CINCINNATI – UCF WEEKEND SERIES
Date: Friday-Sunday, May 12-14
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Site: UC Baseball Stadium
Time: 1 p.m. (Fri.) | 2 p.m. (Sat.) | 1 p.m. (Sun.)
Watch – ESPN+: Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Listen: Friday: Twitch | Saturday/Sunday: FM 96.9 The Game
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
The Knights conclude their regular season road schedule at Cincinnati with a three-game American Athletic Conference series.
Friday's series-opener was pushed forward to 1 p.m. from an originally scheduled 5 p.m. start time due to projected weather in the area.
A week after breaking two program home run records and tying another in the Knights' 16-10 victory over North Florida Tuesday, May 2, the team broke the American Athletic Conference single-season home run record.
Nick Romano added the Knights' 90th home run of the season with a late ninth-inning bomb against Wright State Tuesday, May 9. The previous record was set by Tulane in 2019 at 89 home runs.
The team has now broken the program and AAC single-season record (90), the single-game record (8) and tied the individual player single-game record (3, Lex Boedicker).
UCF leads Cincinnati in the all-time series, 16-12, stretching back to their first meeting in 2014. Last year, the Knights took the opening game of the three-game series, and in 2021 UCF won three of five. The Knights have won four of the last 10 meetings between the two teams.
Scouting the Bearcats
The Bearcats have a 21-17 overall record and a conference record of 8-10. With both of their last weekends ending in a sweep, in the form of three wins against USF and three losses to then-No. 14 East Carolina, they have taken six of their last 10 contests.
Cincinnati's offense is hitting at the .243 mark, led by infielder Ryan Nicholson's .287 batting average. Finding the most success among Bearcats at the plate, Nicholson also leads the team in hits (51), doubles (11), triples (2) and home runs (12). With 92 stolen bases on the season in 115 attempts, the Bearcats have three players with double-digit totals. Sophomore infielder Brooks Lauden tops this category, swiping a team-leading 14 bags in 15 attempts.
Bearcats' pitchers have a combined 6.17 ERA, with their leading starter, Chase Hopewell, posting a 5.46 ERA in 56.0 innings of work. He has 46 strikeouts and has allowed 60 hits, 34 earned runs and 26 walks. Of his 60 hits allowed, 14 have been for extra bases and eight were home runs.
Scouting the Knights
The Knights are 27-22 overall with an 8-10 record in AAC play.
As a team, UCF has a combined .284 batting average, spearheaded by Andrew Sundean's .366 average and Ben McCabe's mark of .354. McCabe is having a consistently impressive offensive year in his final season with the Knights, posting 53 runs, 67 hits, 16 home runs, 126 total bases, .667 slugging percentage and 16 hit by pitch, leading the team in each category. Sundean has a team-leading 45 RBI and .458 on base percentage, and he has the fewest strikeouts among Knights with over 60 at bats with only 26 strikeouts in 161 at bats.
Knights' pitching staff have a 5.56 ERA as a team. Ruddy Gomez, UCF's Friday starter, leads the charge on the mound with a 5.08 ERA and 74 strikeouts through 67.1 innings of work. Najer Victor has been lethal out of the bullpen for the Knights, with a 2.00 ERA in 27.0 innings, he has allowed six earned runs while striking out 42. Defensively, the Knights have a .967 fielding percentage.
The Knights return to John Euliano Park for the last week of the regular season at home, with their second meeting against Bethune-Cookman Tuesday, May 16 and their final weekend series against Wichita State Thursday-Saturday, May 18-20.
CINCINNATI – UCF WEEKEND SERIES