March 4, 2012
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University's baseball team fell 8-5 Sunday in the fourth and final game of the Princeton series to split the series at two each.
FAU, which moved to 8-4 on the season, spotted the Tigers a run in the top of the fourth. The Owls erased the deficit with a two-out Mark Nelson homerun in the bottom of the frame which also scored Robert Buckley, who was on courtesy of a walk.
Princeton struck back adding two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh. Nelson, who recorded three of the team's five RBIs, drove in his third FAU run of the day on a bases loaded ground out in the sixth.
Down 7-3, FAU had a big eighth. Outfielder Geoff Jimenez lead-off with a single up the middle but was retired the next play on a fielder's choice. Mike Albaladejo then doubled to left to place runners on second and third with just one out. Both Nelson and Kyle Newton walked to bring in the Owls fourth run of the game. With bases loaded and one out, catcher Mike Spano plated one more on a sac fly to right, scoring Albaladejo for the Owls fifth run. Another FAU batter would walk before a pinch hitter grounded out to end the inning and the threat.
Princeton got one run back in the top of the ninth and quickly saw its lead threatened once more in the bottom of the ninth. The Owls loaded the bases but saw their comeback hopes fall short with a game-ending ground out.
Austin Gomber started the game for FAU and took the loss, his first of the season (0-1). He was relieved in the fifth by Ahmed Garcia who gave up two hits and recorded just one out. He gave way to Josh Gonzaga who pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up two unearned runs. In all, FAU pitchers were charged with just two earn runs of the eight allowed. R.J. Alvarez received an inning of work while Michael Sylvestri pitched 1 2/3 innings. He walked and struck out one. Brett Nizamoff closed out the game's final two outs.
Offensively, Nelson led the way with three RBIs. Jimenez and Corey Keller were both 2-for-3.
FAU will play the schedule's 13th game, all versus 2011 NCAA post-season participants, when they travel to Gainesville, FL for a 7 p.m. Tuesday contest versus the University of Florida, which advanced to the final game of the 2011 College World Series. The Owls will return home to play host to Boston College 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. It will be FAU's 11th game in 13 days.
For tickets call 1-866-FAU-Owls.