Knights prepare for C-USA tournament

Losing two games to Rice will not stop the Knights, as they are determined to be part of the College World Series. Head coach Terry Rooney and the rest of the Knights still have Omaha on their radar.

“At the end of the day we want to be one of the eight teams playing in Omaha. For us to be one of those eight teams, we just have to play a little bit better in a lot of areas,” Rooney said.

The Knights remain positive as they head into the conference tournament. The UCF baseball team will travel early Monday morning to Pearl, Miss. where they will have the chance to redeem themselves.

Winning the conference title is one thing but winning the conference tournament is another. The conference title winner in this case, Rice, gets a ring, a title, first seed, and better chances of hosting a regional. The conference tournament winner, however, will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship Tournament. This paves the way for regionals, super regionals and eventually Omaha.

In the C-USA tournament, the top eight teams will be split into pods — each pod consisting of four teams. Each team will play three games, and the team with the best record moves on to the championship game on Sunday.

With the regular season being a wrap, the pairings for the tournament are set. The Knights currently belong to the second pod, along with East Carolina, Tulane, and UAB. Rice will be in pod one with Southern Miss, Memphis, and Houston. Rice will have to face Memphis, who is currently riding an eight game winning streak.

UCF will play their first game against UAB Thursday at noon EST. The Knights faced the Blazers in early April, where they won the series at home. UAB beat UCF 11-4 in the first game, but the Knights won the last two games 7-3 and 8-7.

The second team UCF will face is Tulane at 4 p.m. on Friday. UCF swept Tulane on the road in late April, Game one 1-0, Game two 8-7 in the 12th inning, and Game three 8-6.

UCF’s third opponent will be East Carolina. They will play at noon on Saturday. The Knights hosted the Pirates in late March and won the series after snatching victories in the first two games 2-1 and 10-6, and dropping the third game 15-6.

Starting pitchers for all games will be named at a later time.

If fans can’t make it out to Pearl, Miss. to support the Knights, no worries: All games will be streamed live on ConferenceUSA.com. CBS Sports will televise Sunday’s championship game at 2 p.m. EST.