April 19, 2012

Engaging the enemy: UCF

UCF was a No. 2 seed last year but clearly has risen to a new level this season and is a legitimate contender to dethrone Rice at the top of C-USA. What has been the catalyst in the team's improvement?

"Many of the key position players who started as freshmen are now juniors. Also, deeper pitching across the board. UCF has about six pitchers who could make a serious case to be a weekend starter. This really comes in handy should one of the starters have a bad outing and can't last six innings. In the bullpen, closer Joe Rogers is having a dominating season (1.05 ERA in 25.2 IP, 7 saves) but the biggest change in the dymanic is newcomer Roman Madrid (0.33 ERA in 27.1 IP) who has played the role of setup man. If UCF's starters can chew up six innings or so, Madrid and Rogers have been been rock solid in closing the door."

With the exception of the 1-0 14-inning loss to USM last Friday, the starting pitching has not been sharp the last two weeks. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the weekend rotation?

"I'd say pitching has been fine the last two weeks. ...

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