The UCF Knights baseball team fell to the ECU Pirates Friday by the score of 7-6 in 13 innings, and as a result, their AAC title ambitions have come to an end.
UCF finishes its season 33-26, and in all likelihood will not go to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team.
The thing that really cost the Knights the game was the 2nd inning, where they gave up five runs. ECU scored their first run when 3B Andrew Brait failed to throw Jacob Starling out at first, which would have ended the inning. Then after that, ECU’s Carter Cunningham smashed a grand slam.
That grand slam created a 5-0 hole that the Knights had to climb out of. And to their credit, they did. After scoring three runs across the 4th and 5th innings, they tied the game at 5-5 thanks to a two-run home run by Ben McCabe.
HUUUUUGE homer from @BMcCabe_8 to tie up the ballgame— UCF Baseball (@UCF_Baseball) May 26, 2023
His 19th of the year ties Jonathan Griffin for second-most in a single season in UCF history!#ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/i18QdasGld
ECU would take a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the 8th, and the. The skies over Clearwater opened up.
After the rain delay, UCF tied it at 6-6 thanks to an RBI hit by Nick Romano. The game would go into extra innings.
Unfortunately for the Knights, they wouldn’t be the ones to break the tie. In the 13th inning, the Knights gave up walk-off RBI single to Justin Wilcoxen.
PIRATES WALK IT OFF IN THE 13TH!!!!!#AmericanBSB x @ECUBaseball pic.twitter.com/I6GwfsHWAi— The American (@American_Conf) May 26, 2023
As mentioned earlier with this loss the Knights have been eliminated from the tournament and due to not having the strongest regular season, their season has most likely ended.
Following the game, Head Coach Greg Lovelady would sum up the season by saying that he “felt like they left a lot of wins on the table. Just not enough arms and just weren’t able to do enough. Again, it wasn’t for a lack of fight.”
But for now, fans will simply have to pay attention to recruiting and transfers, as well as wonder what the Knights’ first season as a Big 12 baseball team will look like.
With that, our 2023 season comes to an end. Thank you for your support, Knight Nation! ⚔️— UCF Baseball (@UCF_Baseball) May 26, 2023
We’ll see you next year at John Euliano Park #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/6UeOMOdYFe