Feb. 29, 2012
Coral Gables, FL - A late-inning rally by the Florida Atlantic University baseball team fell short in a 10-5 loss at eighth-ranked University of Miami on Wednesday in Coral Gables, Fla. The loss drops the Owls to 6-2 on the season, while the Hurricanes are still undefeated with an 8-0 record.
After surrendering four runs in the first and second innings, FAU slowly chipped away at the deficit. First, junior outfielder Nathan Pittman drew a bases-loaded walk in the third inning to put the Owls on the scoreboard. Then, senior infielder/catcher Mike Albaladejo connected on his first home run of the season over the left field fence in the seventh inning, trimming Miami's lead to 8-2.
Things started to really get interesting an inning later when junior Michael Sylvestri hit a pitch-hit three-run home run to left field, bringing the Owls within three runs at 8-5. The home run came in the first at-bat of Sylvestri's FAU career. However, the Hurricanes put the game away by adding two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Miami's Michael Broad hit a first-inning grand slam to give the hosts the early momentum. The hosts would tack on four more runs in the second inning. The big hit of the frame was a two-run double to center field by Rony Rodriguez.
Florida Atlantic junior reliever Kenny Sharpe tossed four scoreless innings of middle relief to keep the Owls within striking distance. The right hander allowed just two hits and had two strikeouts in his FAU debut.
Miami's Stephen Ewing scattered six hits and two run in seven innings to improve his record to 2-0 on the mound in mid-week games this spring.
Offensively, Albaladejo tallied three of the team's nine hits in the contest. The three-hit performance marks the fourth time in the team's first eight games that the Winter Garden native has recorded three hits in a game.
Miami's Broad had five runs batted in, while Rodriguez recorded three hits in the win.
These South Florida rivals are scheduled to play two more times throughout the season.
FAU returns to the diamond on Friday, March 2, at 6:30 p.m. when it begins a four-game series against Princeton University of the Ivy League at the FAU Baseball Stadium, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. Live statistics can be found at www.fausports.com. For season tickets contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.