March 30, 2013
Boca Raton, FL - Scoring five unanswered runs in its final four innings, the Florida Atlantic University baseball team rallied for a 7-6 victory over No. 24-ranked University of South Alabama on Saturday, March 30 at the FAU Baseball Stadium. The Owls have won the first two games of the weekend series, posted a season-long five consecutive victories and captured their third straight Sun Belt Conference (SBC) series.
"The guys kept fighting and we put together some good at bats. We were able to get (South Alabama's) starter out of the game," said John McCormack, FAU's head baseball coach.
FAU (18-9 overall, 6-2 SBC) found itself behind the Jaguars for the second straight game, trailing 6-2 after the top of the fifth inning.
However, that's when Florida Atlantic started its comeback. The hosts scored three times in the bottom of the fifth inning to trim the deficit to 6-5. Junior infielder Robert Buckley hit a two-run triple down the right field line to score sophomore third baseman Ricky Santiago and sophomore shortstop Mitch Morales. Buckley would later score on a sacrifice fly from junior catcher Levi Meyer.
Then, FAU tied the game, 6-6, on a sacrifice fly by senior first baseman Mark Nelson that brought home Buckley in the seventh inning.
The comeback was completed an inning later when freshman designated hitter Brendon Sanger led off with a single through the right side of the infield. A sacrifice bunt by junior pitch hitter Geoff Jimenez successfully moved Sanger into scoring position. And, that's precisely what Sanger did when South Alabama shortstop Graham Odom committed an error on a ground ball hit by Santiago. The play, giving FAU a 7-6 lead, was the Jaguars' only error in the game.
"We were fortunate. We put the ball in play and they didn't come with it," said McCormack. "We got a win out of it."
Senior closer Hugh Adams recorded his second save of the series, tossing a scoreless ninth inning. Meanwhile, freshman right hander Kyle Miller recorded his first career win, tossing three scoreless innings and posting three strikeouts in relief.
South Alabama (22-6 overall, 5-3 SBC) scored two runs in the third and fourth innings to build a 5-2 advantage. The visitors also added one run in the second and fifth innings to round out the scoring in the game.
FAU's nine-hit attack was led by Buckley's two hits. He also scored three runs. Junior catcher Levi Meyer drove in two runs and went 2-for-3 at the plate. Sanger scored two runs in the victory.
South Alabama's Jordan Patterson and Robby Campbell each had three hits, and Campbell also scored two runs. The Jaguars recorded 15 hits in the game, but didn't score after the fifth inning. Reliever Dylan Stamey suffered the loss, falling to 4-1 on the season. The right hander allowed two runs in 3.1 innings.
FAU returns to the diamond on Sunday, March 31 at noon. Live audio and statistics of the game will be available at www.fausports.com.
Single-game tickets for home games are available by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.