April 24, 2012
Coral Gables, FL - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team dropped a hard fought 3-1 decision to No. 24-ranked University of Miami on Tuesday night at Mark Light Field in Alex Rodriguez Park in Coral Gables. The game concludes the season three-game series between the South Florida rivals.
FAU falls to 25-15 on the season and returns to the diamond to begin a three-game Sun Belt Conference series at Troy University on Friday, April 27, at 7 p.m. The Owls lead the SBC after winning every weekend three-game series.
"The guys fought hard and executed pretty well tonight," said John McCormack, FAU's head baseball coach. "It was a clean game and we just didn't come up with that big hit to put us over the top. I was proud of their effort. We just came out on the wrong end of the result tonight."
The Owls took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when junior outfielder Corey Keller's two-out single brought home senior infielder Mike Albaladejo, who led off the game with a single and stole second base.
Miami (27-14) evened the game in the third inning when Tyler Palmer's ground ball scored Alex San Juan. An inning later, the Hurricanes took a 2-1 lead when Rony Rodriguez scored on a double by Brad Fieger down the right field line.
The Owls threatened to tie the game in the eighth inning when freshman infielder Ricky Santiago drew a lead-off walk. Freshman shortstop Mitch Morales bunted pinch-runner Dylan Seigel to second base with one out. After a Miami pitching change, Albaladejo flew out to right field and pinch-hitter Geoff Jimenez grounded out to second base to end the threat.
Michael Broad gave Miami an important insurance run with a home run over the left field fence that led off the eighth inning. FAU also had a scoring opportunity in the ninth inning when senior outfielder Alex Hudak's base hit brought the tying run to the plate. However, the Hurricanes closed out the game when right fielder Julian Santos made a diving catch on Kyle Newton's fly ball.
Keller paced Florida Atlantic's seven-hit offensive attack with two hits and an RBI. Junior outfielder Nathan Pittman also slapped two hits, including a triple. Albaladejo, Hudak and Spano also had a hit in the game.
Freshman Austin Gomber suffered the loss in relief, dropping to 3-2 on the season. Sophomore Kevin Alexander got the starting assignment and tossed two scoreless innings. Junior Michael Sylvestri, freshman Bo Logan, junior Gregg Bennis and senior Ahmed Garcia also saw time on the mound for the Owls.
Miami's Broad had two hits to highlight an eight-hit offensive attack. Starting pitcher Javi Salas struck out 10 batters to pick up the victory and improve to 5-2 on the season.
Live audio and statistics of Friday's series opener with Troy can be found at www.fausports.com. Tickets for any home game can be purchased by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.