Feb. 21, 2010
Freshman right-hander Kevin Alexander tossed six shutout innings in his collegiate debut and the Florida Atlantic University baseball team scored five runs in the fifth inning to cruise past the University of Cincinnati 9-0 on Sunday to win the season-opening series at the FAU Baseball Stadium in Boca Raton.
The Owls improve to 2-1 on the season and will return to the field on Friday, February 26 against the University of Missouri in a three-day tournament at Auburn University. Cincinnati falls to 1-2 on the spring campaign.
The victory built on FAU's 3-0 victory over the Bearcats on Saturday, giving the team back-to-back shutouts for the first time since the 2006 season when it also happened against Big East competition (Louisville, 6-0, and Connecticut, 1-0).
Every starting position player reached base safely in the 12-hit game for the Owls.
Florida Atlantic struck quickly in the bottom of the first inning as junior left fielder Colby Gratton connected on his first home run of the season. His two-run opposite field blast also scored sophomore catcher Mike Albaladejo, who opened the inning reaching on bases through a walk.
The lead was extended to 3-0 in the second inning when Albaladejo's double to left field plating sophomore second baseman Joey Burkhalter, another FAU hitter who started the inning with a walk.
Junior right fielder Andy Mee lead off the third inning with a double, moved to third base on a single by junior first baseman Dan Sheffler, and scored easily on junior third baseman Sean Bukovich's sacrifice fly.
A lead-off home run by Scheffler helped break open the game in the fifth inning. Senior center fielder Anthony Mesa brought home two runners on a one-out base hit to right field and Gratton drove in his third and fourth runs of the game later in the inning.
Gratton paced the offensive attack going 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Albaladejo, Mee, Mesa and Scheffler also recorded two hits in the contest.
The Owls were also dazzling on the mound for the third straight game, allowing just two earned runs in the first 27 innings of the season. Alexander struck out six batters and allowed just four hits in his collegiate debut. Sophomore Hugh Adams, senior Lou Morey, and freshmen R.J. Alvarez and Jason Boyer pitched three solid innings to preserve the shutout.
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