STARKVILLE, Miss. - The hot Florida Atlantic University bats were quieted Sunday afternoon but the Owls capitalized on South Dakota State miscues, strong pitching and great defense to remain a perfect 4-0 with the 4-2 victor over the Jackrabbits.
“Once again, the defense was huge,” said Jason Jackson, FAU’s assistant coach, who managed the game in Head Coach John McCormack’s absence. “We turned three big double plays to get out of some tight spots and we got the big hit when we needed it.”
FAU trailed for the first time in 2016 when SDS (0-3) scored in the top of the third. The Owls scored two in the bottom half of the inning and the first run was scored by taking advantage of a bases loaded, without a hit, infield fly with the runners moving up. The second run was scored on a ground out to third.
The score remained 2-1 until the fifth when third baseman Austin Langham who was 2 for-2 on the day, broke up the no-hitter with a single to left. Stephen Kerr followed with a homer to left to put the Owls up 4-1.
FAU newcomer Nick Swan started the game and scattered four hits over four innings and allowed one earned run. Mark Nowatnick picked up his first win of the season after coming in for relief. Nowatnick pitched three innings of shutout ball. He gave up five hits and struck out one. The final two innings saw the game’s starting DH, Sean Labsan earn the save.
The Owls will open their home season with a three-game series versus LIU-Brooklyn. Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. For tickets call 1-866-FAU-Owls. To follow the game, via game tracker, log onto fausports.com.