Boca Raton, FL - Scoring seven runs in the third inning, the Florida Atlantic University baseball team broke a two-game losing streak with a decisive 13-4 victory over Boston College on Wednesday night at the FAU Baseball Stadium in Boca Raton. The Owls improved to 9-4 on the season.
With the score tied 1-1 in the third inning, FAU tallied seven runs on just four hits. In fact, the first run was plated without the benefit of a hit when junior first baseman Mark Nelson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. That scored sophomore designated hitter Devon Workman. Later, junior outfielder Corey Keller lined a single to left field to score sophomore outfielder Geoff Jimenez and junior outfielder Nathan Pittman. Junior third baseman Kyle Newton ripped a double past a diving Boston College third baseman to score Nelson.
Then, freshman shortstop Ricky Santiago capped the rally by connecting on his first career home run to plate three more runs.
The visiting Eagles would close the gap to 8-4 after scoring two runs in the top of the seventh inning. That's when the Owls answered with another big inning as Santiago drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Keller blasted a grand slam homer -- his first of the season -- in the bottom of the eighth inning to account for the final margin of victory.
The 13 runs scored were a season high for FAU, and the team pounded 12 hits in the victory over the Atlantic Coast Conference opponent.
Junior catcher Mike Spano gave FAU a 1-0 lead with a two-out RBI single in the second inning.
Senior reliever Ahmed Garcia picked up his first victory of the season with two scoreless innings in relief. The left hander struck out three batters and did not allow a hit.
Senior Josh Gonzaga struck out a season-high six batters and scattered five hits in three productive innings in his first start of the season. Freshman relievers Julian Loret de Mola and Brett Nizamoff also saw action on the mound for the Owls.
Keller paced Florida Atlantic's offensive attack with a career-high six RBIs. Pittman went 3-for-4, with two runs scored, while Nelson and Spano also had multiple-hit performances.
Boston College, now 6-5 for the season, was led by two-hit performances from Marc Perdios, Travis Ferrick and Blake Butera. Andrew Lawrence drove in a pair of runs for the Eagles, which have lost three straight and two straight against Sun Belt Conference opponents. The team also lost at FIU in Miami on Tuesday night.
FAU returns to the diamond on Friday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m. to begin a three-game series against Rutgers University from the FAU Baseball Stadium, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.
Live audio and statistics of the game can be found at www.fausports.com. For season tickets contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
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