UCF vs. Memphis - C-USA Championship Game Notes

May 24, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

PEARL, Miss. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF embarks on part two of its season this week as it serves as the No. 4 seed for the Conference USA Championship presented by Trustmark. The event kicks off Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET when the Knights clash with No. 5 Memphis at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Schedule - Pearl, Miss.:
Wednesday - vs. No. 5 Memphis - 10 a.m. ET
Thursday - vs. No. 8 UAB - 10 a.m. ET
Friday - vs. No. 1 Rice - 1:30 p.m. ET
Saturday - Championship Game - 8 p.m. ET
No. 5 Memphis - 29-25 Overall, 12-12 C-USA
No. 4 UCF - 36-20 Overall, 12-12 C-USA
Trustmark Park (8,480)
Memphis Leads, 11-8
Live Coverage:
740-AM, UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_Baseball

Multimedia Coverage
-Every game this week is scheduled to air on 740-AM in Orlando with Marc Daniels on the call. Links and live stats will be available at UCFAthletics.com.
-Thursday's tilt against UAB will air on Bright House Sports Network.
-Saturday's championship game will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

Upcoming Opponent
-Led by the nation's leading hitter in Chad Zurcher (.455), Memphis boasts a 29-25 record and tied with UCF for fourth in the standings with a 12-12 C-USA record.
-A total of four hitters have at least a .310 average, as the Tigers are batting .306 as a team. And defensively, they carry a .977 fielding percentage.
-Memphis' starting pitcher had not been announced as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Series
-Memphis leads the series 11-8, however the Knights took two of three from the Tigers in Tennessee April 22-24. UCF was on the verge of a sweep, but lost a 6-3 lead in the seventh inning in the finale.
-In the three-game series this year, Brian Adkins went 7.0 innings with just four hits against in the opener, the bullpen picked up the win in game two, and D.J. Hicks (.545), Beau Taylor (.462) and Ronnie Richardson (.417) each went at least .400 at the dish.

C-USA Postseason Awards
-UCF locked up four C-USA awards this week:
Sr. 1B Jonathan Griffin - All-C-USA First Team
RS So. DH D.J. Hicks - All-C-USA Second Team
Fr. RHP Ben Lively - C-USA All-Freshman Team
Sr. 3B Derek Luciano - C-USA All-Academic Team

UCF in the C-USA Championship
-The Knights are 1-6 all-time in the C-USA Championship. Below are their full results:
2007 - Greenville, N.C.
No. 1 Rice def. No. 8 UCF, 16-6
No. 8 UCF def. No. 4 Houston, 1-0
No. 5 Memphis def. No. 8 UCF, 12-6
2008 - New Orleans, La.
No. 2 Southern Miss def. No. 7 UCF, 8-5
No. 3 Tulane def. No. 7 UCF, 5-2
2009 - Hattiesburg, Miss.
No. 1 East Carolina def. No. 8 UCF, 6-3
No. 4 Tulane def. No. 8 UCF, 7-3

UCF Against Memphis, UAB and Rice
-The Knights claimed the regular-season series against every team in its pool, going 3-0 vs. UAB and 2-1 vs. Memphis and Rice.
-UCF was on the road for each of those series.

Making a Statement in C-USA
-With a 12-12 league mark and a fourth-place finish, UCF set the school record for most C-USA victories and its best finish in the standings since joining the league in 2006.

Taylor Made
-One of UCF's most consistent hitters of all-time, junior catcher Beau Taylor posted a .335 mark as a freshman and a .354 average in 2010.
-This year, the Rockledge native's average sat at .287 until he started to unload.
-Facing Florida April 20, Taylor went 3-for-4 and has not looked back. He has since notched at least one hit in 17 of the last 19 games to push his 2011 average up to .332.
-Taylor currently rides a 12-game hitting streak, and has a .420 average (21-for-50) with nine RBI and 12 runs during that stretch.

RPI Report
-UCF's ratings as of Tuesday:
NCAA: No. 18
Boyd's World: No. 19
Warren Nolan: No. 18
Strength of Schedule: No. 28

Thank You Fans!
-In 31 home dates, UCF averaged 1,212 fans a game.
-The Knights' single-game average record previously was 1,088 fans in 2009.
-In all, 37,586 fans swarmed the park this season.
-Back in 2008, the Knights set the total attendance record with 40,012 fans, but they had 38 home dates that year.

Did That Really Happen?
-On Senior Day May 21, UCF thumped Marshall, 8-1, to conclude the regular season.
-What made it special was a memorable seventh inning, where Darnell Sweeney, Ronnie Richardson and Beau Taylor each hit back-to-back-to-back home runs, marking the first time in school history that had been accomplished.
-Two batters after Taylor's blast, Jonathan Griffin launched a solo shot to left, giving UCF four homers in one inning for the first time since the program's inception in 1973.
-For Griffin, it was the senior's first time he cranked out two homers in a game in two years as a Knight, even though he has 29 career dingers.

A Prestigious Honor
-Redshirt sophomore D.J. Hicks was named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, which is handed out to the nation's top collegiate player.
-UCF has now had a player chosen as a semifinalist in each of the past two years, as Chris Duffy made the list last season.
-UCF also is just one of seven teams in the country to have a player as a semifinalist in 2010 and 2011.

Useless Stat of the Day
-D.J. Hicks drew two walks during the 2009 C-USA Championship.

A 1-2 Punch
-Sophomore lefty Brian Adkins (6-4, 3.92) opened the year as UCF's top midweek pitcher, but has since taken over as the No. 1 starter. He has worked at least 6.0 innings in 10 of 12 starts, and has wins vs. Bethune-Cookman, Maine, Boston College, Rice, ECU and Houston.
-The Knights' Opening Day starter, Danny Winkler (3-4, 4.90), was moved to the bullpen in the middle of the season only to work his way back into the rotation April 24 at Memphis. In his previous five starts, the junior righty has lasted at least 5.0 innings.

Fundamental Baseball
-UCF did not commit an error in eight-straight games, and in 83.0 innings overall from the second inning at South Florida May 3 to the sixth inning vs. Marshall May 19.
-There is no NCAA record listed for consecutive games without an error, but the MLB record is 18 set by the New York Yankees in 2009.
-UCF owns a .979 fielding percentage, and if the season ended today that would be a single-season record, surpassing the .973 percentage set by the 2001 Knights.
-The Black and Gold has made just one error in the last 11 outings.