Week 1 Notebook

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – After starting the 2019 season with a three-game sweep of Siena over the weekend, the UCF baseball team continues its seven-game homestand on Tuesday night with matchup against in-state foe Stetson. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. on UCFKnights.TV.

The Knights rolled on Opening Weekend, outscoring Siena 15-4. Griffin Bernardo and Dalton Wingo topped the team with matching .455 batting averages. Offensively, the Knights totaled seven extra-base hits on the weekend. Every hitter reached safely in Saturday and Sunday’s outings.

The pitching staff also put it yeoman’s work against the Saints. The starters combined for 18 strikeouts and a 0.60 ERA and an opposing batting average of .130, while the bullpen recorded 23 punchouts in 12 innings of work. Reliever Zack Helsel made a pair of appearances, fanning six over three innings.

UCF was active on the base paths. Matthew Mika stole a conference-best four bases on opening weekend, as the Knights went a perfect 10-for-10. Ray Alejo was on the move right away when he stole second and third after the leadoff at-bat to start the year.

The Knights will turn their attention to Stetson. The two ball clubs split last year’s midweek series with the home team winning both games. The Hatters are coming off an NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2018. Stetson went 0-3 to start the year in a tournament at home against Virginia Tech, Sam Houston State and Manhattan. 

Jaylyn Whitehead will make his first career start on Tuesday night. The southpaw made five appearances in 2018 with a 2.08 ERA and four strikeouts. Whitehead made a substantial jump during the offseason, during which he was named First Team Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League and an All-Star while playing for the Cincinnati Steam.

UCF vs. StetsonTuesday, 6 PM | UCFKnights.TV
Jaylyn Whitehead, LHP (0-0, 2.08 ERA) vs. Vlad Nunez, RHP (0-0, 18.00 ERA)  


Tuesday, Feb. 19 – vs. Stetson, 6 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 22 – vs. Auburn, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23 – vs. Auburn, 6 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 24 – vs. Auburn, 1 p.m.

Friday – vs. Siena, Win, 3-2
Saturday – vs. Siena, Win, 5-1
Sunday – vs. Siena, Win, 7-1

* The Knights opened the 2019 season with a three-game sweep of Siena, taking the series lead to 57-4.
* After a dominant outing by starting pitcher Grant Schuermann, the Knights needed a walk-off on a fielder’s choice throwing error to take the season opener.
* Dalton Wingo launched a three-run home run to open up a four-run lead for the Knights on Saturday.
* Righty Jordan Spicer fired five strikeouts over five innings of work and did not allow a run, as the Knights completed the sweep with a  7-1 win. Brandon Hernandez and Dallas Beaver both had a pair of RBI on the afternoon.  

Zack Helsel, rJr., RHP
2 GP, 3.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 K, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB
* Made debut in the season opener, striking out a pair without allowing a hit or a walk.
* Fanned four over two innings of work against Siena.
* Finished weekend with 50 total pitches, 30 of which were strikes.

Griffin Bernardo, So., INF 
3 GP, 3 GS, .455, 5-11, 2 RBI, 4 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB 
* Earned a spot on the Honor Roll after leading the team with a .455 batting average.
* Launched a solo homer in the season opener
* Posted a .909 slugging percentage with three extra-base hits

* UCF is 3-0 for the 18th time in program history.
* Sophomores Dalton Wingo and Griffin Bernardo combined to hit .455 with six RBI and two home runs.
*  The Knights lead The American in stolen bases, besting UConn and Houston by seven.
* UCF struck out at least 10 batters in every game.
* The Black and Gold notched a 13.67 strikeouts per nine innings mark, the best in the conference
* Each of the three starters fanned at least five, with Grant Schuermann registering seven punchouts in his debut.
* As a team, the Knights totaled a .310 clip at the plate, with six players posting a clip of .300 or better.
* The Black and Gold was 10-for-38 with runners in scoring position, led by a pair of hits from Chandler Robertson.
* The pitching staff surrendered just 14 hits for an opponent batting average of .156.
* Eight Knights made their debut for the Black and Gold during Opening Weekend.
* UCF struck late all weekend with 10 of the 15 runs coming in the sixth inning or later.

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