McCabe Makes Program History, Baseball Falls to Cougars in Series Finale

ORLANDO – Despite a historic start and an early lead, the UCF baseball team (24-19, 6-9 AAC) fell in the American Athletic Conference series finale against Houston (25-19, 10-5 AAC), 12-9, dropping the series.

Sunday's game began with a historic moment in UCF baseball program history as Ben McCabe etched his name in the record books, breaking the all-time home run record with the 44th of his career.

"He's just been such a huge part of our program," said UCF head coach Greg Lovelady. "He's really turned into a great leader, especially behind the plate. He's such a great example for all the younger guys of what it's supposed to look like - the longevity and being able to be successful."

Originally achieved in 1990 by Bobby Kiser, tied in 2010 by Chris Duffy and matched by McCabe on Friday night, the record was 43 career home runs. In the bottom of the first inning, McCabe belted a towering two-run shot to center field to take sole possession of first place all-time. With his 14th of the year, McCabe also matched his own season-high and tied for 10th in most single-season home runs, a feat most recently accomplished by himself in 2022.

"I'm super grateful that he's a part of our program," said Lovelady. "When people look at our program that's the guy they see at the front and that makes me really proud."

Following McCabe's historic home run, Andrew Sundean smashed a solo home run to center field to give the Knights an early 3-0 lead.

In a back-and-forth game, that concluded with four total lead changes, the Cougars took the lead on a trio of hits and an error in the early innings, for a 5-3 game.

The Knights knotted up the contest at 5-5 in the fourth, as Matt Cedarburg led off the inning with a first-pitch single up the middle and Tom Josten and Drew Faurot drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. John Rhys Plumlee drove in Cedarburg on a fielder's choice and Andrew Brait ripped an 0-1 pitch to right field to get the tying run across in Josten.

Houston stole home to regain their lead in the fifth inning, and the Knights answered with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. After a Plumlee double, a Brait hit by pitch, and single from McCabe, Sundean drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game. Nick Romano moved the runners with his first hit of the day, and Lex Boedicker doubled off the right-field wall to score two more. Knights led 9-6 after six innings.

The Cougars broke out late in the game, scoring six in the final two frames to take the win. After four hours and seven minutes of play, the game was final after the eighth inning due to travel accommodations.

Up Next
The Knights host North Florida for their third meeting of the season and second at home 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 2. Then, UCF goes on the road to Tulane, Ohio State, Wright State and Cincinnati for two weeks of away action.