Jeremy Griffiths homered and went 4-for-6 Tuesday night against USF
April 22, 2008
BOCA RATON, FL - It took two grand slams and four homers, 30 runs, 425 pitches thrown by 13 different pitchers, ten innings, a replacement umpire and the better part of five hours to determine a winner in Tuesday night's non-conference game between Florida Atlantic University and the University of South Florida.
Florida Atlantic (23-16) had rallied from five down to take a one-run lead in the eighth inning on a grand slam by William Block, but USF answered with a tying homer in the ninth and scored eight times in the top of the tenth to win by that margin, 19-11.
South Florida (21-19) entered the week 8-10 in BIG EAST play, good for seventh place in the 12-team league. Its 19 runs Tuesday was a season-high.
The middle of the lineup provided FAU with two quick runs, courtesy of RBI singles by Travis Ozga and Block in the first inning.
USF starter Matt Stull hit two batters, allowed three hits and was pulled in the first inning after recording just one out.
With FAU leading 3-1 in the bottom of the second, Jeremy Griffiths put a ball over the fence in right field and on to the top of the batting cages. It was a solo-shot -- Griffiths fourth homer of the year -- and FAU led 4-1.
Griffiths had four hits for the second time this season.
Joey Angelberger hit a grand slam that led to the departure of FAU starter Brandon Kloess during a five-run USF third inning. It was the third slam this season for Angelberger, with each of his last three homers being grannies.
Angelberger's slam off Kloess to left centerfield put USF in front and a run-scoring single by Chris Rey off FAU righty Chris Schmitt made it 6-4 after three innings.
RBI singles by Cory Johnson and Victor Pina highlighted the tail end of the Bulls' three-run seventh inning rally, giving USF what seemed to be a comfortable 10-5 lead heading into the late stages.
FAU put two runners on base against the USF `pen in the seventh and loaded them up in the eighth. With two outs and the bases full in the eighth, Mike McKenna singled and Ozga was plunked to push in another run and tighten the score to 10-7.
Owning nine saves and up for consideration as the NBWA `Stopper of the Year,' USF closer Sean Sanford (5-4) came on to face Block with two outs and the bases loaded. Block drilled the first pitch Sanford threw over the left field wall, a grand slam that gave FAU an 11-10 lead.
Mike Gipson, the fifth of seven FAU pitchers used Tuesday night, gave up a lead-off solo home run to USF freshman lefty Stephen Hunt in the ninth. Hunt pulled Gipson's 1-1 pitch out to deep right center. The homer, Hunt's second, evened the game at 11 apiece and eventually forced extra innings.
Hunt hit a tie-breaking double in the tenth and reliever Brett Cannon (1-2) walked in two more runs before Pina's 2-RBI single broke it wide open, 17-11, putting USF in position to win the 4 hour and 34 minute game, FAU's longest this season.
Sanford gave up the go-ahead homer to Block in the eighth, but kept FAU off the scoreboard in the ninth and tenth and was credited with his fifth win.
GAME NOTES: Injury forced home plate umpire Manny Selazar from the game in the top of the third inning... Nick Arata's lead-off single in the bottom fifth extended his hitting streak to 16 games... Ryan Lockwood's single in the tenth gives him a 23-game hitting streak... USF reliever Kyle Eastham was struck in the head with a line-drive off the bat of Griffiths in the fifth inning... Eastham left the field under his own power, and was in the USF dugout watching the game before the game was over.... Nick Criaris appeared as a pinch hitter for the 11th time this season, which leads the team. It was the first extra inning game FAU has played in 2008.