May 10, 2002
The bats came alive in Macon, Georgia as Florida Atlantic University and Mercer University combined for seven home runs as FAU defeated the Bears 12-11 in the first game of the conference series. With the victory FAU improves to 38-12, 21-5 A-Sun, while Mercer falls to 20-29, 11-13 A-Sun.
With one out in the first inning, FAU put eight consecutive runners on base with six hits and two walks. L.J. Biernbaum got the first hit of the game with a single to right field. Biernbaum then advanced to third on a stolen base and a throwing error by the catcher. Mike Cox walked to make it first and third with one out before Matt Pali and Rusty Brown followed with consecutive RBI singles. With two men on Jeff Fiorentino connected with his ninth home run of the season to put FAU up 5-0 in the middle of the first..
The Bears rallied back in the frame as they took the lead with six runs on six hits. A grand slam home run by Drew Starke and a solo shot by Luke Jackson gave Mercer the power they needed to take a 6-5 lead after the first inning.
Both pitching staffs settled down as the offenses were blanked through the next three innings.
Florida Atlantic took the lead for good in the fourth inning by adding three runs. Bobby Spano led
off with a walk and advanced to second on a Gabe Somarriba sacrifice bunt. L.J. Biernbaum
reached on a walk before a single to center field by Mike Cox drove in one run. Rusty Brown and
Jeff Fiorentino continued the entourage as they both had RBI singles.
Both teams posted runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth. Mike Cox and Rusty Brown dispersed solo home runs in the innings. Both players finished with three RBI, but Jeff Fiorentino gave FAU the spark as he finished with four RBI.
Chris Pillsbury started and earned the win improving his record to 9-1. The sophomore from Jacksonville, FL pitched six innings and struck out eight. Jim Cooney, Chris Della Rocco and Tom MacLane each saw time out of the bullpen before closer Tim McNab closed out the game with his 12th save.
The two teams will meet Saturday at 1 pm in a doubleheader to close out the three-game conference series.