March 13, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Louisville Slugger bats were hot on Wednesday as the Florida Atlantic University baseball team downed Maine 15-6 in Boca Raton. Nine players recorded hits, nine scored runs and seven picked up RBI as the Owls (12-6, 1-2 C-USA) posted a season-high 20 hits.
FAU's 20 hits is the most in a game for the Owls since April 30, 2011 when they posted 21 against Troy.
Ricky Santiago drove in four runs, including a two-run home run, his third of the season. Redshirt freshman Cain Spangler made a huge step toward becoming a regular in the starting lineup, going 4-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI.
Brandon Rhodes earned his second victory of the season, dealing five innings without allowing an earned run. Kyle Miller, David McKay and Seth McGarry also made appearances as the Owls struck out six Maine batters.
Maine's Jake Marks was tagged with the loss, giving up five earned runs on three hits and three walks and was pulled in the first inning.
The FAU offense sparked in the first inning as the Owls posted five runs on five hits with nine batters reaching base. Billy Endris led off the game with a walk and came around to score after Stephen Kerr and Sanger hit back-to-back singles and Rocklein drew a bases-loaded walk. After a double play that scored Kerr, Spangler singled to give the Owls a three-run lead. Freshman CJ Chatham hit a two-run single to left that plated two more runs, putting the Owls on top 5-0.
The second inning saw more of the high-powered offensive attack when Sanger and Rocklein led off the frame with back-to-back singles. Santiago hit a sacrifice fly and Spangler hit his first double of the game to increase the FAU lead to seven runs.
Maine would post three unearned runs in the top of the third with the help of three hits and an FAU error. The Owls responded in the bottom of the inning when Chatham led off with his first career home run, a solo shot to left field. Endris and Sanger each doubled and Santiago hit his second sacrifice fly in as many at-bats to return the lead to seven runs at 10-3.
Spangler led off the fourth with a single and stole second before being driven in on an Endris single to left to give FAU an 11-3 lead.
The Blackbears rallied in the sixth for three runs on four hits, but left the bases loaded to leave the score at 11-6.
Santiago's two-run homer came in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Rocklein who hit his fifth double of the season to get in scoring position.
With two outs and two on in the eighth, Rocklein was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Freshman Sean Labsan hit a pinch-hit, two-RBI single to score Jose Bonilla Traverso and Kerr, ending the scoring at 15-6.
The Owls host Louisiana Tech in a three-game series that marks FAU's Conference USA home opener beginning on Friday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the FAU Baseball Stadium. For ticket information, visit FAUSports.com or call 1-866-FAU-OWLS. Free audio broadcasts will be available on FAUSports.com with Brandon Goodwin, FAU Assistant Director of Media Relations, calling the play-by-play.