STETSON – UCF MIDWEEK GAME
Date: Tuesday, April 18
Location: Orlando, Fla.
Site: John Euliano Park
Time: 6 p.m.
Listen: FM 96.9 The Game
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
The UCF baseball team is set to host the Stetson Hatters on Tuesday night for a rematch of last week's midweek matchup. The Knights traveled to DeLand, Fla. on April 11 and returned home with a 7-1 victory over the central Florida foes.
The Knights and Hatters met for the first time this season last week at Conrad Park. In the contest, five Knights recorded multi-hit games, including Andrew Sundean, who went 3-4 with two home runs and an RBI hit-by-pitch, and Matt Cedarburg, who smashed his first career home run. As a team, UCF tallied five extra-base hits on 12 hits.
Cameron Leiter got the start on Tuesday, tying his seven-strikeout career high and setting a career record in innings pitched with 6.0. He allowed only one run and five hits. Najer Victor came in clutch in a high-pressure situation, entering the game with bases loaded and stranding all three runners with three strikeouts. He allowed only one hit and no runs over 2.0 innings in relief.
The Knights lead the all-time series against the Hatters, 78-52. In those games, UCF has hosted 58 of them prior to Tuesday's contest, owning a 35-23 record at home. UCF has taken the last two meetings against Stetson and looks to extend their win streak in the series to three.
Scouting the Hatters
The Stetson Hatters are sporting a 21-16 record on the season and a 9-6 record in ASUN Conference play.
The Hatters have a team batting average of .258 with three players hitting at or above a .311 mark in Landon Moran, David Bermudez and Christian Pregent. Stetson has tallied 54 home runs, five triples and 67 doubles as a team for a combined .459 slugging percentage. Freshman Moran has been a key addition to the Hatters' offense in 2023, leading in the Hatters' with a .487 on base percentage and scoring a team-leading 29 runs. Moran also leads the team with a .325 batting average, 29 walks, and is 4-4 in stolen bases. Infielder David Bermudez leads the Hatters in many of the other offensive categories in his first season with the team, including hits (40), doubles (11), extra-base hits (16) and RBI (31).
Stetson has a 5.94 team ERA. Spearheading the pitching staff is starter Austin Amaral, who throws to the tune of a 3.47 ERA through 46.2 innings with 57 strikeouts and has recorded both a complete-game and combined shutout. Their .972 fielding percentage is second in the ASUN.
Scouting the Knights
UCF is 20-16 overall and 3-6 in American Athletic Conference play. The Knights have a team batting average of .286. The power-hitting Knights' offense continues to rank nationally among the top-20 programs in home run categories, coming in at No. 15 in home runs (64) and No. 20 in home runs per game (1.78), leading the AAC in both.
The offense is led by veteran backstop McCabe, who is hitting at a .383 mark with a team-leading 46 hits, 12 home runs, 90 total bases and 10 HBP through the Knights' 32 games. McCabe is joined by Andrew Sundean and Andrew Brait, who are all hitting at or above .313 on the season.
Climbing the all-time ranks in his fifth years with UCF, McCabe is closing in on the all-time records in home runs (No. 3) and RBI (No. 7). He's also just four runs away from taking over second place in the American Conference all-time runs record, currently with 148.
UCF has a team ERA of 5.02 and a 1.47 WHIP. The Knights' pitching staff is led by Ruddy Gomez who has recorded five wins over nine starts, leading the team with 62 strikeouts over 56.0 innings of work. He holds the single-game highs in both innings pitched (8.0) and strikeouts (12) on the season. Defensively, the Knights have a .968 fielding percentage.
RHP Jack Owens (Stetson) vs. RHP Cameron Leiter (UCF)
Leiter is set to make his ninth start for the Knights on Tuesday after notching his first career win last week against the Hatters. His 27.2 innings of work are highlighted by 36 strikeouts, three times achieving a single-game high of seven. Most recently, Leiter pitched a career-high six innings in his start against Stetson last Tuesday, allowing five hits and one earned run, giving up one walk, and striking out seven. He also rolled three double plays in the outing, as the Knights turned two a season-high four times in last week's matchup.
The Knights are set to head on the road to Tampa, Fla. for their second weekend series against the South Florida Bulls, playing the three-game series at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Then, UCF returns home to host the Houston Cougars at John Euliano Park the following weekend.
STETSON – UCF MIDWEEK GAME