March 21, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team fought to the very last out before suffering an 8-5 home loss to ninth-ranked University of Miami on Wednesday night at the FAU Baseball Stadium in Boca Raton. The game was played in front a season-best crowd of 1,418 fans.
The setback broke a four-game winning streak and dropped the Owls to 14-8 heading back into Sun Belt Conference action with this weekend's three-game series at Middle Tennessee State University. The team has a 3-0 league mark after sweeping rival FIU last weekend.
Miami (17-4) got a first-inning home run by catcher Peter O'Brien before adding another run on a RBI double by Michael Broad in the second inning to take an early 2-0 advantage.
FAU would tie the game with a two-run fourth inning. Junior outfielder Gregg Bennis hit an infield single to plate junior third baseman Kyle Newton for the first run. Then, freshman shortstop Mitch Morales hit a run-scoring fielder's choice that scored junior outfielder Corey Keller to tie the game at 2-2.
However, the hosts could never get the lead. The Hurricanes regained control with a three-run fifth inning to take a 5-2 lead. The big blow in the inning was Brad Feiger's two-run scoring single that split the middle of the FAU infield defense.
The Owls would chip away as senior infielder Mike Albaladejo came home on a sacrifice fly by Newton to left field in the fifth inning. An inning later, freshman Ricky Santiago connected on his second home run of the season, bringing FAU within one run 5-4 in the sixth.
Miami would build an 8-4 lead on a two-run home run by Esteban Tresgallo in the seventh inning.
FAU's Santiago lined a base hit to score junior catcher Mike Spano in the eighth inning and the team would load the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning. But, Miami's E.J. Encinosa got a strike out to end the game and scoring threat.
Freshman left hander Bo Logan suffered the loss for the Owls, dropping to 1-2 on the season after allowing five runs in 4.1 innings.
Albaladejo, Newton, Spano and Santiago each had two hits apiece to pace Florida Atlantic's balanced 12-hit attack. Junior first baseman Mark Nelson, Keller, Bennis and Morales also recorded a hit in the loss.
Miami's Javi Salas improved to 2-0 on the mound, despite allowing two runs and four hits in tossing the fourth inning. O'Brien scored three runs and went 2-for-3, while Feiger tallied four hits in five plate appearances.
Miami has now won two of the three games in the season series between the two South Florida rivals. The third game is scheduled to be played on April 24 in Coral Gables.
FAU now prepares to open this weekend's series at Middle Tennessee on Friday, March 23, starting at 7 p.m. Live audio and statistics of all games in the series can be found at www.fausports.com. For season tickets contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
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