March 23, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas - Freshman CJ Chatham blasted a solo home run in the eighth inning on Sunday to help the Florida Atlantic University baseball team tie No. 11 Rice and send the game to extra innings, but Rice prevailed in the end, winning 3-2 in the 12th.
FAU (14-10, 3-6 C-USA) was swept in a three-game series for the first time since it fell in three straight at Louisiana in April, 2011.
FAU got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning as freshman Stephen Kerr led off the frame with a double. After Levi Meyer singled to advance him to second, Tyler Rocklein hit into a fielder's choice to drive in Kerr and give FAU a 1-0 lead.
Rice (19-6, 8-1 C-USA) would take the lead in the bottom of the inning with a double, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. John Clay Reeves sent a 1-1 pitch sailing over the left field wall to put the Rice Owls on top 2-1. His home run snapped an FAU streak of 205.2 innings pitched without allowing a home run and was only the third homer hit against the FAU arms this season.
Chatham led off the eighth by hitting a 3-1 pitch over the fence in right, tying the game at 2-2. That marked the freshman's second career home run.
Rice closer Matt Ditman would shut down FAU from that point forward, retiring 15 straight batters over the next five innings.
Rice put players on base in each inning from the ninth inning on, but a committee of pitchers kept FAU in the game.
In the 12th, Cody Mizelle walked the leadoff batter Michael Aquino on four pitches. Rice loaded the bases with a bunt single and another walk off of Seth McGarry with one out. McGarry struck out the next batter to get to two outs before Skyler Ewing hit a rope into left to drive in the game-winning run.
Chatham was the only FAU batter to reach base over the final 23 who made plate appearances in the game.
FAU returns home to host Southern Miss in a three-game series starting on Friday, March 29 at the FAU Baseball Stadium. For ticket information, visit FAUSports.com or call 1-866-FAU-OWLS.