May 7, 2007
ORLANDO - The 2007 non-conference schedule concludes Tuesday when UCF heads up the road to take on No. 28 Stetson at 7 p.m. It will be the second visit to DeLand this year, as the Knights defeated the Hatters, 4-3, in 11 innings March 27.
Game Notes in PDF Format
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Stetson - 36-12 Overall, 18-3 Atlantic Sun
UCF - 23-26 Overall, 5-13 Conference USA
Melching Field at Conrad Park (2,500)
UCF leads, 60-46
740-AM The Team and www.UCFAthletics.com
This Week's Opponent
Stetson continues to cruise through Atlantic Sun competition, sweeping East Tennessee State last weekend to bring its league record to 18-3 (36-12 overall). Seven different players who have seen time in at least 30 games all own batting averages over.300, led by Jeremy Cruz's mark of .380.
The road team has won the previous two meetings this year and Tuesday marks the rubber match of the 2007 series. In all, UCF claims a 60-46 advantage over Stetson.
UCF vs. Stetson - 2007 Recaps
Matt Horwath and Ryan Richardson each had three hits, and Tyson Auer posted three RBI in a 10-7 loss to Stetson May 2 at Jay Bergman Field. The Knights used eight pitchers, while Brian Pruitt's three-run homer in the eighth sealed the Hatters' victory. For the recap of the March 27 game in DeLand, check out page five of the game notes.
UCF at Memphis Game One Recap - May 4
Memphis cruised out to a 5-1 lead, and UCF had just two hits until there were two outs in the sixth inning. A Tyson Auer single and Kiko Vazquez two-run homer were the first of six unanswered runs the Knights would score in a 9-6 victory. After Vazquez's dinger, Chris Duffy went back-to-back to keep the rally going. Vazquez finished with a pair of two-run homers, while Auer had three hits to help pace the offense. Jaager Good notched the win, and Justin Weiss picked up save No. 7.
UCF at Memphis Game Two Recap - May 5
Kyle Sweat was masterful through five innings May 5 at Memphis, but surrendered four runs in the sixth as the Tigers went on to post a 7-3 victory. It was just the third loss for UCF when it out-hit its opponent (10-9). Matt Horwath, Chris Duffy and Brandon Romans each had a pair of hits to lead the Knight offense.
UCF at Memphis Game Three Recap - May 6
Memphis took advantage of some early breaks in the series finale May 6, scoring five in the first en route to taking the series with a 10-9 win. The Tigers held a 10-4 lead before witnessing the Knights score three in the sixth and two in the eighth for the final one-run margin. Dwayne Bailey had three hits and scored three times, while Kiko Vazquez added three RBI.
Finishing the Non-Conference Slate
The Knights own a 13-10 all-time record in the final regular season non-conference game of the year.
Keep Those Bats Rolling
A quick look at the UCF hitting streaks on the line at Stetson Tuesday:
Kiko Vazquez - 11 games
Matt Horwath - 8 games
Ryan Richardson - 8 games
Tyson Auer - 6 games
Dwayne Bailey - 5 games
Using Clutch Hitting to Get the Job Done
In UCF's 9-6 win at Memphis May 4, six of the Knights' runs were scored with two outs on the scoreboard. Down 5-1 in the sixth with nobody on and two down, Tyson Auer singled, Kiko Vazquez and Chris Duffy recorded back-to-back homers and Eric Kallstrom tied it on a RBI single. Eventually, UCF held a slim 7-6 lead in the ninth when Vazquez hit another two-out, two-run shot to put the game out of reach.
Stats That Make Sense
UCF owns a 17-3 record this year when it out-hits its opponent, and is 11-4 when it does not make an error. Also, they Knights are 15-5 when they score at least six runs in a game, and are 15-0 when leading after six innings.
Weiss-A-Roni, The Orlando Treat
In his last seven appearances, sophomore closer Justin Weiss has allowed just two hits and is 1-0 with three saves. Weiss also has kept opponents scoreless over his last 9.1 innings dating back to a win April 6 vs. Southern Miss.
Some Fun With the Long Ball
Kiko Vazquez and Chris Duffy recorded back-to-back homers in the sixth inning to spark a come-from-behind victory at Memphis May 4. It was the first time two UCF players accomplished the feat since Dee Brown and John-Michael Howell sent two yard May 6, 2005, at Troy. Vazquez ended up with two dingers in the win over the Tigers, which was the second time this year he put two over the wall in a game (Feb. 17 vs. Maryland).
UCF used a total of eight pitchers vs. Stetson May 2, the most in a game since April 22, 2003, when the Knights sent nine pitchers to the hill. Both games were nine innings.
Three Notes on Matt Horwath
The Heat is On
The leadoff hitter can have a lot of pressure on his shoulders. Matt Horwath has just taken all of it in stride after he was written into the top spot of the order before game one of a doubleheader at UAB March 31. He went on to go 9-for-21 (.429) while extending his overall hitting streak to eight games. Now through 17 games at the top spot, the senior is 30-for-68 for a .441 average.
Horwath also recorded another impressive streak at the plate, posting at least two hits in seven-consecutive outings (April 24-May 5). His streak of multi-hit games was the longest since Dee Brown's eight-game journey March 27-April 6, 2002.
He's Got the Beat, He's Got the Beat...
Since 1973, no UCF batter ever hit for the cycle. Then, Matt Horwath came along April 27 vs. Tulane. After he was hit by a pitch in the first inning, the designated hitter singled in the third and notched his first-career triple in the fourth. Horwath followed that up with a solo homer to lead-off the seventh. He came to the plate in the eighth with score knotted at 6-6 and belted a RBI double to deep center field to finalize the cycle and also give the Knights a 7-6 win. Meanwhile, the senior's four hits were a career-high and he added two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base.
One Thing Leads to Another
Along with hitting for the cycle April 27, Matt Horwath had a very memorable week at the plate. In UCF's four victories, the DH had at least two hits, scored two runs in every game and finished 11-for-16 with a .688 average. His efforts secured Horwath his first-ever Conference USA Hitter of the Week award, and a day later, he was named Pro-Line Athletic National Hitter of the Week. On May 2, Horwath was then selected as the Ping!Baseball Spotlight Performance of the Week. Let's take a look at Horwath's journey during that week:
Date AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB
4/24 3 2 2 0 1 0 0 0
4/27 4 2 4 2 1 1 1 1
4/28 4 2 2 1 2 0 0 0
4/29 5 2 3 0 0 1 0 0
Totals 16 8 11 3 4 2 1 1
One hitter who has been quietly going about his business is Ryan Richardson
. The junior transfer from Seminole C.C. has made 45 of his 46 starts in right field and appeared in 48 of UCF's 48 games overall. Richardson also has a hit in 17 of his last 19 outings, including a 4-for-4 affair in game two of a doubleheader at UAB March 31 and consecutive three-hit outings April 29 and May 2. For the season, he claims a .323 average and a 12-for-12 mark in stolen bases.
Taking Advantage of an Exciting Schedule
UCF fans have enjoyed this year's home schedule a lot, and it is showing by the attendance numbers. Through 33 games so far at Jay Bergman Field, a total of 28,264 have ventured through the gates. That number is a 46 percent increase from last year, where 19,313 Knight supporters came out to the ballpark in a span of 35 home contests.