Late Rally Leads Baseball to 7-6 Walk-Off Win Over Stetson

ORLANDO – Trailing by three runs entering the eighth inning, the Knights rallied to erase the deficit, topping Stetson in their second matchup this season 7-6 Tuesday evening at John Euliano Park. Sophomore Cole Russo had the game-tying RBI, while Tom Josten drew a bases-loaded walk to complete the comeback and walk it off for the Knights.
"I'm proud of the kids," said head coach Greg Lovelady. "We talk about not giving up 'til the last out is made and we took advantage of all 27 tonight."
The late rally is the second consecutive contest that the Knights erased a deficit late in the game to secure the win, coming back from a five-run deficit against Memphis on Sunday.
"[The] last two innings we just kind of woke up and obviously the big home run there by Drew [Faurot]," Lovelady added. "[Ben] McCabe gets us going with his fifth hit, [Andrew] Sundean puts the ball in play to put some pressure on them and then [Cole] Russo with a huge, huge game-tying hit and then Tom [Josten] with a walk.

"Again, proud of the kids for competing to the last out and finding a way to win the game today. We've got to clean some stuff up, we've got play better for nine innings, but you know we made them count and got the win."
Catcher Ben McCabe went 5-5, marking the second time this season he has connected on five hits in a game. Adding five at-bats, McCabe moves into 10th place in career at-bats in UCF history with 739, surpassing Tyson Auer, who had 738 at-bat from 2005-08.

Down by just one run in the ninth inning, the Knights came to the plate at the top of the order. McCabe reached first on an infield single and Andrew Sundean reached on an error by the third baseman to put runners on first and second with one out. Cole Russo smashed a single up the middle to score Corey Robinson, who pinch-ran for McCabe, knotting the score at 6-6. With the bases loaded and the count full, Josten drew ball four to give the Knights the win.

For the first time since 2015, the Knights won with a walk-off walk and improved their overall record to 21-16 on the season while the Hatters fall to 21-17.
Third baseman Andrew Brait opened the scoring for the Knights in the second inning with an RBI single to right field, bringing Josten home from third.
A leadoff walk drawn by center fielder John Rhys Plumlee in the third inning brought McCabe to the plate, where he singled, advancing Plumlee to third. Sundean followed with a base hit to left field, increasing the Knights' lead to two. The Black and Gold plated one more in the third as Nick Romano rocketed a ball to the shortstop for an RBI groundout, putting UCF on top 3-0.
Freshman Cameron Leiter earned the nod against Stetson for the second time this season and had another successful outing. Leiter pitched three scoreless innings for the Knights, striking out four and only allowing two hits.
In the fourth, Brait got the Knights out of trouble with a double play at third base after a hit-by-pitch and walk had Stetson in scoring position. The Hatters got one back and scored their first run of the game to cut the UCF lead to 3-1.
Leading off the fifth inning, McCabe singled to left field, reaching base for the third time. Sundean once again followed McCabe with his third hit on the night, earning three or more hits in a game for the fifth time this season.
With one out and the bases loaded, the Knights faced their biggest threat of the game. Stetson capitalized and freshman Lorenzo Meola took a 1-2 pitch to center field, scoring two to tie the game, 3-3. Shortly after, the Hatters took their first lead of the game on a passed ball. A miscommunication in right field resulted in Stetson's fourth run of the inning.
The next action came for the Knights down three runs in the bottom of the eighth, as freshman Drew Farout knocked his 10th home run of the season over the left field fence to cut the deficit.
Kyle Kramer pitched the final frame for the Knights, facing three batters and striking out two of them, setting up UCF for the walk-off win in its final at-bat. Kramer picked up his second win of the season and is now 2-1.
Up Next
UCF takes to the road this weekend to visit in-state rival South Florida in Tampa for the second installment of the War on I-4 Friday-Sunday, April 21-23.