April 25, 2004
NASHVILLE, TN - In the rubber game of a three-game series, Florida Atlantic University came from behind and defeated Belmont University, 8-7, Sunday morning in Nashville, TN. FAU turned a triple play in the bottom of the ninth to seal the victory and improve to 33-10 and 12-9 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Alex Fonseca went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, including a three-run homer in the eighth to give FAU the 8-7 lead.
Florida Atlantic opened the game with four runs in the bottom of the first. With the bases loaded and no outs, Ron Horst doubled to center to drive in three runs and make it 3-0. With one out, Rusty Brown had a sacrifice fly to drive in Horst with the fourth run.
In the third, Brown led off with a double and came around to score on a double by Fonseca to make it 5-0. The lead would not last for long as the Bruins (25-16, 10-11 A-Sun) scored one run in the fourth and four in the sixth to tie the game at 5-5. Belmont scored two more runs in the seventh to take a 7-5 lead into the eighth.
In the top of the eighth, Tim Mascia led off with a double, and Brown walked. Fonseca followed with his second homer of the year, a three-run shot over the left field fence to give the Blue Wave an 8-7 lead.
The score remained that way into the bottom of the ninth when Belmont looked poised for a rally. Jason Warpool and Dan Soukup both singled with no outs. Josh Brummett followed with a liner to third baseman Evan Brannon, who fired to Derek Hutton at second and Jeff Fiorentino at first to turn the game-ending triple play.
Crotta picked up his first save of the year while Brandon Kloess (1-0) won his first game of the season. Crotta pitched the eighth and the ninth and allowed three hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
Each team banged out 13 hits. Hutton also had three hits for FAU in a 3-for-5 effort. Mascia and Brown both added two hits.
Florida Atlantic next faces Winthrop University in a two-game series beginning May 1 in Rock Hill, SC.