Friday’s game will be on the Internet only as
WNSC calls all of the action from Jay Bergman Field. To listen to the game, log
onto http://wnsc.ucf.edu. Saturday’s doubleheader will be on the UCF ISP Sports
Network (740 AM The Team), beginning with the pregame show at 12:45 p.m.
The Golden Knights must either sweep Jacksonville or win at least two games to
have any chance to qualify for next week’s A-Sun Tournament at Stetson. If UCF
sweeps the Dolphins and Troy State loses just one game to Campbell, the Golden
Knights will earn a spot in the conference tournament.
If the Golden Knights win two of three from Jacksonville, Troy State must lose
two to Campbell, Belmont would have to sweep Gardner-Webb and the winner of the
Jacksonville State-Georgia State series would have to win in a sweep.
The Dolphins of Jacksonville University enter this weekend’s series 26-26
overall including a record of 15-15 in the Atlantic Sun. JU, in need to win the
series to qualify for the A-Sun Tournament, is coming off its first-ever series
win over Miami at home last weekend. The Dolphins won two of three from the
nationally-ranked Hurricanes, winning the series for the first time. The two
schools have been playing baseball vs. each other since the 1958 season.
Despite batting just .280 as a team, the Dolphins have arguably the player of
the year in the A-Sun in senior Chad Hauseman. The Pennsylvania native is
batting .407 with 16 home runs and 35 RBI. Hauseman, who has missed his last
five games after getting hit by a pitch in the FAU series by Danny Core, is
scheduled to be a game-time decision all weekend.
On the mound, the JU pitching staff has a team ERA of 4.62 this season. In 418.2
innings of work, JU has totaled 276 strikeouts and 145 walks.
JU will start the series by sending sophomore right-hander Dennis Robinson to
the mound. In 14 appearances this season including 11 starts, Robinson is 4-6
with a 4.54 ERA.
In game two, JU will turn to freshman southpaw Donald Brickle on the mound.
Brickle is 2-3 with a 4.21 ERA in 12 appearances. Opponents are batting just
.251 vs. the lefty. In the series finale, senior right-hander Darren Truty gets
the starting nod. Truty is 4-5 overall with a 4.14 ERA in 78.1 innings of work.
Inside The Jacksonville Series
Jacksonville is the only Atlantic Sun conference opponent to own a winning
record vs. UCF. The Dolphins lead the all-time series 27-26 after winning two of
three from UCF in Jacksonville last season.
UCF is 6-5 vs. JU in its last 11 meetings vs. the Dolphins including a 2-1 mark
at Jay Bergman Field.
On The Hill For UCF
Taylor Cobb, a native of Jacksonville, will get the start on the mound Friday in
the series opener for the Golden Knights. Cobb, who played on the prep level at
The Bolles School, is 4-3 this season with a 4.22 ERA. In 53.1 innings of work,
Cobb has totaled 41 strikeouts and opponents are batting .254 vs. the
Michael (7-5, 3.03 ERA) will get the start in game two. The senior right-handed
pitcher has been fantastic all season long as he leads the team in complete
games (5), ERA (3.03), wins (7) and innings pitched (77.1). Michael has lost
four games in the A-Sun this season in which he has allowed just one earned run.
The series finale will feature sophomore Matt Fox (3-3, 5.91 ERA) on the mound
for the Golden Knights. Fox has stepped into the No. 3 spot in the rotation and
has been impressive. Last weekend at Stetson, Fox won his third game of the
season by pitching 5.2 innings, holding the Hatters to three runs. In 42.2
innings of work, Fox has racked up 47 strikeouts.
Lambert Continues To Sizzle
Freshman first baseman Dave Lambert has been on fire at the plate for UCF.
Lambert is batting .444 in 30 games this season including 18 starts.
Lambert was named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Week two weeks ago for his
performance at Troy State.
Lambert earned his first A-Sun Player-of-the-Week honor by batting .833 (5-6)
over three games with one home run, three runs scored and five RBI. He also drew
three walks, including one intentional pass, and was hit by a pitch.
In game one of the series, Lambert tied a career-best with three hits, one of
which was his second home run of the season, and three RBI to lead UCF. Lambert
recorded a hit in each of the three games and recorded a slugging percentage of
1.500 over the series.
Lambert has been at his best in the A-Sun this season, hitting .607 (17-28) in
13 games including nine starts.
Matt Fox is clearly showing why the Arizona Diamondbacks drafted him in the
sixth round of out high school in the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft. Since
joining the weekend rotation at Gardner-Webb, Fox is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in 19.0
innings of work. The flame thrower has 18 strikeouts vs. A-Sun competition this
Baseball America labeled Fox the 44th best sophomore in the nation in its 2003
college baseball preview edition. In addition, Baseball America wrote that Fox
has the best fastball in the A-Sun while also possessing the best infield arm in
Another 30-Win Season
For the ninth straight season, UCF has won at least 30 games under head coach
Jay Bergman. In Bergman’s 21 seasons at the helm, only two of his teams have
failed to reach the 30-win plateau.
Over the nine-year stretch of nine straight 30-win campaigns, UCF has averaged
41.7 wins per season including seven 40-win seasons and one 50-win campaign (51
wins in 2001).
Clay Timpner has hit safely in 10 straight games while Ryan Bear has an
eight-game hitting streak entering this weekend.
Honoring The Seniors
UCF will honor nine seniors Friday prior to the game vs. Jacksonville for all
their hard work over the years in the program.
Ryan Bear, Nathan Kragt, Mark Michael, Lincoln Mincks, Brian Steenson, Von David
Stertzbach, David Torres, Rich Wallace and Nick Whidden will hit the field for
their final home series.
Stertzbach and Wallace, the only two four-year seniors on the roster, have been
part of three teams that have qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The duo has
also been part of two A-Sun title teams. In four seasons, UCF has an impressive
record of 160-78 (.672) with the two on the roster.
Down The Stretch They Come
Six teams are separated by just two games in the standings as the final weekend
of play is set to begin in the A-Sun.
The final weekend has an outstanding slate of games in the conference, beginning
with Stetson visiting Florida Atlantic. Other key series of note include Belmont
at Gardner-Webb, Georgia State at Jacksonville State and Campbell at Troy State.
Flashing The Leather
UCF leads the A-Sun with a .969 fielding percentage this season. The mark puts
the 2003 team second all-time in the single-season rankings in school history,
only behind the 2001 team (.973).
UCF is 7-11 in one-run games this season including just a 1-7 record in
What A Run In The A-Sun
Over the last three seasons, UCF has been almost untouchable in the A-Sun. The
Golden Knights have won three regular season conference crowns and two
tournament titles since 2000. UCF is 68-19 (.782) in the conference over the
In all, UCF has won the A-Sun six times, the most of any conference school.
One Of The Nation’s Elite Programs
UCF is one of just five schools in the nation over the last two seasons to win a
conference title, reach the 40-win plateau, and earn a spot in the NCAA
Championships. The Golden Knights are joined in the exclusive club by Coastal
Carolina (Big South), Oral Roberts (Mid-Continent), Southern (Southwestern) and
Rice (Western Athletic).
UCF finished the 2001 season 51-14 and 41-22 last year.
In addition, UCF has won at least 40 games in three straight seasons and seven
out of the last eight years. In 1999, UCF finished with 38 wins and missed the
NCAA Tournament. The 1999 campaign was the last time UCF failed to reach the
Overall, UCF has made eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament to go along with
six A-Sun Conference titles.
Bear Continues To Impress
Senior Ryan Bear has been one of UCF’s most improved players in 2003. After
batting .283 in 39 games in his first season at UCF last year, Bear leads the
Golden Knights in batting this season at .391.
The Panama City native was just seven games away from tying the school record
earlier in the year with a 19-game hitting streak. Mike Myers owns the UCF
record with a 26-game hitting streak he tallied from April 3 to May 19, 2001.
Bear also leads the club in hits (72), runs (43), doubles (19), triples (5),
home runs (5), RBI (35), total bases (116), slugging percentage (.630) while
ranking third on the team in stolen bases (7-for-10).
In A-Sun games, Bear has been on fire, batting .406 with three home runs, 11
doubles, two triples and 16 RBI.
Bear is tied for ninth in career slugging percentage with a .565 mark.
Bear Receives Two Honors
Ryan Bear has been successful on and off the baseball diamond this season. This
week, Bear was named to the Verizon Academic All-District First Team. A
management major with an impressive 3.72 GPA, Bear will now be on the ballot for
the Verizon Academic All-America Team.
Bear was also named an All-American by the National Strength and Conditioning
Coaches Association earlier this season for his hard work and dedication in the
Freshman right-handed pitcher Kyle Bono has performed as well as any freshmen
pitcher in the nation in 2003. The Lake Mary native is 4-2 with a 0.84 ERA in 22
appearances including two saves. Bono has yielded just 19 hits in 32.1 innings
of work while totaling 42 strikeouts and just 10 walks. Opponents are batting
.173 vs. the rookie.
Bono has felt right at home on the mound, especially pitching to his twin
brother Ryan. Ryan is a catcher on the team and has formed the first
brother-brother battery in UCF history several times this season.
Not So Fast My Friend
Freshman catcher Drew Butera has quickly established himself as the top throwing
catcher in the Atlantic Sun. Opposing base runners have had their hands full
attempting to steal on the rookie. Butera has thrown out 54% of the runners
attempting to steal against him (17-for-37).
Butera had a great person to learn the catching position from as a youngster.
Drew’s father Sal Butera was a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Twins,
Reds, Expos and Blue Jays.
Butera has also started to find his swing at the plate. The freshman is batting
.306, fifth best on the team. The 2003 Baseball America Preseason Freshman of
the Year in the Atlantic Sun, Butera is UCF’s leading hitter with runners in
scoring position (.413, 19-for-46).
Updating The Record Books
Von David Stertzbach
Career K’s 223 6th
Career App. 79 2nd
Career K/9 inn. 9.71 T-5th
Career Slug. % .565 9th
Career HBP 44 1st
Season HBP 15 2nd
Career HBP 20 5th
UCF In The A-Sun Rankings
As of May 14
Batting .302 3rd
Pitching 4.36 4th
Fielding .969 1st
Ryan Bear .391 3rd
Clay Timpner .351 9th
Mark Michael 3.03 5th
Ryan Bear .72 T-2nd
Ryan Bear 15 3rd
Ryan Bear 5 T-1st
Ryan Bear 116 T-4th
Clay Timpner 21-23 2nd
A-Sun Conference Only Games
As of May 14
Batting .313 3rd
Pitching 4.46 5th
Fielding .969 1st
Stolen Bases .963 T-5th
Ryan Bear .406 3rd
Mark Michael 2.62 4th