Feb. 20, 2011
Boca Raton, Fla. - Scoring two runs in the sixth and seventh innings propelled the Florida Atlantic University baseball team to an 8-4 victory on Sunday afternoon at the FAU Baseball Stadium and a three-game sweep of the weekend series with Hofstra University.
The Owls improve to 3-0 for the first time since the 2007 season. The nationally ranked squad now turns its attention to a showdown with No. 2-ranked University of Florida on Tuesday night, February 22, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., starting at 6:30 p.m., in a rematch of the championship game of last year's NCAA Gainesville Regional.
Leading 4-3 in the sixth inning, the Owls broke the game open following back-to-back hits by junior outfielder Alex Hudak and senior shortstop Nick DelGuidice. A sacrifice bunt by junior catcher Mike Albaladejo moved both runners into scoring position. Then, third baseman Joey Burkhalter came through with a base hit through the left side of the infield, plating Hudak. Senior outfielder Colby Gratton manufactured another run in the frame with a sacrifice fly that scored Delguidice.
FAU was never threatened after taking the 6-3 in the sixth. Two insurance runs were pushed across in the seventh inning on a single by Delguidice and a sacrifice fly to center field by Albaladejo.
Hudak went 4-for-4 with three runs scored while Delguidice continued his hot hitting with three hits and two runs batted in. Delguidice is now hitting .750 during the early portion of the campaign, while Hudak is at .667 for the Owls, which are hitting .376 as a team for the season.
Burkhalter had a career day with three hits and three RBIs in his first start of the season. Senior second baseman Raymond Church rounded out the multiple-hit performers with a 2-for-5 effort, including a run-scoring double in the third inning. Church is hitting .417 for the season.
FAU outhit the visiting Hofstra Pride 13-to-7 in the contest and made a winner of sophomore starting pitcher Jake Meiers. The right hander picked up his first collegiate win after tossing five productive innings. He scattered four hits and struck out two batters - the biggest coming to end the fifth inning with Hofstra having the bases loaded.
Sophomore Jason Boyer, junior Hugh Adams and senior Andy Mee preserved the win on the mound for the Owls, which has a 4.00 team earned run average after 27 innings this spring. The bullpen pitched 14 innings over the weekend, picked up two victories and allowed just two runs in the series sweep.
Hofstra's Logan Davis led the Pride offense on Sunday going 2-for-4, highlighted by a two-run scoring single in the fourth inning.
Tickets for Tuesday night's game against Florida range from $5 to $17, with an additional $20 package available for fans wishing to participate in a preseason all-you-can-eat buffet dinner, beginning at 4:30 p.m., in a special section of the stadium. Season and individual tickets are on sale by calling the FAU Ticket Office at 1-888-FAU-OWLS.
If you can't be there to watch the game, live audio and statistics of the FAU-Florida game can be found at www.fausports.com. Fox Sports Florida will also be televising the game. Check your local listings for channel of the game.
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