Feb. 26, 2013
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University's baseball team tallied 12 hits in a 9-8 victory over No. 23 Florida Gulf Coast University. Senior Hugh Adams became FAU's all-time career saves leader.
The Owls scored two in the bottom of the first. Nathan Pittman led-off the game with a single. Levi Meyer followed with a hit and run to put runners on first and second. Pittman would steal third before Tyler Rocklein drew a walk. Senior catcher Mike Spano, 2-for-4 with two RBI, then dropped a hit into center to put the Owls up 2-0. FGCU grabbed one in the third and four in the fifth by capitalizing on an FAU error, three hits and two walks to take a 5-3 lead.
The Owls would return the favor in the bottom of the sixth with five two-out runs. Corey Keller led-off the sixth with a single. Rocklein then reached first on an error by the FGCU third baseman. With two outs, Mitch Morales hit a double down the right field line to score Keller. Two more were added via a double to left by Sean Murrell. Nathan Pittman, who was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases on the night, drove in the fifth run of the inning.
FAU would hold the Eagles scoreless through the next two frames while adding a run in the seventh and eighth. Keller lead-off the seventh with a double down the left line. He moved to third on a bunt single by Rocklein, who was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Rocklein would steal second and Keller would score on a wild pitch. The run in the eighth proved pivotal at game's end. Billy Endris drew a pinch hit walk to start the inning. He was sacrificed to second by Pittman and stole third one the next pitch putting himself in position to score on a sac fly to right. Holding a 9-5 lead the Owls went to the pen in the ninth only to give up three before closing out the game with the potential winning run on base.
The Owls pitching staff, which has not allowed an extra base hit in the last 38 innings, used five pitchers in the victory. Brandon Rhodes, who drew his second start and third appearance, held FGCU to two runs, one earned after 4.3 innings of work. He was relieved in the fifth by senior Kevin Alexander (1-0), who inherited a runner on second that later scored on a sacrifice bunt to even the score at two. Alexander pitched 2.6 innings and was credited with the victory. Michael Sylvestri pitched a scoreless eighth while Bo Logan started the ninth before he was relieved after three earned runs on two hits. He gave way to Hugh Adams who struck out one along the way to his third save of the season and 17th of his career to become FAU's all-time career saves leader.
FAU will play at the Coastal Carolina Tournament this weekend facing host CCU 5 p.m. March 1. The Owls will then face North Carolina State, West Virginia and will make a swing through Tallahassee where they will play a double header at Florida A&M. FAU will return home 6:30 p.m. March 8th for a three-game series versus Toledo. To follow the games: log onto www.fausports.com, follow the team via twitter @FAUOwlAthletics or Facebook @fauowlathletics. To purchase tickets call 1-866-FAU-Owls.