The UCF Knights baseball team was victorious in their AAC Tournament opener, defeating the Cincinnati Bearcats 4-3 on a walk-off home run by Andrew Brait.
The Knights would build a 3-0 lead by scoring two runs in the third, thanks to Andrew Sundean being hit by the pitch with the bases loaded and Nick Romano hitting a sacrifice fly, and one in the fourth, thanks to a sacrifice fly hit by Drew Faurot.
Thanks to a solid defensive performance, led by Cameron Leiter who only gave up four hits in the seven scoreless innings he pitched, the Knights would hold this lead until the 8th.
Breaking news: Cam Leiter is dealing— UCF Baseball (@UCF_Baseball) May 23, 2023
The Knights roll a double play in @camleiter’s longest career outing#ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/O89nz3FAtd
After finally getting in their first run in the top of the 8th, Cincinnati would tie the game up in the top of the ninth with a two-run home run.
Head Coach Greg Lovelady would describe this moment of the game as being distressing.
“It can be a gut punch to give up the lead like that,” Lovelady said.
It wouldn’t take the Knights long to respond, however, as in the bottom half of that same inning Andrew Brait sent the ball over the outfield wall to give the Knights the win.
After the game, Brait said he was really happy to be the one to hit the walk-off as it was something he had never done before.
“I’ve only done that in summer ball, so it doesn’t really count,” Brait said “I’m feeling pretty great right now, not going to lie to ya.”
Because of the win, the Knights will have Wednesday off. They will be back in action on Thursday at 1 p.m. where they will face USF, who knocked off top-seeded East Carolina in their tournament opener. The winner moves on to semifinal Saturday.
ECU is up against Cincinnati in an elimination game on Wednesday. The winner plays the loser of UCF vs. USF in another elimination game on Friday.
Player of the Game
Seven innings pitched, four hits given up, zero runs given up, and nine strikeouts.
Play of the Game
Andrew Brait’s Walk-Off Home Run
BRAIT BOMBS??— UCF Baseball (@UCF_Baseball) May 23, 2023
WE LOVE THOSE.#ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/N6Nw7v6LGW