March 17, 2013
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team may have suffered a 12-1 loss to FIU on Sunday, March 17, but still opened Sun Belt Conference play with a series victory over the South Florida rival.
FAU (13-8, 2-1 Sun Belt) took an early lead on a solo home run by senior first baseman Mark Nelson in the bottom of the first inning. The home run was his team-leading fourth and 19 runs batted in. He also continues to be an offensive thorn against the Panthers. Nelson came into the weekend series with a .296 career average against FIU, with four home runs.
However, FIU (11-10, 1-2 Sun Belt) responded with a 10-run third inning. A double by Julius Gaines down the right field line started the scoring, and Zach Sweety followed with a single to give the Panthers the lead. The visitors added four more hits in the inning to take a 10-1 lead.
FIU never looked back, and added two unearned runs in the sixth inning to break a seven-game losing streak to FAU.
Starting pitcher Mike Franco improved to 3-1 on the season for the Panthers, scattering four hits and having three strikeouts.
FAU continues SBC play next weekend at Arkansas State University, starting with a game on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. Live audio and statistics of the game will be available at www.fausports.com.
Single-game tickets for any home game are available by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.