Baseball Ready for Talented Columbia Program This Weekend

GO KNIGHTS Travis Shreve has been a sparkplug at the top of the order this year.
Travis Shreve has been a sparkplug at the top of the order this year.

March 17, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - A very tough Columbia team invades Orlando this weekend as UCF hosts the Lions in a three-game series starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Knights' starting rotation this weekend has a 7-0 record with a 2.06 ERA.

Game Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Friday - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday - Orlando, Fla. - 4 p.m.
Sunday - Orlando, Fla. - 1 p.m.
Columbia - 6-3 Overall, 0-0 Ivy League
UCF - 13-4 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
UCF Leads, 7-2
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Upcoming Opponent
-Playing every day over a 10-day stretch, Columbia will be wraping up its Southern tour this weekend in Orlando.
-The Lions (6-3) have won four-straight games with a pair of wins at South Alabama and two more at Florida Gulf Coast. They will take on Rollins Thursday before meeting the Knights.
-Columbia's offense is hitting .306 this year with Alex Godshall owning an impressive .500 mark (10-for-20).
-Meanwhile, the arms have a 2.84 ERA, and have walked 41 with 51 strikeouts in 79.1 innings.

The Series
-In UCF's first year at the varsity level, the Knights defeated the Lions, 7-3, in 1973, while the last time the two teams battled it out was a 7-4 UCF victory in 2003.
-Overall, the Black and Gold leads in the series, 7-2.

No Running Allowed
-With Beau Taylor already having thrown out eight runners on the bases (not including two pickoffs), opposing teams are just 12-for-20 in stolen-base attempts (60 percent) this season.
-Conversely, UCF is 36-for-41 on the basepaths (88 percent).

Not Changing it Up
-The top five batters in the order have been the same throughout the 2011 season so far, with Travis Shreve leading off followed by Ronnie Richardson, Darnell Sweeney, Beau Taylor and Jonathan Griffin.
-That quintet is hitting a combined .337 with 28 stolen bases and six homers.

Going Deep Into Games
-UCF starting pitchers have lasted at least 6.0 innings in six-straight outings, and in nine of the last 10 (only exception was Matt Collins who had to leave March 5 after 2.0 innings due to an injury).
-Overall, the starters are 10-0 this year with a 1.96 ERA and two complete games.

We Got Your Back
-Some programs may have the luxury of playing with artificial infields, but UCF is proving to have one of the top defenses even with the original natural grass infield.
-The Knights hold a .983 fielding percentage and have made just 11 errors in 17 games - an average of .65 errors per contest.
-All eight consistent starters in the field boast at least a .955 fielding percentage, with catcher Beau Taylor, center fielder Ronnie Richardson and third baseman Derek Luciano each at a perfect 1.000.
-UCF has had two seasons with a fielding percentage of at least .970, with the record coming in 2001 when it posted a mark of .973.

Runs Are Tough to Come By Against UCF
-For the year, UCF has outscored its opponents 146-48. And in the last six games, the Knights have held the opposition to just 14 runs.
-The staff ERA stands at 2.51 as batters are hitting just .231 against the UCF arms.

Is It the Ninth Inning Already?
-Four of the last six games have lasted just 2:20 or less. That includes the 2-1 win over Wagner March 13 where Ray Hanson tossed a complete-game in just 1:58.
-The last nine-inning contest to finish in under two hours was April 16, 2004, when Matt Fox, who currently has a 1.80 ERA in Spring Training for the Boston Red Sox, defeated Belmont 3-0 on a two-hitter.
-UCF's average game time this year is 2:39.

A Pretty Good Duo
-Going off the notes on Lively and Hanson in their starts March 12-13, respectively, the duo became the first UCF pitchers to record back-to-back complete games since 2006.