March 1, 2003
Florida Atlantic University completed its first Atlantic Sun Conference series splitting a doubleheader with Gardner-Webb University Saturday afternoon in Boca Raton, FL, 3-2, 6-8. FAU had to play catch up in both contests but took game one in the fifth inning of the seven inning contest.
The Bulldogs' starting pitcher, Jeff Long pitched a complete game in the first game of the doubleheader but suffered the loss after allowing two runs in the seven inning contest. Long was able to shutout FAU through four but three singles in the fifth allowed the home team to post two runs on the board for the win. Catcher Robert Orton (Wellington, FL) got things started with a one out single up the middle. With two outs Mike Murray (Boca Raton, FL) came in to pinch hit and tied the game with a single through the right side. Matt Ryan (Camden, NJ) recorded his first hit of the day, which proved to be the game-winner when he singled up the middle to score Murray.
Randy Beam, FAU's starting pitcher was able to hold GWU to one run to record the win after throwing six innings and striking out four as he improves to 4-1. Chris Saxton came out of the pen to record his fourth save of the season when he pitched the final inning.
Chris Glueckert recorded GWU's only RBI of the game in the second inning after Ryan Quirello led off the inning with a double and a Glueckert single up the middle allowed Quirello to score. Glueckert finished game one with a three-for-three performance.
Gardner-Webb jumped on top early with a 4-0 lead after one inning of play. Two FAU miscues allowed two runs to score and a Quirello triple plated two more.
Florida Atlantic countered back in the third with three runs as Shaen O'Connor started the inning with a single. After advancing on a passed ball and a Marc Gilmore ground out, Evan Brannon was able to bring O'Connor home with a sacrifice fly to right field.
After the next two batters reached base Rusty Brown recorded two of his three RBIs with a single through the left side to bring FAU within one.
Travis NeSmith started the game for FAU but was relieved by Matt O'Brien after loading the bases in the fourth and not recording an out. O'Brien was able to work out of the jam but allowed two runs to score as David Futrelle singled with the bases loaded to post two RBIs. Futrelle finished the game with a game-high three RBIs and three-for-four at the plate.
FAU managed to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth after the team strung together a walk and three singles to produce three runs. Rob Horst collected his 14th and 15th RBI to tie the game with a single to right field.
Gardner-Webb reclaimed the game in the sixth with three singles. Both runs crossed the plate with two outs as Sam Bradford connected on a single and Futrelle swung a hot bat to record the final run of the game for the 8-6 victory.
The Bulldogs used four pitchers in the game. Zachary Ward recorded the win after working two innings. Abraham Gonzalez picked up his first save of the season with 1 1/3 innings out of the pen.
Florida Atlantic will play non-conference opponent Florida International University on Wednesday before resuming conference play at Georgia State University on Friday and Saturday.
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