ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – Primed for one of its toughest series of the year, the UCF baseball team is set to host No. 15 Auburn this weekend at John Euliano Park. Start times are set for 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with a 1 p.m. first pitch scheduled for Sunday.
Marc Daniels will have the call on 96.9FM/740AM The Game on Friday and Saturday.
The Knights are off to a 4-0 start to the year following a three-game sweep of Siena and a 10-2 win over Stetson on Tuesday. The bullpen has been brilliant for the Black and Gold to start the year with a 1.06 staff ERA, 32 strikeouts and just eight allowed hits in 17 innings of work. Of the eight relievers that head coach Greg Lovelady has used this season, seven have racked up at least three strikeouts.
While the bullpen has shined, the corps of veteran position players have started hot at the plate. Chandler Robertson tops the team with a .462 batting average, while Dalton Wingo and Ray Alejo follow closely with clips of .438 and .400, respectively. Alejo had a career night on Tuesday when he went 2-for-3 with four RBI and a solo home run.
This weekend will be the Knights’ first test against a ranked opponent. UCF went 11-10 against ranked opposition in 2018, including a two-game sweep of No. 1 Florida. Sunday’s game will mark the halfway point of UCF’s eight-game stretch against 2018 NCAA Regional opposition.
THE WEEKEND ROTATION
UCF will send the same rotation back to the mound this weekend. Grant Schuermann fired seven strikeouts in six innings of action in his debut on Opening Knight. Trevor Holloway tossed four shutout innings against Siena last Saturday. Jordan Spicer was the lone starter to pick up a win on Opening Weekend following five scoreless innings with a career-high five punchouts.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
• Auburn enters the weekend with a 4-1 mark, after a two-game sweep of Alabama A&M in the midweek.
• A trio of Tigers are hitting above .400, led by Kason Howell’s .450 clip and four RBI.
• Sophomore Tanner Burns will get the ball on Friday night after striking out seven and giving up one run over five innings last Saturday against Georgia Southern.
GAME 1 – Friday, 6 PM | UCFKnights.TV | 96.9FM/740 AM The Game
Grant Schuermann, LHP (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Tanner Burns, RHP (0-0, 1.80 ERA)
GAME 2 – Saturday, 6 PM
Trevor Holloway, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Kyle Gray, LHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
GAME 3 – Sunday, 1 PM
Jordan Spicer, RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. TBA
• UCF is 4-0 for the 11th time in program history.
• The last time the Knights won a series against an SEC opponent on the weekend came back in 2001 against No. 11 Alabama.
• The Black and Gold rank seventh in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings with 13 and in ERA with a 1.25 mark.
• Holloway sits sixth in The American with 13.5 strikeouts per game.
• UCF has driven in seven two-out RBI on the year, with Pedro Castellano bringing in a team-high three.
MEGA WEEKEND PARKING
The three baseball games this weekend are just a part of a busy schedule for UCF Athletics. UCF Softball, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Basketball, as well as the Orlando Apollos will be in action this weekend. For information about parking, click here.
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