UCF and Penn State Meet for First Time

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – Following an arduous 13-inning game against Ball State on Wednesday night, the UCF baseball team will have a quick turnaround to face another Power 6 opponent this weekend in Penn State. Start times at John Euliano Park are set for 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.

All three games will be streamed through UCFKnights.TV.

The Knights rallied from a multi-run deficit on three occasions on Wednesday, playing in their first extra-inning contest of the year. The Knights battled back from down two in the 12th and plated a trio of runs in the 13th to overcome another two-run deficit. Pedro Castellano drove in the game-winning RBI with a single to left.

This weekend will be a reunion for the two head coaches Greg Lovelady and Rob Cooper. The two coaches served on the same staff at Wright State for nine seasons when Cooper was the head coach. Together, the duo led the Raiders to a quintet of Horizon League titles and three bids to NCAA Regionals. Lovelady ascended to the Wright State head coach position in 2014 when Cooper moved to Penn State.

Jeffrey Hakanson continues to be one of the Knights anchors out of the bullpen. The righty has made seven appearances for 10 2/3 innings and a 1.69 ERA. He is tied with Jeremy Randolph from Alabama for the national lead with 22 strikeouts for pitchers that have thrown less than 11 innings this season. Kyle Kemp leads the staff with an .040 opponent batting average and has not allowed an earned run in six appearances.

The Knights notched two more stolen bases on Wednesday to take their season tally up to 23 to lead the American Athletic Conference. Matthew Mika and Ray Alejo are the top two names in the league with seven and four swipes, respectively. With 63 stolen bases in his career, Mika is three steals away from cracking the UCF career top 10.

UCF will send out the same rotation that won the series against Jacksonville, only with a slight tweak at the top. Chris Williams, who made his 2019 debut after missing the first nine games, will throw on Friday night. Grant Schuermann will transition to Saturday after starting the first three Fridays of the year. Trevor Holloway will get the ball in the series finale.

• The Nittany Lions are 7-2 to start the year with series wins over Fairmont and Monmouth.
• Kris Kremer was named one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players of the Week after hitting three home runs against No. 21 Duke last weekend.
• Penn State’s pitching staff ranks 15th in the country in hits allowed per nine innings.

GAME 1 – Friday, 6 PM | UCFKnights.TV | Live Stats
Chris Williams, RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Dante Biasi, LHP (0-1, 3.60 ERA)

GAME 2 – Saturday, 6 PM
Grant Schuermann, LHP (0-2, 1.59 ERA) vs. Bailey Dees, RHP (2-0, 3.86 ERA)

GAME 3 – Sunday, 1 PM
Trevor Holloway, RHP (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Eric Mock, RHP (2-0, 1.31 ERA)

• This weekend will be the first ever meeting between the two ballclubs.
• The Knights will face a Big 10 opponent for the first time since Michigan State in 2016 at the Kleberg Bank Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas and the first weekend series since 1995 against Minnesota.
Chandler Robertson is 3-for-3 on the year when stealing.
• Riding a five-game hitting streak, Robertson is one shy of his career long.
• UCF is eighth in the country in double plays with 13.
• The pitching staff is allowing just 6.6 hits per nine innings, good for 22nd in the nation, and sits 42nd in the country in strikeouts per nine innings with 10.3.
Tyler Osik will carry a career-long 11-game on-base streak into the weekend.
• The UCF offense has recorded at least 10 hits in seven games this season.
• Sunday starter Trevor Holloway leads The American and is 20th nationally in hits allowed per nine inning with a 3.21 mark.
• The Knights bullpen is 5-1 with a 3.75 ERA, while the offense has churned out a 5.46 ERA for opposing staffs.

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