BOCA RATON, Fla. – Two four-run innings gave UTSA an early 8-1 lead, but the Florida Atlantic University baseball team overcame that with the help of a seven-run bottom of the fifth, and Nick Prather, Drew Peden and Zach Schneider combined for four innings of scoreless relief in the Owls’ 10-8 Friday win. The victory is the Owls’ eighth straight, and seventh in a row in Conference USA play.
“I thought the guys never gave up,” said Head Coach John McCormack. “We got a few hits in the bottom of the fifth, and Kev (Kevin Abraham) goes, ‘we’re going to win this game Coach, don’t worry,’ and sure enough. You can’t say enough about Cody Wilson’s home run, and (Richie) Nizza ... gets a big sac fly, (it) kind of takes the wind out of their sales. I thought the relief pitching, (Drew) Peden was fantastic and Zach (Schneider) did his job.”
The Turning Point
Gunnar Lambert hit a no-doubt solo shot for FAU (25-8, 10-3 C-USA) in the bottom of the second to open up the scoring, but UTSA (17-15, 6-6 C-USA) plated four in each of the third and fifth to move ahead by seven. The wheels fell off for the Roadrunners in the very next half-inning. Eric Rivera singled, and an out later, three batters reached without benefit of a hit: Cody Wilson was hit by a pitch, Jared DeSantolo walked and Tyler Frank did as well. In the midst, a run came in on a wild pitch, and a Joe Montes RBI single made for the second run. UTSA turned to the bullpen, and on an 0-2 pitch, David Miranda was hit by a pitch for an RBI. Pedro Pages followed with a two-run single, and Gunnar Lambert hit into a fielder’s choice, with the errant throw to first scoring a run and moving him up two bases, to third. Rivera’s two-out seeing-eye single, his second of the inning, tied the game at 8-8.
In the top of the sixth, Prather retired two, with the help of a strike by Wilson from left-center to throw out Chase Hacker trying to stretch a single into a double. Peden got the last out of that frame, and Wilson pushed the Owls ahead with a line drive, opposite field solo hoemer to lead off the bottom. Peden stranded two in the seventh, helping himself out immensely by turning sacrifice attempt into a 1-5-3 double play. His eighth was a 1-2-3 inning, and Richie Nizza provided breathing room with a sacrifice fly, preceding a Zach Schneider save that ended with two strikeouts, each representing the potential tying run.
- Rivera had a 4-for-4 night, his second four-hit effort of the season, and he scored two runs (as did Lambert and Rivera)
- Montes, Wilson and Pages extended hitting streaks to 11, seven and six games, respectively
- Frank has now reached base in 28 consecutive games
- Jake Miednik struck out six in five innings of work
- Peden picked up his fifth win against zero losses, allowing only a hit and a walk
- Schneider now has 10 saves on the season
Game two between the Owls and the Roadrunners begins at 4 p.m. Saturday from FAU Baseball Stadium. Vince Coletti will start for FAU against UTSA’s Steven Dressler. Buy tickets by calling 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visiting www.fausports.com/tickets/baseball-tickets.html.