March 30, 2002
L.J. Biernbaum's ninth inning home run capped off a doubleheader sweep by Florida Atlantic University Saturday afternoon against Jacksonville State University. The wins extend FAU's winning streak to 19 games and keeps the team in first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference. FAU improved to 26-6 on the year and 9-0 in the A-Sun while winning the first game 5-4 before edging the Gamecocks 8-7 in nine innings in game two.
Both wins were of the come-from-behind variety while the winning streak is FAU's longest since tying the NCAA record in 1999 with 34 straight wins. FAU is also 7-0 this year in one-run games.
In game two, FAU won despite being outhit 15-7. JSU (13-17, 1-10 A-Sun) took a 3-0 lead in the first before FAU took advantage of control problems by JSU pitching in the second. Three straight walks with the bases loaded pulled FAU even at 3-3. A groundout by Gabe Somarriba and a sacrifice fly by Biernbaum in the fourth gave FAU a 5-4 lead. A sacrfice fly by Robert Orton in the fifth extended FAU's lead to 7-4 before JSU rallied for three runs in the sixth to tie the game at 7-7.
Neither team was able to plate a run for the next two innings before Biernbaum stepped up in the bottom of the ninth and drove the first pitch over the right field fence to give FAU the victory in their first extra innings game of the season. It was Biernbaum's seventh homer this year.
Game one saw JSU take a 2-0 lead into the fourth before FAU scored three times. Bobby Spano's two-run single with two outs gave FAU a 3-2 lead heading into the fifth. After JSU scored twice in the fifth, FAU countered in the bottom of the inning when Mike Valdes connected for a two-run homer to right. For Valdes, it was his fifth homer of the season, and for FAU, it was enough to give them a 5-4 victory.
Tom MacLane (3-2) picked up the victories in both games in relief. He faced a total of
five batters and did not allow a run or hit. Tim McNab picked up a save in the first game, his
seventh of the year.
At the plate, Valdes went 3-for-6 on the day with three RBIs and three runs scored. Matt Pali also went 3-for-6. Biernbaum ended up 1-for-5 with three RBIs in the doubleheader.
Florida Atlantic next opens up a three-game series against Belmont beginning with a doubleheader on April 5.