May 8, 2005
Florida Atlantic University's Brandon Kloess picked up his second win in two weeks against a top-25 opponent when he combined with Mike Crotta to shutout no. 6 Georgia Tech 2-0 on Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Field. Kloess threw a career-high 6 1/3 innings and Crotta earned his first save of the season. FAU improves to 27-18, while GT falls to 34-13.
"It was a great game for Kloess," said FAU head coach Kevin Cooney. "He was able to keep Georgia Tech scoreless early which was very important for us."
Kloess (7-2) did not give up a Yellow Jacket hit the first time through the lineup. The sophomore did allow a hit until the fourth inning when Steven Blackwood singled up the middle to start the inning.
The Florida Atlantic offense put together two hits in both the third and fifth innings but could not push across a run. Derek Hutton led off the third with a double but was thrown out at third.
In the fifth inning with two outs, Daniel Terpak and Mike McBryde put together back-to-back hits but were left stranded on the bases. On the afternoon FAU left five men in scoring position and left a total of nine runners on base.
Kloess received help from the defense in the fifth inning. With one out GT picked up its second hit of the contest. He was eliminated from the base path as catcher Alex Silversmith threw Mike Trapani out at second trying to steal. Kloess issued his fourth walk of the game to the next batter Danny Payne who stole second base to move into scoring position. A single by Tyler Green allowed Payne to break for home but a perfect throw from centerfielder Tim Mascia saw Payne thrown out at the plate which shifted the momentum.
"Mascia throwing the runner out at the plate was the turning point of the game," said Cooney. Mascia started in an unfamiliar position in centerfielder for only the second time this season
The first run of the contest crossed the plate in the top of the sixth inning. Robbie Widlansky (Coral Springs, FL) led off with a single. He moved to second on a ground out and over to third on a Mike McKenna (Delray Beach, FL) single. A wild pitch by GT starting pitcher Ryan Turner allowed Widlansky to score. After Jonathon Shapland walked, Alex Silversmith loaded the bases with an infield single to the first baseman.
With senior Derek Hutton at the plate and relief pitcher Tim Gustafson on the mound, FAU coach Kevin Cooney called for a squeeze bunt. Gustafson threw an outside pitch that Hutton could not reach and McKenna was thrown out trying to steal home to end the FAU threat with a 1-0 lead.
Making his fifth start of the season, outfielder Daniel Terpak (Coral Springs, FL) came up with his first career home run in the top of the ninth. Down 0-2 in the count, the freshman battled back to a 3-2 count and then delivered the ball over the right field fence to increase the FAU lead to 2-0.
"Terpak hit a big home run," said Cooney. "It gave us a little cushion in the ninth."
Kloess worked a career-high 6 1/3 innings and did not allow a run as the Yellow Jackets picked up four hits and six walks while Kloess struck out six.
Crotta worked the final 2 2/3 and only allowed one runner on base. He did not allow a hit and struck out four.
"Crotta has struggled lately but entered the game in a key situation," said Cooney. "He came in against Tyler Greene, which wasn't a match up that we wanted but he came up big with a strikeout."
The win was the first since April 2, 2003 for FAU against a top-10 team. Florida Atlantic defeated no. 7 Miami, 5-3.
The shutout at Russ Chandler Stadium was the first for Georgia Tech since fellow Atlantic Sun member Stetson held the Yellow Jackets scoreless on March 4, 1988.
Florida Atlantic returns to action on May 11 against Florida International at 6 pm in Miami.