May 15, 2002
Florida Atlantic University got revenge of Florida International University for a loss last week as FAU defeated the Golden Panthers 17-8 Wednesday night at FAU Stadium. FIU outhit the home team 15 to 12 but five errors cost the Golden Panthers 12 runs.
The game started off in a seesaw battle as Florida International jumped out early in the first with a 2-0 lead when Brad Eldred cleared the left field fence with his 24th homer of the season, his fourth straight in four games.
FAU tied the game in the bottom of the second when Rusty Brown connected on one of his two singles on the night. He moved to second when Jeff Fiorentino (Hollywood, FL) was hit by a pitch. Derek Hutton, who was playing his first game this season as a designated hitter, drove in both runners when he singled to right center.
Both teams posted a run in the third and FIU added another in the fourth before FAU seemed to break open the game with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. A single and two walks followed by an error and a sacrifice fly put FAU up for the first time in the contest.
Four straight singles by Matt Pali, Rusty Brown, Jeff Fiorentino and a two-run single by Shaen O'Connor put Florida Atlantic up by four in the fifth before Florida International battled back to tie the game in the sixth after collecting five hits off of FAU reliever Nelson Lopez.
FAU took advantage of a costly FIU error and a Mike Cox homer, his 15th of the year, in the sixth to post eight runs in the frame. They would eventually add another run in the seventh to bring the total to 17 runs. With the 17 runs, FAU has now scored 17 or more runs in seven games this season.
Jim Cooney received the win for FAU (2-0) after pitching 2 1/3 innings. He entered in the sixth to strike out the final out and then faced the minimum hitters allowed in the seventh and eighth. Eddie Young entered in the ninth to make his first appearance since February 10 as he retired the side.
Peter Kocur received his first decision of the season for FIU as he fell to 0-1.
Florida Atlantic will play their final home games of the season as they host Georgia State on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm and 1 pm.