Baseball Evens Series with Comeback Victory Over Houston

ORLANDO ­– The UCF baseball team rallied from an early four-run deficit to even the series against the Houston Cougars with an 8-7 victory Saturday afternoon at John Euliano Park.

"Gutsy win today," said UCF head coach Greg Lovelady. "Two games in a row we get down early and fought our way back. It's good to come back and fight and find a way late and be able to finish it."

The Cougars (24-19, 9-5 AAC) took an early lead for the second game in a row, getting four runs across in the first inning.

The Knights (24-18, 6-8 AAC) answered, plating four in the next two innings to even the score. Andrew Brait added two RBI to his total for the weekend, after driving in four of UCF's seven runs on Friday. Following a Nick Romano double and a four-pitch walk by Lex Boedicker, Brait belted a double to right-center field on the first pitch to score Romano and Boedicker from second and first, respectively.

Tom Josten took a 2-2 pitch deep to center field for his 30th career home run to take sole possession of eighth place in all-time home runs at UCF. After ripping a double to left field, Drew Faurot scored on an error to tie the game at 4-4 after three innings.

Trading runs in the next three frames, Houston took a 7-5 lead. UCF added its fifth run as Andrew Sundean ripped a first-pitch single down the left-field line to score Brait.

The Knights took the final lead of the game and their first of the series in a three-run seventh inning. Boedicker became the fifth Knight to reach 10 home runs on the season, as he sent a go-ahead two-run shot to left field. John Rhys Plumlee drew a full-count walk and stole second base to get into scoring position. After drawing a walk in his previous at-bat, Matt Cedarburg recorded his first hit of the day on an RBI single to drive in the final run of the contest.

Najer Victor made his fourth appearance in the last two weekends, going back-to-back days for the first time. On Friday, Victor pitched two shutout innings with four strikeouts and today he closed the game, getting the final two outs on seven pitches to earn his first career save.

"Just a tough kid," said Lovelady. "He's shown the resilience (his entire life), but these last few weeks he's been our MVP and just has stepped up. It's the first time he's thrown back-to-back days. If you had the toughness of Najer Victor, you'd be really, really good."

The Knights and Cougars will wrap up the series on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.