Boone High's Cody Allen to Make Debut Start at Home vs. USF Tuesday

GO KNIGHTS Robert Lara batted .600 last weekend at Houston.
Robert Lara batted .600 last weekend at Houston.

April 7, 2008

ORLANDO - Freshman and Boone High School graduate Cody Allen will make his first collegiate start when he takes the hill for the UCF baseball team at home Tuesday vs. USF at 6:30 p.m. The Knights then host Stetson Wednesday in a 6:30 p.m. showdown sponsored by Holler-Classic.

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Tuesday vs. USF - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday vs. Stetson - 6:30 p.m.
USF - 15-15 Overall, 5-7 Big East
Stetson - 14-17 Overall, 6-9 Atlantic Sun
UCF - 22-11 Overall, 2-7 Conference USA
Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
USF leads UCF, 50-47
UCF leads Stetson, 60-48
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(Stetson's preview will be online following the USF game Tuesday)

Upcoming Opponent
USF participated in three very tight games at West Virginia over the weekend, dropping the first two decisions, 10-8 and 15-14, before claiming the finale 5-2 in 11 innings. Left fielder Chris Rey had two hits in each game. The Bulls will now bring a 15-15 record into the meeting with UCF, and will send out freshman righty Matt Stull to the mound, who went 6.0 innings with just one earned run against him in his win over the Knights April 1.

The Series
Tuesday marks the second and final trip USF will make to Jay Bergman Field this year. After last week's 17-4 win over the Knights, the Bulls own a 50-47 all-time advantage in the series which dates back to 1973, UCF's first season on the diamond.

UCF vs. Houston Series Recap
Kyle Sweat went 7.0 innings and gave up just three earned runs, but suffered the loss as Houston took a 5-3 decision in game one April 4. Robert Lara matched a career-high with three hits, while Cody Allen pitched on innings from the pen and struck out all three hitters he faced.

Deadlocked at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth of game two, Houston broke it open with a seven-run inning to cruise to a 10-1 win April 5. Eric Kallstrom had two hits with a solo homer, while Mitch Herold tossed 2.1 hitless innings of relief with four strikeouts.

Houston completed the sweep April 6 with a 14-7 victory, but had to use five different pitchers as the Knights cranked out 11 hits while scoring at least one run in six different innings. Freshman Evan Stobbs led the offense with a 3-for-4 affair and a two-run homer.

Cozart Calls Cody
Through 33 games, eight different pitchers have made a start for the Knights, but Tuesday will mark the debut of freshman right-hander Cody Allen. The Boone High product has continuously shined from the UCF bullpen this year and hurled 12.2 consecutive scoreless innings spanning nine appearances in relief. That streak lasted from March 1 vs. Central Michigan to March 30 against East Carolina. For the year, Allen has struck out 26 hitters in 19.0 innings and holds a 2.84 ERA with a victory and a save in 11 appearances.

Stobbs Clobbers
In just his third UCF start and first at first base, freshman Evan Stobbs crushed Houston pitching April 6. He opened up his afternoon with a sacrifice fly to deep center in the second inning, ripped a single off the pitcher and scored a run in the fourth, drilled a two-run homer in the fifth and lined a single through the left side in the seventh. Stobbs completed his start 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored, while his home run was the first of his college career.

Eric's Eight
Shortstop Eric Kallstrom enters the week with an eight-game hitting streak on the line. During the stretch, the junior has batted .394 (13-for-33) with two doubles, a homer and four RBI. Earlier this year, Kallstrom recorded a 14-game hitting streak.

Lara's Likes the Lone Star
Robert Lara brought more than just his catching gear to Houston April 4-6, he added an impressive stick. The junior went 6-for-10 (including a start at DH in the series finale) with a run scored and an RBI to move his season batting average from .300 to .338.

Looking for the Key Hits
Getting out of a funk may take time, but the Knights certainly have had their scoring chances. Now it is just a matter of converting them. In UCF's seven-game losing streak, it is hitting .194 (14-for-72) with runners in scoring position. Conversely, the Knights were batting .323 (122-for-378) in the same situation when they opened the year with a 22-4 record.

Giving Himself Up
Senior Dwayne Bailey may only be in his second year with the Knights, but has laid down 16 career sacrifice bunts, including five this season. Those 16 sac hits rank seventh on the UCF all-time chart.

Picking a Winner
When opposing hitters get to first base against Mitch Houck, they may feel really good about themselves. However many times their winning attitude turns into frustration as Houck has racked up six pickoffs this season with his dynamic move to first base. The lefty has 15 for his career, including two in 2007 before he earned a medical redshirt.