April 3, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - Freshman shortstop Mitch Morales' bases-loaded ninth-inning walk-off single scored junior third baseman Kyle Newton to give the Florida Atlantic University baseball team a dramatic 3-2 victory over Lynn University on Tuesday in the Battle of Boca Raton at the FAU Baseball Stadium.
The decisive ninth-inning rally began with Newton earning a walk, got to second base on a bunt by junior catcher Mike Spano and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Another walk to freshman infielder Ricky Santiago loaded the bases for Morales with two outs in the inning. He proceeded to slap the game-winning single to right field.
The victory was the 20th of the season for the Owls, ranked 30th in this week's Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division I poll. Lynn, also from Boca Raton, is ranked 27th in the newspaper's NCAA Division II poll.
The Owls trailed 2-1 before Newton tied the game with a RBI-single to center field that scored junior outfielder Corey Keller to tie the game in the seventh inning. FAU (20-10) enjoyed a 1-0 first-inning lead on junior first baseman Mark Nelson's two-out RBI double that scored Keller. Keller, this week's Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week, had a double with two outs to set up Nelson's run-scoring opportunity.
Lynn (21-11) took advantage of two errors and Anthony Boza's run-scoring double to take a 2-1 lead. Later with the game tied at 2-2, the Fighting Knights put the go-ahead run at third base in the top of the ninth inning before FAU senior reliever Ahmed Garcia got Phillip Mannally to ground out to end the threat.
Garcia picked up the victory after pitching 1.2 innings with one strikeout. The left hander improved to 2-0 on the season.
Freshman Bo Logan started the contest and struck out three hitters and allowed two unearned runs in three innings. Freshman reliever Kevin Perez tossed three scoreless innings and junior Jake Meiers went 1.1 innings in relief.
Keller and Nelson each tallied two hits to highlight the Owls' seven-hit offensive performance. Keller scored a pair of runs and Nelson, Newton and Morales drove in a run.
Lynn's Boza tallied two hits and drove in a run to pace the Fighting Knights' offense. Starting pitcher Kentrail Pierce allowed just three hits and struck out four batters in six quality innings. Reliever Jerad Harvey took the loss, dropping to 1-1 on the season.
FAU returns to the diamond on Friday, April 6, at 6:30 p.m. when it begins a three-game SBC series against the University of South Alabama. The team holds a one-game lead in the conference with an 8-1 league record.
Live audio and statistics of the weekend series can be found at www.fausports.com. For tickets contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.