May 7, 2004
TROY, AL - The big inning returned to the deck cards for Florida Atlantic University's baseball team with a 6-5 victory over Troy State University. FAU improved to 34-13, 13-9 while Troy fell to 29-14, 11-11 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
"We have had good pitching all season, but haven't had a big inning in forever," said FAU Head Coach Kevin Cooney. "In the sixth we put all the big hits together and it was a team effort because it wasn't the two big guys that you would expect. Maybe this will jump start contagious hitting."
Florida Atlantic jumped on the board first scoring two in the top of the third. Senior catcher Robbie Orton hit a one-out single to right field and took advantage of a Troy State error on the following play. Mike McBryde executed a sacrifice bunt, but reached safely and moved to second on a throwing error by the Trojans' third baseman allowing Orton to advance to third. With runners on second and third Derek Hutton hit a ball deep to center sacrificing Orton home.
FAU took a 2-0 lead into the bottom half of the inning, but Troy pushed across a two out run. Adam Godwin hit a bunt single to the third base side and moved to second on a throwing error by starting pitcher Randy Beam. Chase Amis followed with a double off the wall driving home Goodwin.
McBryde was the team's lone base runner through the next two innings using his speed to beat out a chopper up the middle.
TSU's bats were not as quiet tying the game in the fourth and scoring two in the fifth to take their only lead of the game. Right fielder Lenny Maier led-off with a single moved to second and then third on a stolen base and an error. He scored on a ground out to third. Tab Beadle, the nine-hole hitter for the Trojans then hit a homer to right to give Troy a 4-2 advantage.
What was once quiet was quiet no more with FAU sending nine batters to the plate in the sixth. Florida Atlantic jumped on the first pitch of starter Eric Wikstrom to record six hits and tag Wikstrom with four more runs before he was relieved by Mal Winters with two outs in the sixth. Wikstrom left the game allowing eight hits, six runs, four earned and retiring seven FAU batters via strikeouts.
FAU's sixth was highlighted by Alex Fonseca's two out, bases loaded, two run double to right followed by Orton's two RBI single.
Beam returned to the mound to work with a two-run lead and retired the first two batters he faced. The bottom of the line-up then hit back-to-back singles before Beam could erase the threat with a called third strike to Beadle. The seventh was more of the same retiring the top of the order in order, two by strikeout as he easily moved beyond past 100 pitches.
The eighth wasn't as quick for FAU and Beam facing the meat of TSU's line-up. Mair drew a lead-off walk and moved to second on a single by Brian Bennett. Beam earned the second out before allowing a walk to loaded the bases and giving way to sophomore Allen Knight. Knight saw the bases loaded count move to 3-2 before the hard throwing righty blew it past for strike three and the ended of a Trojan threat.
Orton led off the inning with a hard grounder to third that rolled up the arm of a newly inserted third baseman and advanced to second on the error. He was sacrificed over and later attempted to score on a bunt by Derek Hutton but was out at home.
TSU mounted a come back in the bottom of the ninth with a lead-off single then later moved to second on a pass ball. Evan Brannon recorded the first out of the inning, Knight worked a called strikeout for the second out before Casey O'Quinn hit a 3-1 pitch to right field scoring Adam Godwin. The game ended on a ground out to short giving Knight his first save of the season and FAU the 6-5 victory.
Beam picked up his seventh win of the season to move to 7-3. He worked 7 2/3 innings, allowed 11 hits, four runs, three earned, struck out five and walked two. Knight pitched an inning and a third, gave up two this and an unearned run.