UCF Begins The American Championship Tuesday



The American Championship
Clearwater, Fla. | Bright House Field
May 23-29

Game Notes: UCF

Tuesday, May 23
11 a.m. -- RHP Howell (UCF) vs. RHP -- Simms (Tulane)
TV: CBS Sports Network
Audio: FM 96.9 The Game / TuneIn
Stats: TheAmerican.org

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The American Championship begins for UCF on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. against top-seeded Tulane at Bright House Field. The contest is slated to broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.

UCF (25-31) has named junior Robby Howell (7-3, 1.91, 62 K) as its starter, while Tulane (37-17) has decided to go with Trevor Simms (4-1, 3.68 ERA, 17 K), who is making his first-career start.

The American Athletic Conference honors were also released on Monday with senior Sam Tolleson and Howell earning second team accolades. Howell started the season with a 7-0 mark and has compiled a 1.91 ERA, which ranks 23rd nationally, along with 62 strikeouts in 94 1/3 innings of work. A .277 conference batting average was posted by junior designated hitter Sam Tolleson, who blasted three homers and drove in 12 runs.

The Knights (25-28, 8-12 The American) look to halt a six-game skid, which includes three setbacks vs. East Carolina last weekend. UCF recorded a pair of ninth-inning rallies on Thursday and Saturday, but came up short, 5-3 and 8-7, respectively.

The Green Wave clinched the regular season title on May 21 and recorded series wins against East Carolina, UCF, Houston, USF and Memphis. Tulane is paced by shortstop Stephen Alemais with a .320 average, while Jeremy Montalbano has driven in 42 runs.

The winner of the game between the Knights and Green Wave moves on to play at 3 p.m. Thursday against either Cincinnati or Houston. The loser of the contest plays in an elimination game on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

@UCF_Baseball Trending Topics

? The Knights are set to begin a new season Tuesday at The American Championship. #UCF is 4-4 in the event since the league began in 2014. #PostseasonPlay

? #UCF finished with an 8-16 league mark and notched series wins over Memphis, USF and Cincinnati. The Knights are tabbed as the eighth seed. #TourneyTime

? #UCF made a pair of ninth-inning rallies on Thursday and Saturday but came up short, 5-3 and 8-7. The Knights scored six runs on Saturday in their last at bat and had the bases loaded before the Pirates sealed the sweep. #ToughSeries

? #UCF boasts the third-highest fielding pct. in @American_BSB at .972 and has turned 56 double plays on the season, which includes four against FAU and ranks 10th in the country. The school record for double plays in a season is 61 set in 1985 and 2010. #ToughUpTheMiddle

? Junior righty Robby Howell has posted a 1.91 ERA with a 7-3 record, and his ERA ranks 20th nationally. His win total is second in @American_BSB. Howell is also on the watch list for National Pitcher of the Year. #WatchingHowell

? Junior righty Juan Pimentel has made five weekend quality starts (2 Saturday, 3 Sunday) and posted a 2.66 ERA during conference play. He tallied 35 strikeouts in 50.2 frames of work during league play and recorded a complete game vs. Houston. #PimentelPhenomenal

? A total of 31 appearances this season and 81 career appearances have been made by senior lefty Harrison Hukari. He ranks 11th nationally in pitching appearances and has notched two victories and three saves, while tossing 49.2 frames. In league play, he has a team-best 2.41 ERA in 12 appearances over 22.2 innings of work. #Southpaw

? The Knights are paced by juniors Brennan Bozeman (.310) and Eli Putnam (.309) with .300-or-better averages. Junior Ryan Crile has a team-best 59 base hits, while Kam Gellinger leads the squad with 16 doubles. #OffensiveLeaders

? Senior Sam Tolleson powered the Knights to an 8-7 win in the series opener vs. Cincinnati with a seventh-inning grand slam with two outs. The win in relief was registered by senior Harrison Hukari, while junior Trent Thompson tallied his third save of the campaign. #SlamminSam

? Only one earned run has been allowed in 14 innings of work during conference play by Andrew Deramo. He has made five appearances and struck out 13. #DynamicDeramo

? The Knights' pitching staff has accumulated a 3.63 ERA with 144 strikeouts in 208.1 innings of work. The squad's ERA decreased 0.6 points from the mark achieved during the season. #ConferencePlay