HOUSTON, Tx. – David Litchfield retired 10-straight Cougars down the stretch in his 4.1 innings of work to help UCF (30-21, 13-8) fend off Houston (34-18, 13-8), 3-1 on Sunday and take the series. The win gives the Knights 30 wins on the season, marking the fifth full season that Greg Lovelady's squad has accomplished that feat.
The Knights opened the scoring in the second, as Ben McCabe hit his eighth home run of the season, a two-run blast to left center field to give the Knights a 2-0 lead. Houston responded in the bottom of the second to cut the deficit to 2-1.
In the fourth, Michael Brooks hit a solo home run to left field, his sixth of the season, to extend the Knights lead to 3-1. UCF pitching made a statement on Sunday, holding the strongest offense in the American to a .100 (1-10) batting average with runners in scoring position.
Cameron Crain started the game for the Knights, working 3.2 innings and allowing five hits and one run. David Litchfield (3-2) earned the victory out of the bullpen, working 4.1 innings allowing one hit and retiring 10 straight Cougars. Kyle Kramer picked up his sixth save of the season, using 12 pitches in the final frame to dispose the middle of the Cougars lineup.
UCF moves into a tie for second place in the American, holding the tiebreaker over the Cougars after taking the series on Sunday. The Knights will look to clinch the No. 2 seed this weekend against Cincinnati, while Houston travels to regular season champion ECU.
TOP 2nd | HOU 0 – UCF 2 | Ben McCabe hits a two-run home run to left field.
BOTTOM 2nd | HOU 1 – UCF 2 | Houston gets a run back in the bottom half.
TOP 4th | HOU 1 – UCF 3 | Michael Brooks hits a solo home run to left field.
- Ben McCabe hit his eighth home run of the season on Sunday, a two-run shot to left center field. The home run was McCabe's fourth Sunday home run this season.
- Michael Brooks hit his sixth home run of the season, a solo shot to left field. Brooks finished the day a triple shy of the cycle (3-for-4).
- With the win today, UCF has won 30 or more games in all five full seasons that Greg Lovelady has been the head coach.
- David Litchfield improved to 3-2 on the season, retiring 10-straight in his 4.1 innings of work.
- Kyle Kramer picked up his sixth save of the season, using 12 pitches to end the bottom of the ninth.
UCF baseball will open a four-game home stand on Tuesday evening at John Euliano Park to close out the regular season. The Knights will host Bethune-Cookman, with a first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.