UCF Baseball’s Season Ends with Two Walk-Offs at AAC Tournament

Maybe it was an appropriate ending.

UCF Baseball, once ranked 6th in the nation, saw its season end with back-to-back walk-off hits in their first two games of the 2015 American Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament.

The Knights finished 31-27, and will in all likelihood not make the NCAA Tournament after being ranked as high as sixth in the nation earlier in the season. After starting 20-5, and being in the top ten in four of the five major College Baseball polls (and 11th in the other) on March 23rd, the Knights finished the season with losses in 22 of their final 33, including 0-2 in the American Athletic Conference Tournament.

Wednesday: East Carolina 4, UCF 3

The Knights’ tournament opener looked to be going exactly their way through the first seven and a half innings, as a two-run hit by Dylan Moore gave UCF a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning.

Meanwhile, Zach Rodgers (and his 10-0 record) was in firm control. However, the Pirates struck for single runs in each of the final three frames to hand him his first loss of the year.

Here are some highlights with reaction from head coach Terry Rooney:

In the bottom of the ninth, Charlie Yorgan got the game-ending hit after the Knights mowed down what would have been the winning run for the second out of the ninth.

Kyle Marsh had the best day at the plate for UCF, going 3/4 at the plate.

Yorgan’s hit scored Hunter Allen (who went 3/5 at the plate), and put the Knights up against the elimination wall the next day against UConn.

Thursday: UConn 4, UCF 3 (11 innings)

Again, the walk-off magic came at UCF’s expense.

After Moore again struck with a game-tying solo home run in the top of the eighth, it looked like UCF might have enough momentum to survive the latest threat to their season.

But the Knights left the go-ahead run in scoring position in the 9th, and in the 11th, UConn notched three consecutive singles with one out to get the victory. The last, by Vinny Siena, scored Aaron Hill, and handed UCF its elimination from the tournament, and 22nd loss in its last 33 games.

Here’s reaction from Rooney once again:

Robby Howell threw the final three-and-one-third innings, but gave up the final three hits.

The Knights’ two-and-done performance in the American Athletic Conference Tournament was the exact opposite of what they needed.

There was at least a remote possibility that the Knights could play themselves into the NCAA Tournament by (obviously) winning the whole thing or at least putting up a valiant enough fight to make the committee think twice about leaving them out. All hopes of that seem to have evaporated with those two walk-off hits.

A season that had so much promise in late March, especially for the 13 seniors on the roster, is now over before the end of May for UCF.

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