ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 6 seed UCF baseball team dropped its opening game in the American Athletic Conference Championship, presented by the Air Force Reserve, falling to No. 3 seed Tulane 5-2.
All seven runs were scored in the first two innings. With a 9:25 p.m. first pitch, the Black and Gold saw the Green Wave hit a pair of two-run home runs over the first and second to take the lead for good.
Down by two after the first, UCF pulled level in the top of the second. Tyler Osik hammered a leadoff double, mere inches away from a solo homer. The senior came home on the next at-bat on a single back up the middle by Dalton Wingo. After Wingo advanced on a passed ball, Chandler Robertson brought him home on a double off the wall in dead center.
UCF starter Chris Williams settled in over the next five innings. After a tough opening two frames, the righty allowed just four runners and two hits the rest of the night. The senior fanned six and dealt 18 first-pitch strikes.
A thorn in the side of the Knights all evening was Tulane hurler Kaleb Roper. The righty went the distance with nine strikeouts and worked around eight hits.
The Knights had several chances to score in the later stages of the game. UCF stranded 10 runners on base, including runners in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
No. 6 UCF (34-21) – 2, No. 3 Tulane (32-24) – 5
Winning pitcher: Kaleb Roper (7-3)
Losing pitcher: Chris Williams (6-5)
Top hitters: Dalton Wingo (2-4, 1 RBI, 1 R), Chandler Robertson (1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB)
Top pitchers: Chris Williams (7 IP, 6 K, 5 R), Luis Ferrer (1 IP, 2 K, 1 H, 0 R)
• Tulane now leads the all-time series 25-24.
• Dalton Wingo’s two-hit game was his 19th of the year, taking him into second on the team.
• The Knights turned their 45th double play of the year.
• Tyler Osik and Chandler Robertson hit their 12th and ninth doubles, respectively.
• Roper’s complete game was the first against UCF this season.
The Knights will enter the elimination bracket, which starts on Wednesday night. No. 6 UCF will face No. 7 Memphis at 7 p.m.
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