Feb. 1, 2003
Florida Atlantic University opened the 2003 season under a layer of fog at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach, FL on Friday night. The squad did not record the win until early Saturday afternoon as the game was halted due to the weather in the bottom of the ninth. The game was not a reflection of the weather as FAU jumped out to an early 4-0 run in the first inning and finished off Bethune-Cookman College 11-4 in the first game of the three-game series. FAU's offense produced three extra base hits, including two triples, to support the pitching effort of Danny Core. Core (Pembroke Pines, FL) struck out eight in five innings of work.
In Core's five innings of work he threw 57 pitches, 45 for strikes as he dominated the Wildcat offense. "Core pitched great. In those elements you need someone who will throw strikes," said head coach, Kevin Cooney. "He threw down in the zone all day and had one of his best outings."
Core did not allow a B-CC runner past first base and only allowed two fly balls to the outfield, which was a blessing to the outfielders due to the fog. Florida Atlantic hit multiple balls out of the infield, which caused problems for the Wildcat outfielders. The fog played havoc as they lost several balls in the haze.
The Florida Atlantic offense was well touted entering the season and showed patience in the first inning, posting four runs on one hit. Jason Leon (0-1) walked three batters and balked in two runs. FAU then collected nine hits over the next four innings showing a balanced lineup.
"I was pleased with our offense. We had good swings and didn't look fooled at the plate," said Cooney.
Matt Pali (Houston, TX) finished the night with a 3-for-4 performance and one of the team's triples. Rob Horst (Gering, NE) made his FAU debut with a team leading two RBIs. Rusty Brown (N. Fort Myers, FL) collected two RBIs of his own after a 3-for-5 performance.
Doug Hosterman entered in the seventh inning for B-CC to slow down the FAU offense and retired nine straight.
The bottom of the ninth inning can be described as a white out as the outfield disappeared from home plate and the scoreboard lights were barely visible. After a 25-minute delay the conditions did not improve and the game was halted and completed on Saturday afternoon.
The contest resumed on Saturday where it left off, with the bases juiced with B-CC runners and no one out in the bottom of the ninth. Chris Saxton (Lake Worth, FL) inherited the runners when he took the mound for the first pitch of the day. Emanuel Moreno started the day for B-CC with a two-run single to right field before Saxton struck out two B-CC hitters. With runners at first and second Saxton gave up a single to Johnny Lopez but right fielder Jeff Fiorentino saved a run when he threw Luis Turmero out at the plate trying to score from second base to end the game.