Junior reliever R.J. Alvarez picked up his fifth save of the season in Friday's series-opening victory over South Alabama
April 6, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - Junior first baseman Mark Nelson drove in three runs and junior reliever R.J. Alvarez struck out five of the final seven batters to lift the No. 30-ranked Florida Atlantic University baseball team to a 7-5 series-opening victory over the University of South Alabama on Friday at the FAU Baseball Stadium in Boca Raton. The Owls remain in first place in the Sun Belt Conference with a 9-1 record.
The victory is the team's fifth consecutive win - the longest winning streak of the season - and improved FAU's record to 21-10. The team continues the weekend three-game series on Saturday, April 7, starting at 4 p.m.
FAU enjoyed an early lead when sophomore outfielder Geoff Jimenez connected on a two-run blast over the left field fence in the second inning. It was his second home run of the season.
Albaladejo would later hit his second home run of the season with a solo blast in the fourth inning to give the Owls a 4-1 lead.
South Alabama (11-19, 6-4) made things interesting with a three-run seventh inning to trim the deficit to one run, 6-5. The Jaguars threatened further, but FAU senior reliever Ahmed Garcia got out of a bases-loaded jam by inducing an inning-ending grounder to third base.
The Owls added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Nelson's seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield plated junior outfielder Nathan Pittman. Nelson also had a two-out, two-run single in the sixth inning.
Alvarez struck out the side in the eighth inning and worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to record his fifth save of the season. That effort helped make a winner out of senior starting pitcher Ryan Garton, who improved to 6-2 on the season after striking out four batters over 6.1 innings.
Offensively, Nelson paced the 10-hit offensive attack with two hits and three RBIs. Junior third baseman Kyle Newton, Albaladejo and Pittman also tallied two hits each. Albaladejo scored three runs in the victory.
Live audio and statistics of Saturday's game can be found at www.fausports.com. Tickets to any home game can be purchased by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.