HOUSTON, Tx. – The Houston Cougars (34-16, 13-6) hit three home runs on Friday night in route to a 9-5 victory over the Citronauts (28-21, 11-8) to take game one of the series. Ben Vespi was charged with the loss, working six innings and allowing five runs.
UCF opened the scoring in the top of the first as Andrew Sundean doubled down the line in left to score Lex Boedicker and Gephry Pena. Tom Josten doubled down the line in right to score Sundean from second to push the lead to 3-0. Ben McCabe continued the rally in the first, singling through the left side to score Josten from second and give the Citronauts a 4-0 lead.
In the second Houston responded with a two-run blast to cut the 'Nauts lead in half. In the fourth, the Cougars added four more to take the lead, highlighted by a three-run home run. UCF was able to cut the lead to one, as Josten flew out to center field to score Boedicker. Pena attempted to score from first after the ball squeaked away from the third basemen but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
With two on in the eighth, Houston went to the bench and pinch hit to avoid a left-on-left matchup. The Cougars would add some insurance runs on a three-run blast to extend the lead to 9-5. Gephry Pena hit a solo home run in the ninth, as the 'Nauts fall 9-6 to Houston to open the series.
TOP 1st | HOU 0 – UCF 4 | Andrew Sundean doubles down the line in left to score Lex Boedicker and Gephry Pena. Tom Josten doubles to right field to score Sundean from second. Ben McCabe singles through the left side to score Josten from second.
BOTTOM 2nd | HOU 2 – UCF 4 | Houston scores a pair in the second.
BOTTOM 4th | HOU 6 – UCF 4 | Houston takes the lead in the fourth.
TOP 5th | HOU 6 – UCF 5 | Josten flies out to center field to score Boedicker from third.
BOTTOM 8th | HOU 9 – UCF 5 | Houston adds to the lead.
TOP 9th | HOU 9 – UCF 6 | Gephry Pena hit a solo home run to left center.
- UCF collected six extra base hits on Friday night (4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR).
- Gephry Pena hit his sixth home run of the season in the top of the ninth, a solo shot to left center.
- UCF pitchers allowed only two walks on the night.
- The 'Nauts left seven men on base Friday.
- Andrew Sundean and Tom Josten both drove in two runs for the 'Nauts in the series opener.
UCF and Houston will continue the three-game set on Saturday at Schroeder Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.