Knights Take the Journey to Tampa to Face South Florida Tuesday

May 2, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Five-straight non-conference games await UCF and that stretch begins Tuesday at South Florida at 7 p.m. The contest will be aired live on Bright House Sports Network while Marc Daniels will have the call on 740-AM.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Midweek Schedule:
Tuesday at South Florida - Tampa, Fla. - 7 p.m.
USF - 22-21 Overall, 11-7 Big East
UCF - 27-17 Overall, 7-11 C-USA
USF Baseball Stadium (3,211)
USF leads, 56-51
Live Coverage:
UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_Baseball
Bright House Sports Network and 740-AM

Upcoming Opponent
-South Florida outscored St. John's, 9-3, for a three-game sweep at home last weekend to boost its record to 22-21 on the year, and is 11-7 in the Big East.
-With a .262 team batting average, Jonathan Koscso is the only Bull to have an average above .300 as he is hitting .324 with 33 runs scored.
-The USF arms have a 3.91 ERA with 300 strikeouts in 391.0 innings, holding opponents to a .245 average.

The Series
-The road team has won each of the last three games between UCF and USF, with the Bulls erasing a late 3-0 deficit to defeat the Knights 6-5 in Orlando March 15 this season.
-Now UCF's Friday-night starter, Brian Adkins went 6.2 innings with four strikeouts, and D.J. Hicks homered twice in the loss.
-South Florida now holds a 56-51 lead in the series.

Close Calls
-UCF has already had 20 games be decided by two runs or less this year, which are the most in a season since 2007 (23 games).
-The Black and Gold claims a 7-5 record in one-run contests and a 4-4 mark in two-run ballgames this season.

All About Fundamentals
-UCF owns a .974 fielding percentage, and if the season ended today that would be a single-season record, surpassing the .973 percentage set by the 2001 Knights.

Rolling Along
-Designated hitter D.J. Hicks carries a nine-game hitting streak and during that stretch, he has a .457 average with three home runs and 15 RBI.
-Hicks' longest streak this year is a 13-game spurt Feb. 19-March 12.

Setting the Stage
-UCF's leadoff hitter (of every inning) has reached base 41.4 percent of the time. By comparison, opposing teams' leadoff batters are getting aboard in just 33.3 percent of their plate appearances.
-In the Houston series, the Cougars' leadoff man got on base just six times.

Keeping it Consistent
-In the last seven games, UCF has used the same lineup six times, with the only difference being in game two at Memphis when Ryan Breen started in left field instead of Chris Taladay.

UCF's Iron Man
-On Tuesday, sophomore Darnell Sweeney is slated to make his 100th-straight start.
-The shortstop has started every UCF game at that position since arriving on campus last season.
-This year, Sweeney, first baseman Jonathan Griffin and center fielder Ronnie Richardson are the only Knights to start in all 44 games.

Rogers Saves!
-As a freshman, southpaw Joe Rogers totaled eight saves which ranked in a tie for third on the UCF single-season chart with five other Knights.
-Now in 2011, Rogers has continued to pile up the saves, posting his seventh in a 6-4 victory over Houston April 29. That ranks tied for ninth on the single-season register, while his 15-career saves are fourth all-time at UCF.

Turn it Up D.J. Hicks
-Designated hitter D.J. Hicks went off against FAU, Florida and Memphis en route to being named:
-Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week
-NCBWA Pro-Line Athletic National Hitter of the Week
-C-USA Hitter of the Week
-CollegeBaseballInsider.com Region Player of the Week
-CB360 Primetime Performer Weekly Honor Roll
-College Baseball Foundation National All-Star Lineup
-The redshirt sophomore went 10-for-21 for a .476 average, crushing three homers including a grand slam and drove in 13. Hicks had a 1.000 slugging percentage and a .542 OBP to guide UCF to a 4-1 record April 19-24.
-Hicks became the third different Knight in the last three years to earn national player of the week status (Shane Brown in 2009 and Darnell Sweeney in 2010).
-Hicks currently leads UCF with a .354 average.

Useless Stat of the Day
-UCF pitchers have not committed a balk in 16-straight games.

Getting Aboard Any Way Possible
-Sophomore center fielder Ronnie Richardson leads the way with a .442 on-base percentage, and that has been helped by 27 walks and 15 hit by pitches, which rank ninth on the UCF single-season chart.
-Of Richardson's 49 hits, 37 are singles while four are triples.
-He also paces the Knights with 38 runs scored as well as a .404 average when there are runners in scoring position.

Breaking Windshields
-Including homering in four-straight games April 8-12, senior Jonathan Griffin has put one over the wall in eight of his last 15 games.
-The first baseman now has 12 on the year, and also has 25 for his career, which is tied with Shane Brown for ninth on the UCF all-time list.
-Griffin is the only Knight in the top-10 to be on the UCF roster for less than three seasons.

Falling Behind in the Count? No Problem
-Of D.J. Hicks' 10 home runs, seven of them have occurred when there were two strikes ocurred.
-Conversely, Jonathan Griffin has hit eight of his 12 dingers when there were no strikes.