May 9, 2010
By Brian Ormiston
Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF fans will be treated to a very memorable event Tuesday vs. Jacksonville, as senior Matt Manning's father, Col. Philip Manning, will conduct a flyover with an HH-60G Blackhawk helicopter before first pitch at 6:30 p.m. It will be a part of Community Heroes Night, where military, police and fire department personnel get free admission.
Game Notes in PDF Format
Tuesday vs. Jacksonville - Orlando, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday at Jacksonville - Jacksonville, Fla. - 6:30 p.m.
Jacksonville - 22-21 Overall, 11-9 Atlantic Sun
UCF - 28-19 Overall, 7-11 C-USA
Tuesday: Jay Bergman Field (2,230)
Wednesday: John Sessions Stadium (3,000)
Series Tied, 33-33
Live Stats and Video:
Tuesday and Wednesday: UCFAthletics.com
-Stationed at Patrick Air Force Base in Melbourne, Col. Manning's Blackhawk helicopter will appear from center field during the National Anthem.
-Senior Master Sergeant Stephan Schwarz of the 301st Rescue Squadron will throw out the first pitch. He is a flight engineer on the helicopter, has performed multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and is also a little league coach and umpire in Satellite Beach.
UCF at FAU Recap
-It was a complete effort by the Knights in a 14-3 win at FAU May 4. Facing an Owls team that was 11-1 in their previous 12 games, UCF outhit FAU 19-9, did not make an error and had a bullpen that combined to toss the final 8.0 innings with just one run against.
-Jacksonville (22-21) is coming off a 1-2 home weekend against Kennesaw State, and owns a .311 team batting average with a 6.13 staff ERA.
-JU is 3-1 in its last four midweek games, including a victory at No. 6 Florida State.
-This will be the third-straight season UCF has faced JU in a traditional home-and-home series. And after the Dolphins won both last year, the all-time series is tied 33-33.
This is How We Do It
-A 2009 Freshman All-American, Beau Taylor entered 2010 as a sophomore with two promising freshmen catchers backing him up in Chris Taladay and Ryan Breen. With Taylor owning the starting job, it was not sure how much playing time the newcomers would receive. But that quickly changed.
-Taylor currently owns a .352 average, while Taladay earned the starting gig at third base en route to a .360 mark. And since Breen took advantage of early opportunities at the plate, he was locked into the designated hitter role and now hits .313 with nine stolen bases.
-Combined, the trio has belted out 18 homers and driven in 95 runs.
-Look for all three catchers to appear in a special feature story on an upcoming edition UCF SportsKnight.
-It does not matter what level of competition. Not many players can boast a .400 batting average.
-And the Knights have two of them in Chris Duffy (.441) and Shane Brown (.419). The senior outfielders have both held batting averages above .400 at the same time for every game dating back to March 2.
-UCF is one of only two teams in the country (New Mexico) that has two players with averages of at least .419.
-Even though the Knights have a brand new infield consisting of three freshmen - 2B Austin Johnston, SS Darnell Sweeney, 3B Chris Taladay - and junior-college transfer 1B Jonathan Griffin, they are turning two at will.
-In all, the UCF defense has turned 50 double plays. As of last week's national stats, that ranks 10th in the country.
Nothing Compares 2 U
-Along with have three freshmen starters on the infield, the Knights also have a sophomore catcher (Beau Taylor), freshman center fielder (Ronnie Richardson) and freshman designated hitter (Ryan Breen).
-Even with all the young talent, the Knights are hitting .336 as a team, with eight of those starters holding .297 averages or above.
-The only exception is second baseman Austin Johnston, who carries a .264 mark in his first year at UCF. While that does not rank near the top of the lineup, the Winter Haven native has pounded out 11 doubles and been hit 14 times.
-Johnston also has shown incredible defensive skills this year, and owns a .959 fielding percentage while playing one of the toughest positions in the field.
U Can't Touch This
-At 12, UCF has its longest non-conference winning streak since it won 14-straight during the 2001 campaign. In 2010, the 12-game stretch includes wins against six different Florida programs (Miami, FAU, South Florida, Stetson, Bethune-Cookman, North Florida).
-UCF boasts a 21-8 record in non-league tilts. Through those 29 games, Chris Duffy is 55-for-107 for a .514 average along with posting 14 homers, 48 RBI and 14 doubles.
-As a team, the Knights have a .567 slugging percentage and a .445 on-base percentage for a 1.012 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 8.55 ERA against the Knights offense.
Are You Gonna Go My Way
-First baseman Jonathan Griffin has come alive since April 10 at Southern Miss.
-The junior has brought his average up from .261 to .297 in the last 15 games.
-Griffin has amassed at least two hits in nine of those outings, along with crushing four home runs.
-He is 22-for-61 for a .361 average dating back to the Southern Miss series.
All I Wanna Do
-UCF has pounded out 64 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.
I Want it That Way
-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 33-for-83 for a .398 average, driving in 17 runs while scoring 23.
-That stretch also includes at least one hit in 19 of 20 games, as he has improved his average from .304 to .352.
-He also is riding a 13-game hitting streak, the longest of his career. During that stretch, he is hitting .397 (23-for-58) with six doubles, two homers and 14 runs scored.