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Baseball Rallies for Win Against Memphis to Clinch Series

ORLANDO – The UCF baseball team rallied from an early five-run deficit to earn an 8-6 win against the Memphis Tigers Sunday afternoon at John Euliano Park to clinch its first American Athletic Conference series win of the season.

"Going 3-1 on the week is a definite step in the right direction. We got back to playing our baseball this week," Head Coach Greg Lovelady said on the team's victory.

The Knights improve to 20-16 on the season and 3-6 in the AAC, while the Tigers fall to 19-18 and 3-6 in conference action.

"It's about playing the game - you understand that one inning can change it. You keep playing the game, trust that we can put together quality at bats," Lovelady said.

UCF did just that in the bottom of the fifth, putting together a big inning and scoring five runs on six hits to tie the game at 5-5. Nick Romano singled through the left side to start the rally and Tom Josten followed with his ninth double of the year. With runners on second and third base, Matt Cedarburg extended his hit streak to three games with an RBI single past the second baseman to score Romano and Drew Faurot followed with an RBI single to center field to plate Josten. 

Andrew Brait ripped a 1-0 pitch to right center for a double, scoring Cedarburg to cut the Tigers' lead to 5-3. Ben McCabe increased his RBI total to 28 this season with a single up the middle that plated Faurot and Brait to knot the score at 5-5.

Kyle Kramer worked an efficient sixth inning, striking out the side to bring the Knights' strikeout total to 13 for the game with his fourth on the day.

Memphis plated one more run in the top of the eighth inning on an error to take back the lead, 6-5.

Cole Russo was hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth inning, and Corey Robinson entered the game on first base as a pinch runner. A wild pitch, fly out from Romano, and throwing error by the Tigers' pitcher allowed Robinson to round the bases and tie the game once again, 6-6.

Lex Boedicker's ninth home run of the season came in the form of a go-ahead homer to center field for the Knights' win. The two-run shot was his second home run of the series and scored Josten, who reached base on a fielder's choice, to give UCF the 8-6 lead.

Najer Victor entered the game with no outs and a runner on third base in the top of the eighth inning and worked out of the jam with three strikeouts. He threw two scoreless innings to earn the win and retired the final batter on UCF's 17th strikeout of the day, tying the season-high previously achieved against Dartmouth.

Dom Stagliano started the game on the mound and pitched 4.1 innings, notching nine strikeouts in his outing and setting a career high.
Up Next
The Knights will host a midweek rematch of last Tuesday against the Stetson Hatters at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18. Then, UCF will travel to rival South Florida for the second series between the teams this season in Tampa, Florida, on April 20-22. Games are set for 6:30 p.m. (Friday), 2 p.m. (Saturday) and 1 p.m. (Sunday).