April 26, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - East Carolina scored five runs in the first three innings to mount a lead that the Florida Atlantic University baseball team was unable to overcome, winning 6-4 on a windy day in Boca Raton.
The Pirates (26-18, 12-9 C-USA) got to FAU starter Jeremy Strawn early, scoring four two-out runs in the first inning. After Strawn shut down the first two hitters, ECU pieced together five consecutive hits, including a three-run home run by Luke Lowery to take the 4-0 lead.
ECU tacked on an insurance run, which proved to be the game-winner, on a solo home run by Dylan Brown to lead off the third inning.
ECU pitcher Brett Mabry held the Owls (22-20, 10-12 C-USA) to just one hit through their first 23 batters on the day.
FAU got on the board in the seventh after Brendon Sanger and Tyler Rocklein walked and Robert Buckley was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Freshman CJ Chatham hit a line-drive single to right center to drive in two runs and Billy Endris picked up an RBI on a groundout to cut the ECU margin to 5-3. Decorated reliever Ryan Williams came in in relief of Mabry to keep the Owls at bay.
The Pirates added another run in the eighth on a hit, and FAU error and a sacrifice fly.
In the Owls' final turn at the plate, Sanger and Rocklein each singled and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Chatham grounded out to short to plate Sanger, putting the tying run at the plate in pinch-hitter Esteban Puerta with two outs.
Williams was able to strike out Puerta to end the threat, picking up his sixth save of the season.
Strawn was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs on ten hits in 4.1 innings of work. Mabry earned the win, giving up three runs on just one hit with five strikeouts in six innings.
The two teams will square off in the rubber game on Sunday with a first pitch scheduled for Noon at the FAU Baseball Stadium.