UCF on the Road to Face No. 6 Florida State

May 5, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF and Florida State have not met during the regular season since 1993 but that will change this weekend when the Knights travel to Tallahassee to face the No. 6 Seminoles. Game one is set for Friday at 6 p.m., game two will take place Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on Sun Sports and the finale will get underway Sunday at 1 p.m.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Friday - Tallahassee, Fla. - 6 p.m.
Saturday - Tallahassee, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Sunday - Tallahassee, Fla. - 1 p.m.
No. 6 Florida State - 34-11 Overall, 16-8 ACC
UCF - 28-17 Overall, 7-11 C-USA
Dick Howser Stadium (6,700)
FSU Leads, 19-4
Live Coverage:
740-AM, UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_Baseball
Saturday on Sun Sports

Upcoming Opponent
-Victorious in 10 of its last 11 outings, Florida State is 34-11 on the year with a 16-8 mark in the ACC. It also boasts a 10-3 record against common opponents with UCF (Florida, Stetson, Miami, Boston College, Maine).
-The Seminoles carry a .291 team average with 39 homers, 57 stolen bases and a .975 fielding percentage.
-FSU's pitching staff owns a 3.32 ERA, holding opponents to a .236 average. Closer Daniel Bennett has eight saves and a 2.29 ERA in 29 appearances.

The Series
-It will be the first time the two schools battle on the diamond since the 2004 NCAA Tournament. In all, UCF made the trek to Tallahassee for the postseason in 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2004.
-However this weekend marks the Knights' first regular-season meeting with the Seminoles since 1993 in Daytona Beach and the first in Tallahassee since 1988.
-The only other three-game series between UCF and FSU was in 1985, the Knights' first year at the D-I level.
-Florida State is tentatively scheduled to make the return trip to Orlando for two midweek games next year.
-FSU currently leads the all-time series, 19-4.

A Memorable Night in Tallahassee
-Arguably the greatest game in UCF history took place at Dick Howser Stadium in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
-In an elimination game between No. 20 UCF and No. 24 Oklahoma State, the Knights held a 9-6 lead with two outs and two strikes in the ninth before OSU's Rusty Ryal sent it to extras with a three-run double.
-Reliever Darren Newlin recovered in heart-pounding fashion by leaving the bases loaded in the top of the 10th.
-The Knights then strode to the plate in the bottom half where Travis Ingle walked Drake Wade and Dee Brown with one out, giving way to Ryan Bono, who sent a 2-2 offering over the right-field wall for the 12-9 win.

Injury Update
-Starting left fielder Chris Taladay was injured at South Florida Tuesday and will likely miss the rest of the season.
-Relief pitcher Brennan Dobbins and reserve outfielder Alex Friedrich did not make the trip due to injuries.

UCF vs. the ACC
-UCF holds an 18-12 record against ACC teams, not including Florida State and Miami (Knights are 4-19 vs. FSU and 5-23 vs. UM).
-The Knights' last three-game road series at an ACC opponent was in 2004 when they took two of three at No. 13 Clemson.

UCF vs. Ranked Teams
-UCF has not been afraid of ranked teams this year, posting a 6-5 record with two victories over top-five Florida and No. 23 Rice, along with wins against No. 20 Stetson and No. 29 Alabama.
-That is the most victories against ranked opponents in one season since 2004 when the Knights had seven.
-UCF's last three-game road series against a top-10 team before this weekend was at No. 1 LSU in 2009.

The Lowdown on D.J. Hicks
-Left-handed hitting D.J. Hicks leads the Knights with a .356 average, as well as a .404 average vs. southpaws.
-Hicks enters the weekend with a 10-game hitting streak, and during that stretch he has a .450 average with four homers and 18 RBI.
-His longest hitting streak this year was a 13-game spurt Feb. 19-March 12.

Spreading the Love
-Senior first baseman Jonathan Griffin is not just pulling mammoth homers to left field, but this year he has spread the ball to all fields.
-And it all started after he watched his average fall to .287 March 25 in the series opener at Rice.
-Since then, in the last 23 games Griffin has a .404 mark with eight home runs, a .753 slugging percentage and a .455 OBP.
-For the season, he is hitting .347 with 12 dingers and 11 doubles.

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.

Useless Stat of the Day
-UCF has had at least one batter be hit by a pitch at least once in each of the last six away games.

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.