NCAA Tallahassee Regional Game Notes - UCF vs. Alabama

June 2, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Back in the postseason for the first time since 2004, No. 2 UCF collides with No. 3 Alabama in the opening game of the Tallahassee Regional Friday at noon. No. 1 Florida State and No. 4 Bethune-Cookman meet in the night game at 6 p.m.

Game Notes in PDF Format

Schedule - Tallahassee, Fla.:
Friday - vs. Alabama - 12 p.m.
No. 3 Seed Alabama - 33-36 Overall, 14-16 SEC
No. 2 Seed UCF - 38-21 Overall, 12-12 C-USA
Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium (6,700)
UCF Leads, 6-4
Live Coverage:
740-AM, UCFAthletics.com and Seminoles.com

This Weekend's Schedule
-Friday, Saturday and Sunday's games will be played at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day.
-If game seven is needed, it will be Monday at 6 p.m.
-Every game this weekend 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.
-UCFAthletics.com also has a link set up for live video for Friday's game against the Crimson Tide.
-Games on Saturday/Sunday/Monday in which FSU will be playing will be broadcast on Sun Sports or Fox Sports Florida.
-The Knights are 6-1 this year when appearing on TV.

Upcoming Opponent
-Alabama went 1-2 in the SEC Tournament and brings a 33-26 overall record into Tallahassee.
-The Crimson Tide jump on opposing teams early, scoring 51 runs in the first inning this year.
-Hitting just 20 home runs this year, Alabama has a team average of .273 with All-SEC Second Team outfielder Taylor Dugas leading the charge with a .345 average and six round-trippers.
-On the hill, it carries a 3.74 ERA with just 147 walks and 362 strikeouts in 515.1 innings.
-Friday starter Nathan Kilcrease (7-4, 3.16) recently tossed a complete game to defeat No. 2 South Carolina, 2-1, May 19.
-The Crimson Tide are 5-12 against ranked opponents, including wins against South Carolina, Southern Miss and Arkansas (three).

The Series
-UCF increased its series lead against Alabama to 6-4 with a 12-4 victory over the Crimson Tide at this year's South Alabama Classic Feb. 27.
-In that triumph, Travis Shreve doubled on the second pitch of the game and the Knights never let off the gas, posting 18 hits including two homers from Chris Taladay (who is sitting out the rest of the season with an injury).
-Freshman Ben Lively won his first-collegiate start by going 5.0 innings without giving up an earned run vs. Alabama, while Tucker Hawley got the loss in 3.0 innings.
-Dating back to 2001 where the Knights swept No. 11 Alabama in Orlando, the Black and Gold has won the last four meetings.

UCF Against the Tallahassee Regional
-The Knights posted a 4-2 record vs. FSU, Alabama and Bethune-Cookman this year, going 1-2 vs. the Seminoles, 1-0 vs. the Crimson Tide and 2-0 against the Wildcats.
-In those six games, UCF hit a combined .290 with Beau Taylor going .417 vs. the three programs. UCF also committed just three errors and had a team ERA of 4.85.

UCF Against the Field of 64
-The Black and Gold went 12-10 this season vs. teams that qualified for the 2011 NCAA Tournament (included are each team's seed):
No. 1 Rice - 2-2
No. 1 Florida - 2-0
No. 1 Florida State - 1-2
No. 2 East Carolina - 1-2
No. 2 Stetson - 2-0
No. 2 Miami - 0-1
No. 2 Southern Miss - 0-3
No. 3 Alabama - 1-0
No. 4 Maine - 1-0
No. 4 Bethune-Cookman - 2-0
-Among the top-eight national seeds, UCF had a 5-4 record, going 2-0 vs. No. 2 Florida, 1-2 vs. No. 5 FSU and 2-2 against No. 8 Rice.

NCAA History
-UCF's first season of NCAA baseball was in 1973, and it advanced to the D-II South Regional in 1979.
-The Knights made the move to Division I in 1985 and has since made 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament.
-With a 13-18 all-time postseason record at the D-I level, UCF posted at least one victory in nine of those 10 appearances, but has never reached the Super Regionals.
-This weekend is the seventh time the Knights visit Tallahassee for NCAA Regionals.
-In 1989 (Gainesville), 2000 (Tallahassee) and 2001 (Columbia), UCF won its first two games only to drop its next two.
-In 2004 at FSU, the Knights needed to defeat the Seminoles twice to advance. They topped the home team in game one 7-5 but lost in the deciding game, 19-3.
-UCF has not faced Alabama or Bethune-Cookman in the NCAA Tournament, but has a 2-6 record vs. FSU.

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.

Regional Comparisons
(All RPI notes are based on Boyd's World)
-The Tallahassee Regional is one of just four which feature three teams with an RPI of No. 35 or higher (No. 4 FSU, No. 18 UCF, No. 35 Alabama).
-It also is one of just five regionals with two teams with an RPI of No. 20 or higher.
-By taking an average of all four teams' RPI, the Tallahassee Regional has an average RPI of 44.25, which ranks in a tie for the fifth-highest of the 16 sites. The most difficult regional based on average RPI is Columbia at 35.25, while the easiest is in Charlottesville (68.00).
-UCF has the fourth-highest RPI of all 16 teams that have a No. 2 seed.
-The Knights also have a higher RPI than three No. 1 seeds (No. 19 TCU, No. 31 Oregon State, No. 34 UCLA).

Useless Stat of the Day
-Derek Luciano has two sacrifice flies in five neutral-site games.

C-USA Championship Recap
-UCF went 2-1 in the C-USA Championship in Pearl, Miss. As the No. 4 seed, the highest seed for the Knights in four appearances in the event, it topped No. 5 Memphis, 16-9, and No. 8 UAB, 6-4, before dropping a 4-2 decision to No. 1 Rice to conclude pool play.
-First baseman Jonathan Griffin and designated hitter D.J. Hicks were named to the All-Tournament Team.
-It was the first time since the 2005 Atlantic Sun Tournament that UCF posted at least two wins in a conference tournament.
-Derek Luciano, Ronnie Richardson and Hicks all hit .417 in the three games, while Griffin crushed a pair of three-run homers.
-Reliever Johnny Sedlock tossed 8.0 innings from the pen, giving up just one run on six hits and striking out five in two appearances.