The Tulane Green Wave baseball team fell to the UCF Knights 4-2 Saturday night at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
With runners on base in the bottom of the eighth, junior Kody Hoese appeared to hit what would have been the game-tying three-run home run off the scoreboard to knot the game at 4-4. But after an umpire meeting, the play would be called a double, bringing in one run to pull Tulane (28-18, 10-6 The American) to within two. Unfortunately, the team would not be able to complete the comeback as the series stands even at a game a piece.
“We’re going to have to shove this one to the side,” head coach Travis Jewett said. “Now how we respond to it is going to be a big deal. We’ve been kicked before, but this team has been resilient before. We’ve got to show up tomorrow and fight like heck.”
Hoese finished the game with a pair of hits with an RBI, as six other Green Wave players accounted for the other six of the team’s eight hits against the Knights (28-19, 8-12).
Starting pitcher Keagan Gillies (2-3) pitched six solid innings as he only allowed four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks in the contest. The junior was able to work out of jams that could have put the game further out of reach, as Robert Price kept the game close by allowing one hit with a pair of strikeouts over the final three innings of the game.
UCF’s Chris Williams (5-4) went seven innings and was on the hook for both runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts against the Green Wave. Reliever Kyle Kemp (3) pitched the final two innings and was able to hold on and secure the save allowing just a hit with three strikeouts.
Dallas Beaver and Tyler Osik each had two hits for the Knights, as Brandon Hernandez drove in two on just one hit.
The Knights plated a run in the first, another in the third and two in the fourth on a Hernandez two run home run to put the Tulane deficit at four.
Williams was able to keep the Tulane offense at bay until the seventh when he made his first mistake to Grant Mathews who hit a solo home run to put the Green Wave on the board down 4-1.
In the eighth, Collin Burns drew a walk as Acy Owen singled up the middle to put two on for the Green Wave. Kemp came on and got a strikeout to open his time on the mound, but Hoese changed that with one swing of the bat as ball looked true out of the park. After ricocheting back into the outfield and thrown in, the umpiring crew huddled after play was halted and after convening decided to rule the play a double, plating only Burns and leaving runners at second and third.
Unfortunately for Tulane the next two batters went down in order and the team would only be able to get one runner on base via a walk in the next frame as UCF held on for the win.
The rubber match of the series is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch Sunday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Tulane sports information contributed to this story.