War On I-4 Baseball Edition

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The War is here. On Friday, the UCF baseball team will open its portion of the War On I-4 at John Euliano Park for a three-game set against USF. Game times are set for 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.

Marc Daniels will have the call of all three games on UCFKnights.TV and FM96.9/AM740 The Game.

The Knights return home after an offensive explosion at Stetson on Tuesday night. UCF struck for a season-high 13 runs on 12 hits in a 13-4 win over the Hatters. Ray Alejo, Matthew Mika and Dallas Beaver drove in a pair of runs apiece, as nine different Knights recorded a base hit in the win. Rookie catcher Ben McCabe homered for the first time in his career. The pitching staff held a shutout through five and finished with 10 strikeouts.

With two wins on the weekend, the Knights will clinch the War On I-4 title for the third straight season. UCF owns a commanding 39-6 lead in the 2018-19 edition of the rivalry, with each game this weekend worth two points. The Black and Gold, as an athletic department, is 6-1 against USF and finished above the Bulls at the American Athletic Conference Championships for cross country and indoor track & field.

Tyler Osik and are still a formidable tandem at the top of the order with clips of .363 and .360. Osik sits second on the team with 21 RB, while Alejo has improved his batting average by nearly 100 points compared to his mark through 29 games last year. Leading the Knights to fast starts, the duo has combined to score 19 runs in first innings this season.

The Knights will leave the weekend rotation the same for the second week in a row. Grant Schuermann, who made his fourth Friday start of the year last weekend, is coming off a complete game win against UConn to lower his ERA to 2.60. Chris Williams went seven innings with one run allowed last Saturday. He will make his sixth start of the year with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 13.5.

• The Bulls are 13-14 and 1-5 in The American after series losses to Cincinnati and No. 14 ECU.
• Joe Genord leads the team with a .358 batting average and 26 RBI.
• The pitching staff holds a 4.26 ERA with 8.5 strikeouts, 4.6 walks and 8.2 hits per nine innings.

• Friday night will be Citronaut Knight, and The Citronaut drink (Fanta and ice cream) will be available.
• The Knights will sport special Citronaut caps.
• The UCF Bookstore trailer will be the only place to purchase replica snapback hats.
• If supplies last, fans who did not make it to the game can purchase hats through the bookstore by walkup or calling in starting on Saturday.

GAME 1 – Friday, 6 PM | UCFKnights.TV | FM96.9/AM740 The Game | Live Stats
Grant Schuermann – LHP (2-3, 2.60 ERA) vs. Collin Sullivan – RHP (2-1, 3.51 ERA)

GAME 2 – Saturday, 6 PM UCFKnights.TV | FM96.9/AM740 The Game | Live Stats
Chris Williams – RHP (2-2, 5.67 ERA) vs. Alec Wisely – RHP (2-3, 4.91 ERA)

GAME 3 – Sunday, 1 PM | UCFKnights.TV | FM96.9/AM740 The Game | Live Stats
Knightro vs. Rocky
(TBA vs. TBA)

• USF leads the all-time series 66-71 with a 34-23 mark in Orlando.
• The Knights are 13-8 against right-handed starters.
Dallas Beaver’s two-RBI performance set a new career high with 31 RBI in a season.
Kyle Kemp inched his ERA down to 1.02 over 17 2/3 innings of work.
Matthew Mika sits 27th in the Nation in first in The American with 15 stolen bases.
Jeffrey Hakanson took over the team lead with 31 strikeouts this season in 16 2/3 innings.
• UCF continues to lead The American with 50 stolen bases on the year, going for its first back-to-back-to-back 100-steal seasons since 1988.
• Opponents are 23-35 when stealing. Catcher Anthony George leads the team with four runners caught stealing.
• UCF is third in the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio and strikeouts per nine innings with 2.19 and 9.4, respectively.
• No strangers to small ball, the Knights have 14 base hits through bunts and 19 sacrifice bunts this season.


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