Baseball Walks Off in Thrilling Fashion Over UCF
May 3, 2014
HOUSTON - A game-tying homerun by Ashford Fulmer and a game-winning base hit by Kyle Survance with two outs in the bottom of the ninth lifted No. 13 Houston Baseball to a thrilling 4-3 walkoff American Athletic Conference win over No. 18 UCF at Cougar Field on Saturday evening to even the weekend series.
With the win, Houston improved to 34-13 and 9-8 in league action, while UCF fell to 29-17 and 16-4. The Cougars earned their fourth walkoff win of the season and first in conference play.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Fulmer entered in as a pinch hitter and belted a solo homerun, his fourth of the year, to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. The inning was extended when senior Landon Appling singled and advanced to third on a stolen base and a throwing error by the Knights' catcher. Senior Daniel Smith kept the inning alive with a walk - allowing Survance to drive in the game-winner on a single down the left field line - scoring Appling to make it a 4-3 game.
Houston and UCF were even in the hit column at 7-7, but the Cougars out drove the Knights with four of the seven as extra base hits.
Seven different Cougars contributed in the hit column with a base knock, while four drove in an RBI.
Fulmer (1x1, R, RBI) and senior Casey Grayson (1x4, R, RBI) each homered as Grayson extended his reaching base streak to now 20 straight games.
Joining Fulmer and Grayson with an extra base hit and an RBI was senior Frankie Ratcliff (1x4, RBI) with a double, scoring the Cougars' first run, while Survance (1x4, R, RBI) singled and drove in a run - the game-winner.
UCF grabbed an early lead with a run in the top of the first, but Houston balanced that with an RBI-double off the right center wall by Ratcliff, scoring Survance from first after he opened the game with a leadoff walk.
The Knights plated a single run in the second and third innings to regain the lead to 3-1, but the Cougars didn't let up as Grayson drove a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall for his fifth homerun of the year to narrow the deficit to one through three complete.
Sophomore starter Jake Lemoine (7.0,7,3,3,1,5) was brilliant down the stretch, working out of several jams and keeping UCF off the board over the next four innings - allowing just one hit in those frames. He handed the ball over to Maxwell (2.0,0,0,0,0,3), who shut UCF down in order in the eighth, which included two strikeouts.
Maxwell then returned to work a hitless ninth - giving Houston a chance in the latter half of the frame. As the pitcher of record, Maxwell improved to 3-0 out of the pen with the win.
UCF reliever Trent Thompson (2.2,3,2,2,1,1) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk in 2.2 innings of work to fall to 1-5 on the year.
"From an offensive standpoint, I'm watching a team that is really frustrated right now. There isn't anything to be frustrated about, because we have a really good team. Instead of being frustrated, and having fear, we're turning fear into fun. That's what we did at the end of the game. You can't get more clutch than those at bats at the end of the game. You hit a home run with two strikes, and (Kyle) Survance hits the ball down the left field line with two strikes to win it. I'm proud of the team as they just have to keep going."
On the team finding a way to win despite being down
Senior Day: Houston will honor its nine seniors (Casey Grayson, Frankie Ratcliff, Jacob Lueneburg, Caleb Barker, Landon Appling, Tyler Ford, Chase Wellbrock, Aaron Stewart, Daniel Smith) prior to the start of Sunday's game.
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