Feb. 8, 2004
Tim Mascia (Wellington, FL) closed out the series against Florida A&M University with two home runs, including a grand slam as no.19 Florida Atlantic University (3-0) swept the Rattlers with a 10-4 win. His six RBI on the day was a career high as he finished the series with a .714 batting average to lead FAU.
After two shutout innings for both teams, FAMU (4-5) jumped on the board first in the third inning after freshman starter Mike Crotta gave up a leadoff double to third baseman Dan Flaherty. He would eventually come around to score on a throwing error as the Rattlers took their first lead of the series in 15 innings, dating back to game one of the series.
The left-handed Mascia answered back in the bottom half of the inning by tying the game with a home run to right field off of left-handed pitcher A.J. Patrick. Mascia gave Florida Atlantic all of the offense it needed in the fourth inning as he crushed a grand slam beyond FAU's bullpen in right field.
Jeff Fiorentino followed with a two-run shot that got caught up in the wind and carried to right field as the left-handed hitters used the conditions to their advantage.
Freshman Mike Crotta (Palm City, FL) made his debut with FAU and worked five innings, stuck out three and allowed four runs on nine hits and now holds a 1-0 record.
"Crotta threw well. His curveball came around in the third and fourth innings and his changeup worked well. For his first collegiate outing I think he did a good job," said head coach Kevin Cooney. "He had very good game composure and he was able to handle all the situations he was put into."
Craig Hughes (St. Cloud, FL) came out of the pen for the second time in the series and worked three solid innings as he struck out two. For the weekend he threw five innings and did not allow a run. Allen Knight (Boca Raton, FL) entered to close out the final inning.
A.J. Patrick gave up nine runs to FAU before Gabriel Nunez and Marcus Sims came in to quiet the Florida Atlantic bats. The Rattlers allowed 10 walks and struck out three as a staff on the afternoon.
FAU plays its only away game in the month of February on Tuesday as the team travels to Bethune-Cookman for a 3 pm meeting in Daytona Beach. Last season Florida Atlantic held a 5-0 series advantage over the Wildcats. Fans can follow the game live on the internet at www.fausports.com.
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