CLEARWATER, Fla. – UCF Baseball (32-24) score three runs in the final two frames, including two in the ninth, before falling to Memphis (26-27), 7-6 on Tuesday. The Knights stranded the tying run at third base, after pushing across two runs in the ninth.
Memphis opened the scoring in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the third, Noah Orlando gave the Knights a 2-1 lead with a two-run home run to left field. The Tigers quickly jumped back into the lead in the fourth, scoring three runs to lead 4-2. Memphis added three more in the top of the fifth, before the Knights pitching staff halted all scoring.
In the bottom of the fifth, Gephry Pena singled to center field to score Lex Boedicker from second and cut the lead to 7-3. In the bottom of the eighth, the Knights cut the lead to three, as Michael Brooks singled to left field to score Gephry Pena from second on the hit and run. In the bottom of the ninth, UCF scored two runs with the bases loaded.
Pablo Ruiz scored on a wild pitch to cut the Tigers lead to 7-5, before Gephry Pena grounded out to shortstop to score Orlando and make it a one-run game. The Knights stranded the tying runner at third base to end the game and send UCF to the loser's bracket.
UCF will now await the loser of tonight's Wichita State and Houston contest. First pitch will be 47 minutes following the conclusion of the first elimination game.
TOP 2nd | MEM 1 – UCF 0 | Memphis takes the lead in the second.
BOTTOM 3rd | MEM 1 – UCF 2 | Noah Orlando hits a two-run home run to left field.
TOP 4th | MEM 4 – UCF 2 | Memphis retakes the lead in the fourth.
TOP 5th | MEM 7 – UCF 2 | Tigers add a three more in the fifth.
BOTTOM 5th | MEM 7 – UCF 3 | Gephry Pena singles to center to score Lex Boedicker from second.
BOTTOM 8th | MEM 7 – UCF 4 | Michael Brooks singles to left to score Pena from second.
BOTTOM 9th | MEM 7 – UCF 6 | Pablo Ruiz scored on a wild pitch. Gephry Pena grounded out to shortstop to score Noah Orlando from third.
- Noah Orlando hit his seventh home run of the season; a two-run shot to left field.
- Ben Vespi falls to 6-4 on the season, allowing five hits and three runs on Tuesday.
- UCF will await the loser of the night cap, Wichita State or Houston.
- David Litchfield and Jacob Marlowe combined to work five innings of three hit baseball to give UCF a chance to rally down the stretch.
UCF Baseball will continue the AAC Tournament on Wednesday afternoon against the loser of tonight's Wichita State and Houston matchup. First pitch is scheduled for 47 minutes after game one.