MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee scored five combined runs in the fourth and fifth and held Florida Atlantic University baseball to five hits in Friday’s 6-2 win over the Owls. The loss marked the first in an opening game of a series against a Conference USA opponent this season.
“Tonight is a tough loss, you have to give credit to their starting pitcher, he made the pitches tonight when it counted,” said Head Coach John McCormack. “This is a really important series and we need to be ready to go tomorrow.”
The Turning Point
Tyler Frank led off Friday’s game by slicing a 2-2 pitch the opposite way and over the rightfield fence for a quick 1-0 FAU (31-15-1, 15-9-1 C-USA) lead. But the Blue Raiders (25-23-1, 10-14-1 C-USA), on a strength of a two-run shot by Aaron Aucker in the fourth, took a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
MT scored twice more in the fifth, and only in the eighth did FAU get multiple runners on. They chased starter Jake Wyrick after two walks, a run scoring on an error, and a David Miranda single to bring the tying run to the plate. But closer Drew Huff induced a flyout to end that threat, and worked around a leadoff single by Gunnar Lambert in the ninth to earn the save.
- Frank’s 10th home run of the season was his third in the first inning of a game, and second leading off a contest. He nearly had another in the fifth, but was robbed at the wall
- Cody Wilson had two hits in his first two at-bats
- Five runs and the loss were charged to Vince Coletti, now 2-4 on the year
- Nick Swan had a superb relief outing. With second and third and two outs in the fifth, he struck out back-to-back batters to extinguish that threat
- He would retire the next eight, for 10 in a row, until a solo shot ended the scoring. After the next out, his final line was 3 2/3 innings, just the one hit and run, and five strikeouts
Game two begins at 5 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. Next weekend, FAU hosts WKU at FAU Baseball Stadium, beginning Thursday. To buy tickets, call 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visit www.fausports.com/tickets/baseball-tickets.html.