May 5, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - McCormack On Alexander
Boca Raton, FL -Sophomore pitcher Kevin Alexander tossed six scoreless innings and the Florida Atlantic University baseball team pushed across five runs in its first three innings to take a commanding 6-0 victory over Western Kentucky University on Saturday at the FAU Baseball Stadium in Boca Raton.
The Owls improve to 28-17 on the season and remains in first place in the Sun Belt Conference with a 16-5 league record. The team will look for their third conference sweep of the season in the series finale on Sunday, May 6, starting at 12:30 p.m.
After being listed earlier this week as a 50-50 pitching prospect for the series, Alexander came out with one of his strongest performances of the season. He scattered four hits and struck out four batters to improve to 5-0 on the season.
"Kevin had a really good bullpen session on Wednesday in preparing for today's start," said John McCormack, FAU's head baseball coach. "He had good stuff early in the game. I'm thankful that he was able to pitch today."
Offensively, FAU struck early when junior first baseman Mark Nelson drove in his 40th run of the season with a first-inning sacrifice fly. Senior infielder Mike Albaladejo led off the game with a double and scored on Nelson's fly out.
In the second inning, freshman shortstop Mitch Morales lined a double to the right-center field gap to score junior catcher Mike Spano. Junior outfielder Dylan Seigel would later score on Albaladejo's sacrifice fly to center, giving FAU a 3-0 advantage.
"We jumped out to the early lead and Kevin's ability to throw a lot of strikes made for it to be a good day," said McCormack.
FAU's scoring would continue in the third inning when junior outfielder Corey Keller led off the frame with a home run to left center field. The blast was his team-leading seventh homer of the season. Nelson would score another run later in the inning as the Owls jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
"The early run production really eased a lot of tension early in my outing," said Alexander. "I felt really good in my bullpen (session). I had a good feeling that I was going to do well. This was an important win for us today."
Keller would cap the team's scoring with his second run of the game on Spano's RBI single in the eighth inning.
Junior third baseman Kyle Newton and Keller each had two hits to pace FAU's nine-hit offensive attack. Albaladejo, Nelson, Spano, Seigel and Morales also tallied a base hit in the victory. Albaladejo and Spano increased their hitting streaks to a season-long 11 consecutive games.
The shutout was Florida Atlantic's second of the season. The team blanked Middle Tennessee State University 3-0 on March 25.
WKU (19-28, 9-14 Sun Belt) tallied just six hits and starting pitcher Tim Bado suffered the loss, allowing five runs in three innings.
Live audio and statistics of Sunday's game can be found at www.fausports.com. For tickets contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.