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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Baseball

UH baseball drops two of three against UCF


UH baseball first baseman Ryan Hernandez launched home runs No. 10 and 11 on Friday night as part of his five RBI game in the Cougars victory over UCF. | James Mueller/The Cougar

UH baseball first baseman Ryan Hernandez launched home runs No. 10 and 11 on Friday night as part of his five RBI game in the Cougars victory over UCF. | James Mueller/The Cougar

UH baseball’s hopes of winning the American Athletic Conference regular-season title were shattered as the Cougars dropped two of three to UCF over the weekend at Schroeder Park.

UH now sits in third place in the AAC standings with a 13-8 record.

Here is a closer look at each game from the weekend:

Friday

The Cougars erased a 4-0 deficit after the top of the first inning thanks to the big bats of senior first baseman Ryan Hernandez and graduate utility player Santiago Garcia to take Friday night’s series opener 9-6.

Hernandez, who entered the night having homered in three of UH’s last four games, got the Cougars on the board in the bottom of the second with a two-run shot to right-center. The UH slugger followed up with a 462-foot moonshot to left-center in the fourth to drive in three and give the Cougars a 5-4 lead.

With two on and one out in the bottom of the eighth, Garcia stepped up to the plate as a pinch hitter and sent the first pitch he saw over the left-center wall to provide the Cougars with insurance runs.

Junior right-handed pitcher Logan Clayton, who threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, earned the win for UH and junior closer Ben Sears picked up save No. 12 of the season.

Saturday

Up 5-4 in the ninth, UH failed to close things out as Sears allowed two UCF runs to give the Knights a 6-5 victory, evening up the series.

Once again, the Cougars fell behind in the first but quickly answered back. Freshman left fielder Cameron Nickens hit a two-run single into center in the bottom of the first to put UH up 2-1.

After the Knights scored two in the top of the fifth, the Cougars plated three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning on RBIs from junior center fielder Brandon Uhse, sophomore DH Alex Lopez and Nickens.

UCF cut the deficit to one in the sixth on a solo shot before rallying in the ninth to steal game two from UH.

Sunday

Quiet bats plagued the Cougars in Sunday’s rubber match as they fell 3-1 to the Knights.

UH’s lone run of the afternoon came in the second on an RBI single from freshman second baseman Brandon Burckel.

The long ball was the difference in the game as all of UCF’s runs came on two swings of the bat, a two-run homer in the second and solo shot in the fourth.

Junior right-hander pitcher Nathan Medrano got the start on the mound for UH and allowed all three UCF runs. Medrano was charged with the loss for UH.

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