The Tulane Green Wave fell to the UCF Knights 5-2 Sunday afternoon at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Despite taking the lead in the seventh, the Green Wave (28-19, 10-7 The American) were unable to hold off the Knights (29-19, 9-12 The American) in the end, as the visitors scored four runs in the eighth to regain the lead and hold on for the victory.
“They made some big hits in situations when the game was tied and to gain the lead, and we probably needed to make a few more pitches and ultimately fight a bit better with two strikes,” assistant coach Eddie Smith said. “We shared with the guys that what people remember is what you do the last three-to-five weeks of the season and how we respond to this is what’s going to define us.”
Starting pitcher Chase Solesky pitched six solid innings allowing one run on six hits with two walks, earning his second double figure strikeout game of the season with 10 before being relieved by Justin Campbell in the seventh inning. Campbell got through the UCF seventh with a walk and a strikeout during his time, as Brendan Cellucci (2-3) suffered the loss allowing four runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout in an inning of work.
Luke Glancy led the Tulane offense going 2-for-4 with a single, double and an RBI, followed by Sal Gozzo who went 1-for-3 at the plate with a double and an RBI.
UCF’s Jordan Spicer went six innings allowing one run on four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts, as Luis Ferrer was the first pitcher out of the bullpen and allowed the go-ahead run on two hits and did not finish the sixth. However, David Litchfield (1-0) got out of the inning without further damage and Garrett Westberg would close out the game for the Knights earning his second save of the season.
Matthew Mika had three hits for the Knights, as Brandon Hernandez had two RBI.
UCF led 1-0 for most of the game until the bottom of the sixth when Hudson Haskin would be hit by a pitch to start off the inning. A sacrifice bunt by Grant Mathews advanced Haskin to second. After a strikeout, Glancy singled to center allowing Haskin to score and tie the game at 1-1.
The Green Wave would take the lead in the bottom of the seventh after a single by Logan Stevens up the middle opened the bottom of the seventh and a double by Sal Gozzo to left center put the home side up 2-1.
UCF would do damage in the eighth inning scoring four of their five runs creating a sizable lead that Tulane would not be able to come back from despite getting a triple from Artigues in the eight and a leadoff double from David Bedgood in the ninth.
Tulane will return to the diamond on Tuesday, taking on the Nicholls Colonels at 6:30 p.m. at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Tulane sports information contributed to this story.