March 24, 2004
After no. 19 Florida Atlantic University rallied for seven runs in the third and fourth innings, Ohio State University made a comeback as the team scored six runs in the final five innings but fell short in a 7-6 FAU win Wednesday night at FAU Stadium. Chris Saxton (Lake Worth, FL) picked up his sixth save of the season as he worked the final three innings.
Saxton entered with a 7-5 lead in the seventh and only faced six batters through two innings of work but ran into trouble in the ninth as the Buckeyes threatened with two straight singles to start the inning. With one out and runners on the corners, Steve Caravati singled down the right field line to score the sixth run of the game and move Jacob Howell into scoring position. Saxton recorded the final two outs on a fly out to right field before striking out the final batter of the game as FAU improves to 23-4. Ohio State drops the second straight contest to FAU and now holds a 7-9 record.
Ohio State starting pitcher, Josh Newman (3-3) recorded every out in his three innings of work via the strikeout but could not record an out in the fourth as he loaded the bases and allowed seven runs to cross the plate before giving way to reliever Trent Luyster. Newman finished the contest with three innings of work while allowing seven runs on seven hits and striking out nine.
During the entourage, Florida Atlantic had six straight batters reach base before Luyster saw first baseman Rusty Brown line into a double play. Luyster did not allow a run in five innings as he stuck out four and walked one.
The Buckeye bats found life in the sixth as six runs crossed the plate. All of the runs would be unearned as the leadoff batter in the inning, Caravati reached base on an error. FAU starter, Will Mann (3-0) would load the bases and see one run score on a wild pitch before Randy Beam (Sarasota, FL) entered in relief. Beam made his first appearance out of the pen this season and gave up a two RBI double to catcher Derek Kinnear as Ohio State rallied for four runs. Kinnear finished the night with a game-high three hits and two RBI.
"I felt good about Mann working into the sixth inning and I felt he could have gone into the seventh with a lead, unfortunately that did not happen. Errors are contagious and you have to minimize the bad things," said head coach Kevin Cooney. FAU finished the game with a season-high five errors. Only two of the six Buckeye runs were earned.
Florida Atlantic returns to Atlantic Sun play this Friday and Saturday when Jacksonville University visits FAU Stadium. The last time the two teams met, JU defeated FAU in the first round of the A-Sun Tournament.