ORLANDO, Fla. – No. 2 Ole Miss (9-0) homered five times on Friday evening to defeat UCF (7-2), 8-7, at John Euliano Park. Ben Vespi was pegged with the loss, allowing two runs and striking out two batters.
UCF opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, as Nick Romano doubled down the line in left to score Gephry Pena from first. In the second, Tom Josten added to the lead, 2-0, doubling to right center field to score Lex Boedicker from second.
In the top of the fifth, Ole Miss responded to take a 3-2 lead with a three-run blast to right field. UCF responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth, as Romano regained the lead with a three-run home run to left field. Cole Russo singled up the middle to score Ben McCabe from second to increase the lead to 6-3.
In the sixth, Ole Miss hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to tie the ballgame, before taking the lead 8-6 in the seventh. UCF loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth before Alex Freeland drew a walk to score Trent Taylor from third.
Riley Maddox picked up the win for the Rebels on Friday, as Brandon Johnson worked the final three innings not allowing a hit to pick up his first save of the season. UCF and Ole Miss will continue the series tomorrow afternoon at John Euliano Park. First pitch is schedule for 4 p.m.
BOTTOM 1st | OLE MISS 0 – UCF 1 | Nick Romano doubled down the line in left to score Gephry Pena.
BOTTOM 2nd | OLE MISS 0 – UCF 2 | Tom Josten doubled to right center to score Lex Boedicker.
TOP 5th | OLE MISS 3 – UCF 2 | Ole Miss hits a three-run home run to take the lead.
BOTTOM 5th | OLE MISS 3 – UCF 6 | Nick Romano hits a three-run home run to left field. Cole Russo singled up the middle to score Ben McCabe.
TOP 6th | OLE MISS 6 – UCF 6 | Ole Miss hits back-to-back-to-back home runs to tie the ball game.
TOP 7th | OLE MISS 8 – UCF 6 | Rebels homer for the fourth time to take the lead.
BOTTOM 8th | OLE MISS 8 - UCF 7 | Alex Freeland draws a bases loaded walk to score Trent Taylor.
- UCF pitching had not allowed a home run this season until Friday night against No. 2 Ole Miss.
- Nick Romano finished the night 2-for-5 with four RBIs including a three-run shot to take the lead in the fifth.
- UCF left eight runners on base and drew seven walks on Friday.
- The Knights pitching staff issued only three walks Friday evening against No. 2 Ole Miss.
UCF and Ole Miss will continue the three-game set on Saturday afternoon at John Euliano Park. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.