UCF (18-13, 2-1 C-USA) at USF (14-15, 5-3 Big East)
When: Tonight, 7
Where: Red McEwen Field
The story: Tonight’s game is the first of three straight Tuesday-night games with UCF, a team USF knows well. The Bulls have played the Golden Knights 92 times, and the all-time record is even at 46 wins apiece. Coach Eddie Cardieri, in his 21st season with USF, is 30-29 vs. UCF. In 2005, the Bulls went 1-2 in three meetings with UCF as the Golden Knights finished second in the A-Sun Conference before replacing USF in Conference USA.
UCF is coming off a weekend series in which it took two of three games from Marshall, while USF is reeling from a sweep by Cincinnati and is in the midst of a four-game losing streak.
The Golden Knights are led by center fielder Tyson Auer, who is batting .369 on 38 hits, six triples, 25 RBI and a home run. Right behind the sophomore is Ryan Bono with a .330 average, 37 hits, 21 RBI and team-high four home runs.
Offensively, the Bulls are powered by left fielder Kris Howell, who has a team-high .361 average, 12 RBI and 39 hits. Freshman shortstop Addison Maruszak has a team-high 19 RBI and nine doubles.
The Bulls will bring Yuri Higgins to the mound with his 4.79 ERA and 32 strikeouts. In 15 appearances and four game starts, Higgins has a 3-2 record, while relievers Chase Lirette and Nick Manganaro have 21 and 22 strikeouts, respectively.
Keep an eye on: first baseman Brandin Daniel. During the weekend series vs. Cincinnati, the sophomore went 7-for-12 with seven RBI and is third on the team with a .313 batting average and 30 hits.
– Mike Camunas