Orlando, Fla. – In the series finale with Wichita State on Sunday, the UCF baseball team fell 7-6, dropping to 23-25 and 13-11 in American Athletic Conference games.
The Shockers took an early lead in the first inning when Hunter Gibson singled, scoring Ross Cadena. However, the Knights would answer immediately when Gephry Pena took a 2-2 pitch deep to left field for his third homer of the season.
The following inning, Wichita State tacked on another run. Like the first inning, UCF responded. Tom Josten brought home Alex Freeland on a ground-rule double to knot things up a 2-2.
The Shockers put three runs up in the third inning off a double play that brought a run in and then a two-run home run by Corrigan Bartlett.
Noah Orlando brought Trent Taylor home in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 5-3 game. In the sixth inning, the Knights bats came to life. Freeland hit a home run to dead center field, and then Josten went deep to left field to make it a 6-5 UCF lead.
Ben Vespi came in in relief and pitched well. He went four shutout innings with two strikeouts while only allowing one hit.
The Shockers tied things up in the eighth on a bases-loaded walk before taking the lead on a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Wichita State (25-18, 13-10 AAC) – 6, UCF (23-25, 13-11 AAC) – 5
Winning Pitcher: Aaron Haase (1-1)
Losing Pitcher: Billy McKay (1-3)
Top Pitcher: Ben Vespi (4.0 IP, 2 K, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER)
Top Hitters: Tom Josten (2-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) , Gephry Pena (2-5, 1 HR, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 R), Alex Freeland (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R)
- The Knights are now 4-6 all-time against Wichita State.
- Greg Lovelady remains one win away from 150 wins as head coach of the UCF baseball team.
- Four of the Knights six runs came on the long ball.
- Gephry Pena hit his third home run, Alex Freeland hit his fifth homer, and Josten hit his sixth long ball of the year. They rank sixth, fifth, and fourth, respectively.
- Today was the Knights ninth loss by one run this season.
The Knights will travel to New Orleans to take on the Tulane Green Wave. They will play a doubleheader on Friday with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Game three will come at 5 p.m. on Saturday, before wrapping up the series with a game on Sunday with a 2 p.m. first pitch.
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