UCF Gives Up Lead Late in 4-3 Loss at Houston

May 3, 2014

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By Dan Forcella

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HOUSTON, Texas (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF baseball team scored a run in each of the first three innings to build an early lead, but Houston came from behind and scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to top the Knights 4-3 in walk-off fashion, evening the weekend series Saturday at Cougar Field.

No. 18 UCF (29-17, 16-4 The American) finished with three runs on seven hits and recorded one error.  No. 13 Houston (34-13, 9-8 The American) totaled four runs on seven hits and committed two errors.

It was Derrick Salberg getting the offense started for the Knights, as the junior doubled down the left field line in the top of the first.  James Vasquez, who hit a towering homer with two outs on Friday night, connected again with two outs on Saturday, driving in Salberg with a single to left center.

After Houston tied things up with one run on a walk and a double in the bottom of the first, UCF regained the lead with some small ball in the second.  Jordan Savinon led things off with a single through the infield, he advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kam Gellinger, and then reached third on a fielder’s choice by JoMarcos WoodsDylan Moore then came to the plate and drove in Savinon with a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 2-1.

Vasquez, who came into the game leading the Knights with 36 RBIs, knocked in his 38th run of the year to give UCF a 3-1 lead in the top of the third.  The first baseman’s single through the right side drove in Erik Barber from second, who had doubled to left field to get things going.

UCF starting pitcher Ryan Meyer gave up another run in the bottom of the third, and then opened the fourth by walking the leadoff batter.  That was when Zac Favre came on in relief and put in work.

The sophomore right-hander allowed just one hit, struck out three, and walked none in three innings of shutout baseball.  His performance on the mound kept UCF on top 3-2 through six complete.

Freshman Trent Thompson took over in the seventh and was equally as impressive for two and two-thirds innings.  The righty gave up an infield single to a pinch hitting Jordan Stading to start, but then retired eight straight batters to get the Knights to their final out with a 3-2 advantage.

The Cougars went to the dugout and called on Ashford Fulmer to pinch hit with two outs, and with a 2-2 count, Fulmer took Thompson deep over the left field fence to tie the game at 3-3.

Landon Appling then singled through the infield to keep the momentum with the Cougars.  Appling stole second and advanced to third when Savinon’s throw from behind the plate made its way into center field.  After Thompson walked Daniel Smith, Parker Thomas came out of the pen.

The lefty faced just one batter as Kyle Survance stabbed at one with a 0-2 count and sent it down the left field line.  Appling came in to score and Houston walked off with a 4-3 win to tie the series at one game apiece.

Thompson fell to 1-5 on the season with the loss, allowing two earned runs on three hits with one strikeout and one walk.  Bubba Maxwell improved to 3-0 with the win, allowing no runs on no hits, striking out three and walking none in two innings of relief.

Vasquez and Savinon both recorded two hits to lead the Knights at the plate.  The former drove two out of UCF’s three runs on the night.

The deciding game of the series will be played Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.  The contest can be hear on AM 740 The Game with Marc Daniels on the call beginning at 1:45 p.m. ET.

To keep up with the UCF baseball team on social media be sure to follow the Knights on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.