Season opened with a sweep of Siena
Published: Sunday, February 20, 2011
Updated: Sunday, February 20, 2011 16:02
The new NCAA bats that don't have as much "pop" as the old bats proved not to be an issue for UCF's hitters.
The Knights swept Siena in their opening series of the season, outscoring the Saints 37-6 over three games.
"Overall, obviously it's hard to win college baseball games and it's hard to win three in a weekend, so I'm very pleased overall with how we played," Rooney said.
Ray Hanson got the start on Sunday and pitched four and two third innings, striking out three and giving up four runs on five hits.
Chase Bradford, who earned the 16-4 win, came in for relief and pitched two and a third innings, striking out three. Bryan Brown hit the hill in the eighth inning to strike out one while closer Joe Rogers took the mound to pitch the ninth inning and struck out two.
Catcher Beau Taylor extended his hitting streak to 24 games in game three on Sunday, claiming sole possession of the second-longest streak in school history. Mike Myers holds the longest streak with 26 games back in 2001.
Taylor finished the weekend with five hits, four runs and three RBIs.
Matt Collins started Saturday and pitched four and one third innings with six strikeouts before Hicks, the designated hitter, came in to relieve him. Hicks, who hit a three-run shot in the fourth inning, pitched two-thirds of an inning and earned the 10-1 win over the Saints for game two.
"I get the best of both worlds," Hicks said. "I get to pitch on the mound and I still get to hit at the same time."
Lefty Johnny Sedlock pitched the final four innings of game two and struck out four batters. The Knights' pitching staff did not walk a batter until Sunday in game three against Siena.
Junior-college transfer Travis Shreve started at second base as well as the lead-off spot in the line-up. He got hit by a pitch during his first at-bat and stole second and third almost consecutively.
"Coach Godwin gets on us and he really just wants us to take as many bases as we can so if you get it, you got it," Shreve said. "If you're thrown out, oh well."
Shreve finished the weekend with six hits, including two doubles, five runs, five RBIs and four stolen bases. He also was part of several double plays for the Knights infield.
To get the Knights started off on Friday, first baseman Jonathan Griffin hit a two-run shot on his first swing in the first inning.
Griffin, who hit 13 home runs last season, got into the new bats that supposedly won't have as much "pop," as did Siena's Dan Paolini, whose solo shot in the fourth inning was the only other home run of game one.
"There's going to be less home runs, there's no question about it," Rooney said. "But I think if you were to look on both teams and say, ‘OK, Who are the guys with the most power?' it's Paolini and it's Griffin."
Paolini hit 26 homers last year, an Eastern College Athletic Conference record.
Friday starter Danny Winkler pitched six innings and got the win in his first outing at UCF. Winkler had six strikeouts and gave up only one run on five hits. Lefty reliever Nick Cicio got the save in the Knights' 11-1 win over Siena in their home opener.
"Obviously to open tonight to not walk a batter and not make an error says a lot about the way we played the game," said head coach Terry Rooney on Friday.
Winkler will likely be the Friday starter throughout the season.
The Knights will travel to Daytona Beach on Tuesday to face Bethune Cookman at 6:00 p.m. in their first away game of the season.