UCF Travels to Boca Raton for the First Time Since 2004

GO KNIGHTS Jonathan Griffin has posted at least two hits in eight of his last 14 games.
Jonathan Griffin has posted at least two hits in eight of his last 14 games.

May 3, 2010

By Brian Ormiston

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Riding an 11-game non-conference winning streak, UCF heads to Boca Raton for the first time since 2004 to take on Florida Atlantic Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The Knights (27-19 overall) are hitting .353 outside of Conference USA, and have belted 46 homers in 28 non-conference games.

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Tuesday at Florida Atlantic - Boca Raton, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Florida Atlantic - 27-19 Overall, 17-7 Sun Belt
UCF - 27-19 Overall, 7-11 C-USA
Tuesday: FAU Baseball Stadium (2,000)
UCF leads, 36-25
Live Stats:
Wednesday: UCFAthletics.com
Tuesday: UCFAthletics.com

UCF vs. Memphis Series Recap
-After erasing a 7-0 deficit for a 11-8 game-one victory, the Knights suffered a 10-6 loss in game two and a 9-8 10-inning decision in the rubber match to Memphis last weekend.
-Ronnie Richardson and Jonathan Griffin hit .417 in the series with a combined three homers, 10 RBI and six runs.
-Reliever Matt Manning hurled 2.0 innings in two appearances, striking out five and not allowing a hit.

Upcoming Opponent
-One of the hottest teams in the country, Florida Atlantic is 11-1 in its last 12 outings, and owns a 29-15 record overall.
-The Owls are getting major production from Dan Scheffler (.404, 13 HR) and Andy Mee (.393, 75 H), while the pitching staff claims a 4.58 ERA with 321 strikeouts in 389.1 innings.

The Series
-UCF battled Florida Atlantic as members of the Atlantic Sun from 1994-05, and that 2005 season was the last time the two squads met.
-Entering Tuesday, the Knights hold a 36-25 lead in the all-time series.

Non-Conference Nuggets
-At 11, UCF has its longest non-conference winning streak since it won 11-straight during the 2008 campaign. But that streak only featured one victory over a Florida-based school (Stetson). In 2010, the 11-game stretch includes wins against five different Florida programs (Miami, South Florida, Stetson, Bethune-Cookman, North Florida).
-The 2001 Knights posted a 14-game non-conference winning streak.
-UCF boasts a 20-8 record in non-league tilts. Through those 28 games, Chris Duffy is 53-for-105 for a .505 average along with posting 14 homers, 47 RBI and 14 doubles.
-As a team, the Knights have a .565 slugging percentage and a .441 on-base percentage for a .997 OPS.
-Freshman Joe Rogers is 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA and four saves outside of C-USA, as opposing teams have a combined 8.38 ERA against the Knights offense.

That's Called Offensive Output
-First baseman Jonathan Griffin has come alive since April 10 at Southern Miss.
-The junior has brought his average up from .261 to .295 in the last 14 games.
-Griffin has amassed at least two hits in eight of those outings, along with crushing three home runs.
-He is 20-for-55 for a .364 average dating back to the Southern Miss series.

Beau the Toolman Taylor
-In his second year sporting the tools of ignorance, catcher Beau Taylor certainly picked up his game when the calendar turned to April.
-After a quick start where he opened the year hitting .485, Taylor saw his average drop to .304.
-Since April 2, the Freshman All-American is 31-for-78 for a .397 average, driving in 17 runs while scoring 21.
-That stretch also includes at least one hit in 18 of 19 games, as he has improved his average from .304 to .350.
-He also is riding a 12-game hitting streak, the longest of his career. During that stretch, he is hitting .396 with six doubles, two homers and 12 runs scored.

The Long Ball
-UCF has pounded out 63 home runs this season, moving closer to the record of 68 set last year.
-The Knights have hit four long balls in a game four different times in 2010, and have gone back-to-back on three different occasions.
-Two Knights also have hit grand slams: Derek Luciano vs. Hartford March 14 and Ronnie Richardson vs. Memphis April 30.
-A total of six players boast at least five homers.

Freshmen Note #1
Knights Using a Lot of Youngsters
-As of May 3, UCF is the only school in one of the top-25 conferences in the nation to have five true freshmen make at least 25 starts in the batting order in 2010.
-Meanwhile, only two programs in all of Division I can make that claim: UCF (five) and Alabama A&M (six).
-Overall, there are just five schools with at least four true freshmen who have made 25 starts or more: Alabama A&M (six), UCF (five), Tulane (four), Stanford (four) and Arizona (four).
-By comparison, just over 200 D-I baseball schools have either one or zero true freshmen with at least 25 starts, while over 80 programs have two or three.

Freshmen Note #2
Taladay Making a Statement
-Windermere's Chris Taladay owns a .349 batting average this season. That ranks among the top-25 true freshmen in country who have made at least 35 starts.
-Taladay's .349 mark also puts him in second among C-USA freshmen (with a minimum of 35 starts). Tulane's Blake Crohan leads the way at .360.

Freshmen Note #3
Sweeney Seeing Plenty of Time at Short
-Shortstop Darnell Sweeney is the only Knight to start all 46 games this year.
-The native of Miramar ranks fifth among all freshmen in the country in games started (LeMoyne's Zach Wiley leads with 50).



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