Crotta pitched a career-high eight innings to improve to 4-0.
March 11, 2005
Florida Atlantic University took a doubleheader from visiting Gardner-Webb University Friday night at FAU Stadium. FAU's starting pitchers, Chris Salberg and Mike Crotta pitched great games to lead the team to 8-3 and 4-3 wins over the Bulldogs.
Salberg (1-2) controlled GWU's offense in game one as he held the Bulldogs to two hits in his seven innings of work after FAU spotted him a 5-0 lead after the first. The southpaw finished with a career-high seven strikeouts.
The offense provided 13 hits as the team picked up three in the first three at bats for FAU. Two runs crossed the team for the home team before GWU could record an out.
Mike McKenna (Delray Beach, FL) finished the game 3-for-3 with a career-high four RBI, while GWU's Joey Testa (Wellington, FL) led the way for the Bulldogs with two RBI.
Two undefeated pitchers took the mound for game two of the doubleheader. Preseason Player of the Year Zach Ward faced off against FAU's Crotta (Palm City, FL). Both pitchers finished with eight innings of work but Crotta (4-0) picked up the win after errors plagued the Bulldog defense. Four errors allowed three unearned runs to cross the plate as Ward falls to 3-1 this season. Ward struck out 13 while allowing seven hits.
Crotta struck out three and allowed six hits in his longest outing at FAU.
Mickey Storey (Deerfield Beach, FL) picked up his fourth save of the season by striking out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth.
Gardner-Webb picked up two of its runs off of Crotta in the first as designated hitter Billy McCarson hit a line drive two-run home run just over the left field fence.
Florida Atlantic slowly chipped away at the lead in the fourth with a McKenna RBI double and Alex Fonseca followed with an RBI single in the fifth to bring FAU to within one.
Two GWU base hits in the sixth put the Bulldogs back on top by two. A bloop single with two outs allowed JD Milford to score for GWU's only other run.
The GWU defense let down in the bottom of the eighth as two errors and a passed ball strikeout loaded the bases. A wild pitch allowed the tying run to score before catcher Alex Silversmith (Coral Springs, FL) laced a ball through the left side for the winning run.
"All of the times that we have had to rally this season really helped us out tonight against a good pitcher," said FAU head coach Kevin Cooney.
The two teams will close out the series on Saturday at 1 pm. Wes Cogdill will face Will Mann on the mound.