UCF Hosts Georgia Southern to Begin 12-game Homestand

Date: Friday – Sunday, March 3-5
Location: Orlando, Fla.
Site: John Euliano Park
Time: 6 p.m. (Fri.) | 4 p.m. (Sat.) | 1 p.m. (Sun.)
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
Friday: LHP Ty Fisher (GS) vs. RHP Ruddy Gomez (UCF)
Saturday: RHP Ben Johnson (GS) vs. RHP Ben Vespi (UCF)
Sunday: RHP Zachary Harris (GS) vs. RHP Cameron Leiter (UCF)
Ruddy Gomez is set to make his third start of the season Friday, as the Knights host a talented Georgia Southern squad for a three-game series. In two appearances this season, Gomez has a 4.66 ERA with nine strikeouts through 9.2 innings. Ben Vespi will return to the mound as the starter on Saturday after making his first appearance of the year in relief at Clemson last weekend. He was named to the Preseason American Athletic All-Conference Team after an impressive sophomore season last year. Cameron Leiter will make his third start of the season on Sunday. In his previous two outings, Leiter has fanned 11 batters in nine innings of work.
Georgia Southern's Ty Fisher has posted a 3.00 ERA over nine innings pitched through his first two starts of the season and will start Friday for the Eagles. Right hander Ben Johnson has made two starts for the Eagles totaling 12.0 innings, boasting a 0.75 ERA with 16 strikeouts and holding opposing hitters to a .132 batting average. Freshman Zachary Harris will make his third Sunday start in the first road game of his career.
Scouting Georgia Southern
The Eagles visit the Knights on their first road contest of the season, hosting eight consecutive games to start the season. Winning both series against West Virginia and ETSU and a midweek against Mercer to start the season, the Eagles travel to UCF with a 5-3 record.

Last season, Georgia Southern finished with a 41-20 overall record and hosted an NCAA Regional as one of the country's top 16 teams in the 2022 tournament. 

The Eagles have been stellar defensively this year to lead the Sun Belt Conference in fielding percentage with a .982 clip. The team is batting .270, with four qualifying hitters batting at .320 or above led by outfielder Sam Blancato, who owns a .343 batting average with 12 hits, eight RBI, four doubles and four runs. First baseman Noah Ledford was tabbed the Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year, after recording career highs in runs (47), hits (79), doubles (19), home runs (17), and RBI (70) last year. 

Georgia Southern defeated Mercer, 11-0, in its most recent outing on Tuesday night at home.
UCF versus Georgia Southern History
UCF is 3-2 all-time against the Eagles. In their last meeting on Feb. 27, 2022, the Knights secured the three-game series victory in a 10-1 win after trading wins the previous games. Having only met on the road in Statesboro, Georgia, last season and at neutral sites for the teams' two contests in 1991, UCF will host Georgia Southern for the first time on Friday.
UCF Previous Week Recap
UCF enters this weekend ranked top-two in 21 categories across the American Athletic Conference, ranking first in 12 of them. The high-powered offense has tallied 19 home runs, slugging 2.38 per game and sits among the top-10 in the nation in each of those categories. Extending their win streak to four games, the Knights shut out Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday as Najer Victor, Dominic Castellano, Kyle Kramer, Zach Chappell and Zack Austin posted the first combined one-hitter since the South Florida game last season on April 3, 2022.
The Knights kick off a 12-game homestand this weekend as they host the Georgia Southern Eagles Friday (6 p.m.), Saturday (4 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). After this upcoming series, they will host a midweek against North Florida at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 7.