks has eight dingers.
-On the hill, Nick Cicio has a 1.00 ERA in 14 appearances (27.0 innings), striking out 31. And Tuesday starter Ray Hanson is 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA in six starts and eight games overall.

Earning Some Love from C-USA
-Beau Taylor picked up his second-career C-USA Hitter of the Week award after he went 8-for-17 for a .471 average in UCF's 4-0 week May 11-15.
-Taylor had the game-winning ninth-inning homer in the series opener at UAB, and went 4-for-4 with three RBI and three runs in the finale.
-Taylor, Darnell Sweeney (Feb. 28) and D.J. Hicks (April 25) have all earned C-USA weekly awards this year.

Owning the Field
-UCF has not committed an error in seven-straight games, and in 68.2 innings overall dating back to the second inning at South Florida May 3.
-UCF owns a .978 fielding percentage, and if the season ended today that would be a single-season record, surpassing the .973 percentage set by the 2001 Knights.

C-USA Championship Presented by Trustmark
-UCF is locked into the eight-team C-USA Championship field this season in Pearl, Miss., May 25-29.
-The Knights, who are tied for fifth with a 10-11 record, could finish anywhere from third to seventh in the standings after this weekend vs. Marshall.
-This year will be pool play with the No. 1, 4, 5 and 8 seeds grouped together and the No. 2, 3, 6 and 7 seeds in the other pool. The championship game is slated for Saturday with Sunday being a makeup date if necessary.

Outfielders Jump All Over UAB Pitching
-Right fielder Erik Hempe (7-for-14), left fielder Ryan Breen (6-for-12) and center fielder Ronnie Richardson (5-for-13) combined to go 18-for-39 for a .461 average in the three-game sweep at UAB.
-In all, UCF hit .353 as a team en route to its first sweep of the Blazers in school history, outscoring the home team 32-9.

Just Get Runners Aboard
-Runners on: UCF - .302. Opponents - .263.
-Bases loaded: UCF - .390. Opponents - .298.
-Runners in scoring pos.: UCF - .320. Opponents - .282.
-The Knights have four grand slams this year, including Erik Hempe's salami in a nine-run 10th-inning at UAB May 14.

What's on the Line This Week
-One win will give UCF its most victories since the 2005 campaign when it went 42-18.
-A victory in the three-game series vs. Marshall will give UCF 11 C-USA wins, which would be the most since the Knights joined the league in 2006.
-And with a RPI as high as No. 21, the Knights are looking to position themselves for an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Black and Gold's last appearance in the postseason was in 2004.

UCF's Quick Bio
-RPI: No. 21
-Strength of Schedule: No. 21
-Record vs. Ranked Teams: 7-7
-Record vs. Teams in the Top-50: 9-11
-Leads C-USA with four non-conference victories over top-20 teams in the RPI
-Has five of C-USA's 20 wins against non-conference ranked teams
-Nine losses are by just two runs or less

Useless Stat of the Day
-The pitchers have walked exactly two batters in each of the last five games.

The Power Station
-Jonathan Griffin ranks first in C-USA in slugging (.604), total bases (125) and homers (14).
-D.J. Hicks is first in RBI (54), second in total bases (114) and homers (12), third in slugging (.597) and fifth in average (.351).