Baseball Drops Midweek Contest to FAU on the Road

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Despite an early lead and a 13-strikeout performance that held Florida Atlantic to only six hits, errors and runners left on base were the difference for the Knights in their 4-2 loss Tuesday evening at FAU Baseball Stadium.

Two RBI singles in the first inning gave the Knights the lead early in the game, 2-0. Tom Josten sparked the offense for UCF with a double to right field and Ben McCabe followed, drawing a walk on a full-count pitch before Andrew Sundean loaded the bases with a four-pitch walk. Nick Romano drove in the first run on a single to score Josten. After a pitching change, Drew Faurot hit a single to left center, driving in the second run of the inning. Unfortunately, a pair of strikeouts followed for UCF to end the inning.

Play was suspended in the bottom of the first with two away and after an hour and four-minute weather delay, Cameron Crain ended the inning with his second strikeout.

The Knights held onto their 2-0 lead through four as Crain, Cameron Leiter, and Zach Chappell threw four innings of one-hit ball, but the Owls eventually broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth. Scoring four unanswered in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, the Owls took the 4-2 lead aided by a couple UCF defensive mistakes. Three of the Knights' four errors on the night moved runners that eventually scored into scoring position.

It was a bullpen game for both the Knights and Owls, with each team throwing seven pitchers. Both staffs finished with 13 strikeouts.

Dominic Castellano was charged with a tough-luck loss after allowing one earned run in two innings of work, while FAU's Brandon Smith earned the win with one inning in relief to improve to 3-0.

The Knights had numerous baserunners throughout the game and outhit the Owls, 10-6, but the 13 runners UCF left on base proved to be the difference.

UCF falls to a 16-9 record on the season, while FAU moves to 16-10.
The Knights begin American Athletic Conference play on Friday, opening the second half of the season with rival South Florida. UCF will host the Bulls in a three-game series at John Euliano Park with games at 6 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.