Baseball Prepares for Midweek Games in Ohio

    Date: Tuesday, May 9
    Location: Columbus, Ohio
    Site: Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium
    Time: 6 p.m.
    Watch: BTN+
    Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
    Date: Wednesday, May 10
    Location: Dayton, Ohio
    Site: Nischwitz Stadium
    Time: 6 p.m.
    Watch: ESPN+
    Live Stats: Stat Broadcast

The UCF baseball team continues its eight-game road trip in Ohio, preparing for back-to-back midweek games against Ohio State Tuesday and Wright State Wednesday.
Last Time Out
The Knights began their slate of away games with an American Athletic Conference weekend series in New Orleans where they took a series victory over Tulane.
Scouting the Buckeyes
Ohio State is 23-25 overall and has won two of its last five games. Coming off a series loss to Iowa, the Buckeyes avoided the sweep with a 5-2 win in the series finale. As a team, the Buckeyes have a .266 batting average, with two players hitting above the .300 mark, led by sophomore infielder Tyler Pettorini's .324 average. Outfielder Kade Kern is among the top three on the team in most offensive categories with a .303 average, 37 runs, 10 doubles, a triple, six home runs, a .500 on base percentage and .421 slugging percentage. Ohio State has stolen 66 bags on 83 attempts, led by Kern's 15.

The Buckeyes' pitching staff has combined for a 6.20 ERA. The Knights will face Will Pfennig on the mound, who is set to make his second start for the Buckeyes in his 13th appearance. In 20 innings pitched, Pfennig has posted a 9.00 ERA, giving up 21 hits, 21 runs and 20 earned runs. Of his 21 hits, six have been for extra bases – all doubles.
Scouting the Raiders
Wright State is on a four-game winning streak, taking nine of its last 10 games for a 29-18 overall record. The Raiders are hitting .272 as a team. Their offense is spearheaded by sophomore Patrick Andrew, who leads the team in runs (52), hits (60), doubles (16), triples (3), home runs (15), RBI (43), on-base percentage (.423) and slugging percentage (.709). Andrew also accounts for more than a quarter of the Raiders' 90 stolen bases with 23 of his own on 25 attempts.

The Raiders have a 5.31 team ERA. The pitching staff has combined for three shutouts, one of them a complete game shutout from junior right-hander Jake Shirk. The bullpen is led by Joey Valentine, who is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA. He has made a team-leading 19 appearances in relief, throwing 20 innings and allowing 11 hits and 10 earned runs while notching 26 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .153 batting average. Defensively, the Raiders are fielding at a .972 mark.
Scouting The Knights
UCF has a 27-20 overall record, winning three of its last five games. The power-hitting offense has a .287 batting average and has combined for 89 home runs. The offense is led by sophomore Andrew Sundean's .374 average, 44 RBI and .459 on-base percentage. Catcher Ben McCabe tops a majority of the other offensive categories, with 67 hits, 16 home runs, 126 total bases, 15 hit by pitch and a .696 slugging percentage.

On the mound, the Knights have a 5.49 team ERA, led by Friday stater Ruddy Gomez' 5.08 mark. Gomez has posted a 6-2 record in 12 games, striking out a team-leading 74 in 67.1 innings of work. He holds the season single-game high 12 strikeouts. Najer Victor's 2.19 ERA leads Knights' relievers. In 24.2 innings, Victor has notched 39 strikeouts and allowed only six earned runs.
Making History
Last Tuesday, UCF had a historical midweek at home, setting two program records and tying another. Five Knights combined for eight home runs, breaking the single-game home run record of seven, eclipsing the previous mark of seven previously achieved on opening night against Siena.

Three homers were by outfielder Lex Boedicker, which tied the single-game program record for home runs as he became the second Knight to meet this mark in 2023, following Ben McCabe's opening night performance.

The eight home runs brought Knights' season total to 83, propelling the team past UCF's program record for home runs in a season, previously set at 78 in 2010.

This weekend, the Knights' offense tied the AAC single-season record for home runs with 89, belting four in their final game against Tulane, meeting the mark set by Tulane in 2019. Ranked 13th in the nation in home runs per game with 1.89, the Knights are on track to break this record.
Heating Up

  • Nick Romano has successfully reached base in 18 consecutive games, marking a season high.
  • Andrew Sundean extended his hitting streak to eight games, eclipsing his previous season high of seven games, which he achieved twice.
  • John Rhys Plumlee has reached base in 16 consecutive games, extending his previous high of 13 games. He also met his season-high hitting steak of five games, which he has now done three times this season.
  • Matt Cedarburg has added four multi-hit games in his last five starts. Most recently, he went 2-4 with a double and a home run, driving in three and scoring two runs.
  • Najer Victor has not allowed a run in his last five appearances, going 8.2 innings with three hits, no walks, and 17 strikeouts. Twice in that time, Victor entered the game with two runners on and retired the side in order.

Up Next
The Knights remain in Ohio, but shift their sights back to the AAC for a weekend series at Cincinnati Friday-Sunday, May 12-14.