ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) – Stepping out of Conference USA play, the No. 30 UCF baseball team travels to No. 8 Florida State for a three-game set beginning Friday night at 6 p.m. It is the second straight year that the two teams meet in a nationally ranked showdown on the diamond.
“I think the key this weekend at Florida State is to play the game,” head coach Terry Rooney said. “What makes Florida State very good is they capitalize on mistakes. The key is that we don’t give away free passes, play defense and when you have the opportunity to score, you do it.”
All three contests from Dick Howser Stadium can be seen online on ESPN3, and on your mobile device via WatchESPN. Marc Daniels will also be on the call this weekend with all three games airing on 740-AM The Game. Pregame start 15 minutes prior to first pitch of each contest.
The Knights (26-19) arrive in Tallahassee riding a six-game win streak, including weekend series victories the last three weeks. Winners of their last four, the Seminoles (35-9) will take the field for the first time in five days after no midweek contests.
Both teams tout strong pitching staffs as UCF has totaled 1.00 ERA in its last four contests, while FSU owns a 2.71 ERA on the year.
RHP Ben Lively (6-3, 1.12 ERA) will return to the Friday night role this week as he faces off against Noles’ RHP Luke Weaver (5-1, 2.22 ERA). Lively reached 200 strikeouts for his career last week, and has gone at least six innings in all 11 starts while owning the nation’s 10th-lowest ERA.
The Knights will send LHP Chris Matulis to the mound Saturday evening at 6 p.m. against fellow southpaw Brandon Leibrandt. Matulis has been stellar in his last six outings, totaling a 4-1 record, while going eight innings or more in four of them.
UCF’s Sunday starter is to be determined while FSU will send RHP Scott Sitz (8-1, 1.42 ERA) to the bump in the 1 p.m. matinee.
This weekend’s series marks the third straight year the two squads have met during the regular season. Last year in Orlando, UCF dropped a pair of one-run contests during the midweek while taking one from the Seminoles on the road in 2011.
Trending Topics: @UCF_Baseball
• On its current six-game win streak, the Knights are batting .296 while the pitching staff sports a meager 0.87 ERA #CompleteEffort
• Through 18 C-USA games this season, #UCF leads the league in slugging, runs scored, hits, RBI, doubles, total bases #MakingContact
• With 256-career hits, 3B/C Chris Taladay is in sole possession of No. 6 on the #UCF all-time hit list #PutItInPlay
• Taladay’s 20-game hit streak, which ranked 4th all-time at #UCF, came to an end, but he has reached safely in all but 3 games #Clutch
• In its last six Friday/Saturday games, #UCF is 8-4 with a 1.88 ERA. LHP Chris Matulis is 4-1 in that time #OneTwoPunch
• RHP Ben Lively became the ninth pitcher all-time at #UCF to reach 200 strikeouts last week #SitDown
• RF Erik Hempe leads the team with nine hits in his last six games with a home run and five RBI #SeasonedVet
Single-game tickets can be purchased by calling 407-UCF-1000 or visit the baseball tickets page. Stay up-to-date on all the latest news by visiting UCFAthletics.com and following the team on Twitter (@UCF_Baseball) and Facebook.