March 30, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team flexed its muscle, blasting three home runs - with two coming in one decisive inning - for a 7-3 come-from-behind victory over the University of Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday night to open this weekend's Sun Belt Conference series. The Owls remain in first place with a 6-1 league record.
"We were able to string together some good at-bats and use the home run for offensive support tonight," said John McCormack, FAU's head baseball coach. "It was good to start the series off with a win over a quality team. It was a good night."
Trailing 2-0 in the third inning, the Owls used the long ball on two occasions to overtake the Ragin' Cajuns for a 3-2 lead. Sophomore infielder Robert Buckley connected on his first career home run over the right field fence to tie the game with a two-run blast. Three batters later, junior outfielder Corey Keller hit his team-leading fifth home run to center field to cap off the three-run frame.
Junior catcher Mike Spano hit FAU's third home run of the game with a lead-off home run in the sixth inning. The blast to right field was the third of the season for the Naples native and gave the hosts a three-run advantage. Later in the inning, freshman shortstop Mitch Morales hit a run-scoring single to plate Jimenez for a 6-2 Owls' lead.
Senior right hander Ryan Garton scattered 11 hits and struck out five batters in 6.1 innings to improve to 5-2 on the season. He allowed two earned runs in the outing.
Senior reliever Ahmed Garcia picked up his first save of the season, tossing 2.2 innings and striking out two ULL batters.
Keller led the team's nine-hit offensive attack with two hits and two runs batted in. Buckley also knocked in a pair of runs with his home run. The rest of the hits were scatters among seven players.
Louisiana-Lafayette (13-12, 3-4 Sun Belt) tallied 13 hits, including two each by Tyler Frederick, Jace Conrad, Chase Compton and Ryan Leonards.
The Ragin' Cajuns starting pitcher Jordan Nicholson suffered the loss, dropping to 3-2 after allowing five runs allowed in five innings.
The two teams will continue the three-game weekend series on Saturday, March 31, at 4 p.m. Live audio and statistics of the game can be found at www.fausports.com. For tickets contact the FAU Tickets Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.