Feb. 6, 2004
Back-to-back home runs by Jeff Fiorentino and Rob Horst sealed no. 19 Florida Atlantic University's opening day win over Florida A&M on Friday night at FAU Stadium, 7-6. FAU overcame a three-run deficit to improve to 1-0, while the Rattlers fell to 4-3 on the season.
With two outs in the eighth inning Fiorentino (Hollywood, FL) and Horst (Gering, NE) both connected on their first hits of the night. Fiorentino's blast stayed just fair down the right field line to tie the game before Horst hit the first pitch he saw deep to left field for the game winner.
Freshman Justin Martin (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) started his collegiate career off with a two-for-four performance and three RBI to keep FAU in the game early. The catcher singled in the second inning to record an RBI before a two-run homer in the fourth inning brought FAU to within one. The bottom of the FAU lineup provided the offense with the first four hits. Tim Mascia (Wellington, FL) singled his first two trips to the plate to finish the night two-for-four in the nine hole.
Evan Brannon (St. Petersburg, FL) provided the only other runs for the squad with a two-run double that bounced off of the left field fence in the sixth inning to score Mascia and Derek Hutton who reached on a single.
Preseason All-American Randy Beam (Sarasota, FL) struggled in his first outing of the season after retiring the first three batters, two by strikeout. Beam gave up a home run to Virgil Priestly in the second inning and the FAU pitching staff could not find an answer for the designated hitter as he hit the ball hard all night and tallied three RBI.
Beam threw six innings and allowed six earned runs on eight hits and struck out five before giving way to junior college transfer Craig Hughes (St. Cloud, FL). Hughes picked up the win as he worked two innings and struck out two. Chris Saxton (Lake Worth, FL) picked up the save with one inning of work.
FAU will face FAMU again on Saturday evening at 7 pm before concluding the three-game series on Sunday at 1 pm.