Stephen Galvin

Baseball Concludes Season in 13-Inning Heartbreaker Against ECU

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Throughout the season, Head Coach Greg Lovelady spoke about fighting to the last out and not giving up. The UCF baseball team did just that in the near-four and a half hour, 13-inning battle that ultimately concluded their season. The No. 4 Knights fell in a heartbreaker loss to No. 1 East Carolina with a final score of 7-6.

Ben Vespi, Najer Victor, Kyle Kramer and Dom Stagliano combined to allow no earned runs and 12 hits over 12.2 innings.

Ben McCabe had a huge final game in Black and Gold, reaching base six times – going 3-4 with a home run and notching two runs, two RBI, two hit-by-pitches and a walk.

Kramer dominated through a career-high 3.2 innings, allowing only two hits and no runs, keeping UCF in the game and sending them into extra innings.

Defensive mishaps got the best of the Knights as East Carolina got off to a hot start early, plating five runs in the bottom of the second.

The Knights chipped away, playing small ball over the next few frames to even the score in the seventh inning. Three back-to-back singles from Matt Cedarburg, Tom Josten and Andrew Brait scored the first run, followed by a McCabe single to move the baserunners which allowed Josten to come across on a groundout. Lex Boedicker was hit by a pitch to lead off the fourth inning and took a trip around the bases, driven in by a two-out single to left field by Cedarburg.

Tom Josten drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the seventh inning and home run king Ben McCabe belted an 0-1 pitch deep to right field for a two-run, opposite-field home run to tie the game at 5-5.

The Pirates got one back to take a 6-5 lead before the game took a near-two hour delay due to inclement weather. Kramer entered on the mound when the game resumed and got two quick outs to end the eighth inning.

In a true ninth-inning rally, passing the baton was the goal for the Knights as Josten and McCabe were hit by pitches and Sundean walked on a full count to load the bases. Nick Romano drove a single into right field and pinch runner Corey Robinson scored the tying run that would send the game to extras.

After battling back, Kramer and Stagliano kept the Knights in the game into the 13th inning, but a Pirates single with two outs in the bottom of the frame scored the walk-off run from second.

The Knights conclude their season with a final record of 33-26.