Sophomore third baseman Ricky Santiago hit his second home run of the season in the ninth inning of Saturday's win at Louisiana
April 20, 2013
Lafayette, La. - Sophomore third baseman Ricky Santiago's two-run home run in the ninth inning turned around the fortunes of the Florida Atlantic University baseball team with an emotional 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the University of Louisiana on Saturday, April 20 at "Tigue" Moore Field. The win evened the road conference series heading into Sunday's finale.
Santiago's homer over the right field fence, with one out off Louisiana closer Matt Hicks, gave the Owls their first lead of the weekend series. It was his only hit of the game.
"It was really the only pitch of the night that I had a chance to hit," said Santiago about his late-inning heroics. "I was sitting on a fast ball . . . I put a really good swing on it. I knew I hit the ball good. Balls weren't carrying well out to right (field). I was just hoping that it would get out. When I saw the outfielder drift back, then I knew it was going to be gone."
For the second straight night, FAU rallied from an early deficit. The team trailed 3-1 before scoring a run in each of the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game. A sacrifice fly by junior outfielder Tyler Rocklein brought home senior outfielder Nathan Pittman for one of the runs. Then, senior outfielder Corey Keller hit his first home run of the season - a solo homer to center field.
However, Louisiana once again took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning on a two-out, RBI single by Ryan Leonards that scored Dex Kjerstad on a close play at the plate.
In the ninth inning, freshman outfield Brendon Sanger singled through the left side with one out. He was replaced on the base paths by junior pinch runner Geoff Jimenez. That's when Santiago hit his second home run of the season.
Junior Jeremy Strawn received a no-decision despite having 7.2 strong innings in the starting assignment. The right hander seemed to get better in the later innings, with all three of his strike outs coming after the fifth inning. He scattered eight hits in the outing.
Louisiana's Kjerstad and Leonards each recorded three hits, while Kjerstad scored two runs in the loss. Hicks fell to 3-1 on the season, and starting pitcher Ryan Wilson allowed three runs in seven innings.
FAU will play a series-deciding game on Sunday, April 21 at 1 p.m. Live audio and game statistics will be available at www.fausports.com.
To purchase single-game tickets for all home games please contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.