Feb. 18, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, AL - Make it three wins in a row for the Florida Atlantic baseball team at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
For the second straight game, a quality start was turned in by the Owls' starting pitcher, and on a rainy Saturday morning and afternoon, the FAU bats came alive to the tune of 14 hits in a 9-2 win over Alabama.
Starter Jake Meiers pitched six solid innings after a struggle in the first, only allowing six Crimson Tide hits and striking out three. Reliever Kevin Alexander, in his first appearance since the 2010 season, picked up the three-inning save, allowing three hits and one run while striking four batters. Neither FAU pitcher issued a walk.
As they did Friday night, the Owls got on the board first, with two runs in the opening frame off Alabama starter Charley Sullivan. Mike Albaladejo led off the game with a hit (he would go on to have three hits in the game for the second straight day), and with two outs, Alex Hudak doubled the opposite way, into the leftfield corner to move Abaladejo to third. Kyle Newton followed that up with a clean single to center, plating both runs.
Meiers' only struggles did come in the bottom half of the 1st. Three Alabama singles produced a run, cutting the FAU lead in half. But that would be the only run Meiers would allow.
Meanwhile, the Owls tacked on two more runs in the 5th. Three singles to start the inning (by Mike Spano, Mitch Morales and Albaladejo) produced the first run, and Hudak came through with another two-out basehit, a single to bring home Morales, making it 4-1.
Another FAU run crossed the plate the following inning, on a sacrifice fly by Morales, scoring Mark Nelson, who had led off the inning with a double. Then, in the 7th, Nathan Pittman drew a leadoff walk and scored easily on a triple to deep centerfield off the bat of Corey Keller. It was now 7-1 Owls.
Though Alabama was able to push across a run in the 8th, Geoff Jimenez got that back and more in the top of the 9th with his third hit of the day, a crushing shot over the leftfield fence, scoring both he and Hudak. It was the first home run of the season for FAU. Alexander finished things up in the 9th, stranding a leadoff hit.
The 2-0 Owls will finish things up against Alabama on Sunday with a 1:05 scheduled first pitch. Junior college transfer Jeremy Strawn will make his FAU debut against true freshman Justin Kamplain of Alabama.