ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF baseball team continues hits 12-game homestand this weekend against Ball State on Wednesday night at John Euliano Park. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
The game will be streamed through UCFKnights.TV.
The Knights improved to 8-3 on the year after taking two of three from Jacksonville last weekend. After a prolonged rain delay led to a series opening loss, Chris Williams made his debut on Saturday night to lead the Black and Gold to a 3-0 win. On Sunday, Chandler Robertson delivered a two-run double in the seventh inning, as the Knights struck out the final seven batters of the game to win 6-4.
Williams was named the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week for his six-shutout innings with eight strikeouts. Tyler Osik, who hit .438 and drove in a pair of runs, and Jeffrey Hakanson, who picked up a trio of saves over the week, garnered Honor Roll status by The American.
Osik has had the hot bat for the Black and Gold over the last five games with a .476 clip at the dish. The redshirt senior has plated a quartet of runs during that span. Dallas Beaver joined Dalton Wingo for the team lead with 10 RBI after brining in five scores last week.
Garrett Westberg and Hakanson have been lights out on the mound for the Knights late in games. Hakanson has a team-high 18 strikeouts from his eight innings of work with opponents hitting just .115 off him. Westberg has fanned 13 batters in 7 2/3 innings this season. Kyle Kemp has become another reliable arm out of the bullpen as well with a 0.00 ERA through six appearances with one hit allowed.
SCOUTING BALL STATE
• The Cardinals are 5-6 on the season after going 3-1 at the Swing & Swine Classic in Charleston, S.C., with a pair of wins over Notre Dame.
• Kyle Nicholas has come up big late in games for Ball State with a trio of saves through the opening 11 games of the year.
• While the Cardinals have yet to play a home game in 2019, Wednesday will be just the fifth true road game of the season.
ON THE MOUND
Head coach Greg Lovelady will turn to Tom Cheshareck for the start on Wednesday. The righty will make his UCF debut after missing the first 11 games of the year. Cheshareck played two seasons at Parkland College, where he led the Cobras to a runner-up finish at the 2018 NJCAA DII World Series. He made 15 appearances as a sophomore to post a 1-0 record and one save with 26 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.
• The all-time series between the two ball clubs is tied at 1-1. This will be the first meeting since 1977.
• The Knights have turned 13 double plays this season, ranking seventh in the nation.
• UCF has climbed up to 24th in the nation in stolen bases with 22, led by Matthew Mika’s seven.
• Westberg ranks seventh in the country with seven appearances and 51st with a pair of wins.
• The Black and Gold are 35th nationally with 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
• Osik took over the longest active on-base streak with a career-long 10 games.
• The Knights have had 21 multi-hit performances, led by five two-hit games from Wingo, this season.
• UCF has outscored opponents 28 to 14 over the first three innings of games.
• Osik, Beaver and Ray Alejo have done their damage early, combining to hit .414 with 14 RBI during the first three innings of games.
• Bernardo is third on the team with a .308 clip, one of four Knights hitting .300 or above, and leads the squad with 11 runs scored, the lone Knight to hit double figures through 11 games.
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