No.23 UCF Knights Baseball Team Set to Host National Champs, No.1 Ranked Florida Gators
By Ian MacDougall, UCF Athletics // March 6, 2018
GAME TWO WILL BE PLAYED IN GAINESVILLE
ABOVE VIDEO: A recap of the Knights three-game sweep over Wagner this past weekend.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Riding a seven-game winning streak, the No. 23 UCF baseball team will square off with No. 1 Florida this week for a pair of games.
On Tuesday, the Knights will welcome the 2017 National Champions to John Euliano Park for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch, before making the trip to Gainesville on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. game. Tickets purchased online prior to the game at John Euliano Park will be discounted $5.
Tuesday’s contest will be streamed on UCFKnights.tv, and Wednesday’s game will be on SEC Network +. The “Voice of the Knights” Marc Daniels will have the call on 96.9 FM/740 AM The Game for the series.
The Knights (8-3) will play the top-ranked team in the country for the first time since 2012 when they faced Florida in Gainesville. In the 2017 midweek series between the two clubs, the Black and Gold split with then No. 2 Florida.
After dropping the opener in Gainesville, UCF bounced back to win 11-2 behind Joe Sheridan’s five innings of work in his first career start.
UCF has been on a roll over the last two weeks. The Black and Gold have outscored opponents 59-16 with three shutouts over the last seven games. Sophomore Rylan Thomas has led the way offensively with 12 RBI, two home runs and a .741 slugging percentage. The bullpen has shutdown opponents late in games.
The relievers have five allowed just two earned runs over 26 1/3 innings with 34 strikeouts.
The Gators are 12-1 this season with their lone loss coming on the road at then No. 24 Miami. Like the Knights, Florida has found success through its pitching.
The Gators rank third in the country in ERA at 1.71, first in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 1.38 and second in WHIP at 0.94. Three players have hit four home runs this season.
GAME 12 | No. 23 UCF vs. No. 1 Florida
Tuesday, March 6 | 6:30 p.m.
Watch: UCFKnights.tv | Listen: 96.9 FM/740 AM The Game
JJ Montgomery (RHP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Jack Leftwich (RHP, 1-0, 0.87 ERA)
GAME 13 | No. 23 UCF at No. 1 Florida
Wednesday, March 7 | 6 p.m.
Watch: SEC Network + | Listen: 96.9 FM/740 AM The Game
Joe Sheridan (LHP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. TBA
NOTES TO KNOW
• Florida holds a 27-18 series lead. UCF is 8-8 in Orlando and 10-17 in Gainesville against the Gators.
• For the second straight week, Rylan Thomas was named to The American Weekly Honor Roll after driving in eight runs with a .909 slugging clip against Wagner in the weekend series.
• Thomas, Logan Heiser, Brandon Hernandez, Tyler Osik and Ray Alejo have reached base safely in the last seven games.
• The Knights went 7-for-10 when stealing this weekend to take their season total to 39 – second in the country.
• UCF has the 13th best ERA in the nation this season at 2.20.
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