BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Florida Atlantic University baseball team reached double digits for the second straight game, and swept a weekend road opponent at FAU Baseball Stadium for the third time in as many attempts this season, as the Owls topped Seton Hall 10-0 on Sunday afternoon.
“I couldn’t have been prouder of the team today,” said Head Coach John McCormack. “This isn’t easy, we had the time change, so really the game started at 10, and really, we had them here at 7:30, not 8:30, to pull the tarp and put it away. So these things sometimes add up, and guys might not be ready to play, but they did a really good job. We scored four in the first, and our M.O. has been to shut down after that, but we added two (in the second), and then a three-run home run and a solo shot. It was nice, we kept answering and doing some good work at the plate. And on a day like this, we got five guys in to pitch, and every position player got in in some way, so it was a good day.”
The Turning Point
The Owls (11-4) posted their third inning in the series of four runs or more, and for the second time, plated four in the first, to grab the early lead. Tyler Frank led off with a walk, and three consecutive singles (by Joe Montes, David Miranda and Pedro Pages) scored two. A groundout made it 3-0, and Eric Rivera rapped a two-out single for run No. 4. Two more scored in the second, with Montes tripling in Frank (who had singled), and another groundout plating Montes.
On the hill, Vince Coletti started and pitched a solid five innings, combining with three relievers to shut out the Pirates (5-8) for his win as an Owl. Mike Ruff threw two perfect frames in the sixth and seventh, with FAU home runs in each bottom half making for the final margin. Diamond Johnson launched a two-out, three-run shot for his first collegiate dinger in the sixth, and Pedro Pages put the cherry on top with a leadoff homer in the seventh. Marc Stewart and Mark Nowatnick finished with scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close out the sweep.
- A day after becoming the first Owl this year with three hits in a game, Joe Montes replicated the feat Sunday. He now has a seven-game hitting streak and a team-best season batting average of .339. The junior third baseman also scored two runs and knocked in one
- Pedro Pages had two more hits to raise his home average this season to .410 (16-for-39). He’s hit safely in nine of 10 contests at FAU Baseball Stadium, including seven straight home games with two hits
- Johnson’s three RBI marks a season high for him (and matches the team’s best) and his 11 knocked in trails only Pages’ 12
- Tyler Frank went 1-for-2 with a walk and hit-by-pitch out of the leadoff slot, scored twice, and extended his hit streak to 10 games
- Jacob Pino notched the first hit of his collegiate career, singling through the left side in the eighth
- The Owls outscored the Pirates 25-5 in the series, combining for 11 extra-base hits while getting on base as a team at a clip of .373
- Coletti got stronger as the game went along, retiring the last seven SHU batters he faced, and 11 of the last 12. He allowed just four hits and two walks in five scoreless innings, striking out four
- Ruff’s six-up, six-down stint came on just 25 pitches, with two punchouts as well
- Stewart needed 11 pitches in a scoreless eighth, Nowatnick 17 pitches in the hitless ninth
- After the third inning, only two Seton Hall runners reached base against the quartet of Owls’ pitchers, on a hit and a walk
The Owls are back at FAU Baseball Stadium for a two-game midweek set against North Florida, Tuesday and Wednesday night. First pitch in game one is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, and Wednesday’s game begins at 4 p.m. Stewart and Nick Prather will draw the respective starts for FAU.