MEMPHIS – UCF WEEKEND SERIES
Date: Friday – Sunday, April 14-16
Location: Orlando, Fla.
Site: John Euliano Park
Time: 5 p.m. (Fri.) | 6 p.m. (Sat.) | 1 p.m. (Sun.)
Live Video - ESPN+: Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
NOTE: First pitch for Friday's series opener has been moved forward one hour to 5 p.m. from the originally scheduled 6 p.m. start time.
The Knights own the all-time lead in a close series against the Tigers, 30-26. As conference opponents, UCF leads Memphis 15-7. UCF won three of the five meetings against the Tigers last year, winning two at Memphis to secure the weekend series and then once more to eliminate the Tigers from the AAC tournament in a seven-inning, 15-2 game that advanced UCF to the semifinals. In both the last 10 games of the series and the last 10 home games, UCF leads 7-3.
Scouting the Tigers
Memphis has an 18-16 overall record and is 4-6 in its last 10 games, including an 11-9 midweek victory at Ole Miss on Tuesday.
The Tigers have a team batting average of .261, led by Anthony Hansen's .339 average. They lead the American with 11 triples. As a team, Memphis has stolen 52 bases in 68 attempts, and it has caught opponents stealing 21 times. The Tigers own a .971 fielding percentage.
Memphis has a 4.73 ERA as a team, which sits third in the AAC. Dalton Fowler spearheads the pitching staff with a 3.92 ERA and a conference-leading 73 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. He's posted a 3-3 record over eight starts, allowing 19 earned runs and giving up 25 walks. Reliever Dalton Kendrick leads the conference with nine saves in 15 games finished, sporting a 3.34 ERA and .91 WHIP in 18 appearances out of the bullpen.
Scouting the Knights
The Knights look to ride the momentum from their 7-1 victory over the Stetson Hatters on Tuesday night into the weekend against Memphis and renew their win streak. UCF has won five games in a row twice this season.
In a complete performance from the offense, defense and pitching on Tuesday, the Knights are fighting to remain in the win column. Cameron Leiter threw a career-high six innings in the victory, tying his career-high in strikeouts with seven, while Najer Victor and Kyle Kramer each had efficient appearances out of the bullpen. Both entered the game with bases loaded and stranded three to get out of the jam – Victor with 10 pitches and Kramer with only one.
The defense turned a season-high four double plays and made no errors. Five Knights had multiple hits, including Andrew Brait, Ben McCabe, Andrew Sundean, Matt Cedarburg, and John Rhys Plumlee, and Tom Josten reached base twice. One of Brait's hits was the first triple of his career and Cedarburg notched the first home run of his career in the victory.
Looking ahead to Friday's game, the Knights' offense is hitting .284 as a team. They are led by veteran McCabe's .384 batting average. He also leads the team in runs (39), hits (48), home runs (12), total bases (92), slugging percentage (.736), hit by pitch (9) and on-base percentage (.462). He leads the American in all but one of these categories, and he is tied for third in the AAC in hit by pitch.
Ruddy Gomez leads the UCF pitching staff with a 4.04 ERA and 53 strikeouts through 49.0 innings. Kramer is a consistent bullpen arm with a 0.89 WHIP and 2.11 ERA in his 21.1 innings in 16 appearances. He's allowed only 12 hits and five earned runs. Defensively, the Knights are fielding at a .963 mark.
American Conference Play
Memphis has faced Tulane and Cincinnati in its first two weeks of conference play and has lost the opening game and finale of each series, while earning wins on Saturdays. The team's conference record is 2-4. UCF has taken on in-state rival USF and No. 12 ECU for its first two weekends of AAC play, picking up the win in the series finale against the Bulls.
The Knights will meet Stetson for the two teams' second midweek matchup of the season at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18 at John Euliano Park. Next weekend, UCF will travel to Tampa, Florida, to take on South Florida for the second three-game weekend series against the in-state rivals. The Knights and Bulls will face off at the USF Baseball Stadium on April 21-23 with games at 6:30 p.m. (Fri.), 2 p.m. (Sat.) and 1 p.m. (Sun.).
MEMPHIS – UCF WEEKEND SERIES