MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Florida Atlantic University baseball team matched their season high in runs, rapping eight extra base hits and scoring 14 runs from the fifth inning on, in a 17-9 win Saturday night against Middle Tennessee to even up the series heading into Sunday.
“What an offensive game, the guys swung it really well, and we did enough on the mound to get the win,” said Head Coach John McCormack. “The guys kept fighting and I am proud of their effort today.”
The Turning Point
It was a 3-2 game in favor of FAU (33-15-1, 16-8-1 Conference USA) heading into the top of the fifth, and a three-run home run by Tyler Frank pushed the cushion to 6-2. Middle Tennessee (25-24-1, 10-15-1 C-USA) stormed back with four in the home half, with a three-run homer of their own by Aaron Aucker to tie it up. But it only took two batters for the Owls to regain the lead, when Eric Rivera drew a leadoff walk in the top of the sixth, and Gunnar Lambert brought him in with a double to right-center.
Two more for FAU in the seventh, on a solo home run by David Miranda, and a fielding error, pushed them into double digits. MT got three in the bottom, cutting it to one at 10-9, but wouldn’t score again. Meanwhile, the Owls got three more in the eighth (on a two-out, three-run shot by Miranda) and four in the ninth (highlighted by a Frank two-run double) to win going away.
- The Owls had five home runs, one off their season high. The day’s scoring began in the top of the second with two of them: trailing 2-0, Lambert tied it with a two-run shot, and Jared DeSantolo gave FAU their first lead with a solo blast
- Frank knocked in a career-high five runs, Miranda four and Lambert three
- The first five batters in the lineup scored a combined 11 runs: Cody Wilson two, Frank two, Miranda two, Rivera three and Lambert two
- Not to be outdone, the last two hitters in the lineup each scored twice: Richie Nizza and Andru Summerall
- Summerall’s two-out ninth-inning single plated Joe Montes, meaning each Owl scored at least once on the night
- All nine Owls reached base as well, all at least twice, and seven three times each
- Blake Sanderson threw 4 2/3 innings in his start, and of the five hits against him, three were infield singles
- Drew Peden got the victory and is 8-1 this season
- Jordan Poore threw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, and Marc Stewart shut the door with a 1-2-3 ninth
The rubber match of the series starts at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sunday afternoon. Following that, just three games remain on the regular season schedule, in Boca Raton beginning May 17 when the Owls host WKU at FAU Baseball Stadium. To buy tickets, call 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visit www.fausports.com/tickets/baseball-tickets.html.