March 29, 2003
Derek Hutton hit two home runs in the first game of the Atlantic Sun conference doubleheader on Saturday to guide no. 18 Florida Atlantic University to the series sweep over Samford University. Hutton (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) finished the weekend with three homers, six RBIs and a .667 average. The sweep is the second conference sweep of the season for FAU.
Samford (5-22, 2-13 A-Sun) jumped out to an early lead in both contests but FAU quickly countered back in both. The Bulldogs posted an unearned run in the second inning of game one after two costly errors and a past ball gave SU an early 1-0 lead. The squad added two more runs in the third when Robert Evans hit the teams third homer of the series to increase the lead to 3-0.
Hutton's first home run came in the second inning with two outs. FAU scored all five runs in game one with two outs. He plated Robert Orton (Wellington, FL) who reached on a single, with a bomb to left field. Jeff Fiorentino came around to score the tying run after he reached on a single and advanced to second on an error before a Matt Pali RBI tied the game at three.
With two outs in the fourth Tim Mascia (Wellington, FL) reached first on a single and Hutton again hit a two-run homer to give FAU the 5-4 lead.
Chris Pillsbury earned his seventh win of the season after he pitched six innings and struck out four. Chris Saxton, James Callahan and Chris Della Rocco all made an appearance on the mound in the final inning before Della Rocco got Samford's Justin Klinger to ground into a double play to leave two runners stranded and record his second career save as FAU won 5-4.
Klinger tried to redeem himself in game two as he plated a run in the first inning after Samford recorded three base hits off of FAU starter, Travis NeSmith (Miami, FL).
FAU (27-7, 12-3 A-Sun) took advantage of SU's Lee Brady in the second inning when the right-handed pitcher had problems finding the zone. Brady walked two batters before an error loaded the bases for Evan Brannon. Brannon recorded and RBI when he drew a walk. Two sacrifice flies and a wild pitched led to FAU's four runs in the inning. Brady received his first decision of the season and fell to 0-1 after he worked five innings and struck out two.
Matt Pali (Houston, TX) padded the lead in the fifth inning with his sixth homer of the season. The left-handed hitter laced a ball down the right field line that passed two feet inside the right field foul poll.
Samford center fielder Sae Evans answered with a home run of his own off of NeSmith for his second home run of the weekend but it was not enough as FAU increased its winning streak to six with the 6-2 win.
NeSmith worked six inning and struck out five and allowed eight his as he improved to 6-1. James Callahan and Chris Saxton both worked out of the pen in game two for the second time of the day and did not allow a hit.
Florida Atlantic will travel to the University of Miami on Wednesday for a midweek matchup with the Hurricanes. Danny Core is expected to take the mound as FAU faces its second ranked team of the season. UM is coming off of a weekend series with no.2 Georgia Tech.