May 17, 2011
Boca Raton, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team helped its cause on the national stage by knocking off No. 15-ranked University of Miami 7-4 on Tuesday evening at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Fla.
The win marked the first time, since 1984, that the Owls had won a three-game season series against the Hurricanes. FAU also defeated Miami on February 23 when the Hurricanes were ranked No. 20. FAU improved to 31-20 on the season. The Hurricanes fall to 32-19 overall.
Florida Atlantic got a quality starting pitching performance from sophomore Jake Meiers and used 11 evenly placed hits to score runs in four of the nine innings.
The Owls grabbed the early lead on a solo home run by senior shortstop Nick DelGuidice in the second inning. It marked the fourth home run of the season for the Miami native. FAU added to its lead on a sacrifice fly by senior outfielder Andy Mee, scoring senior designated hitter Eddie Cassidy later in the frame.
Senior second baseman Raymond Church added to the lead with a solo home run in the third inning to give FAU a 3-0 advantage.
The host Hurricanes cut the deficit to one run as Dale Carey drove in two runs with a fourth inning single.
However, this was a night that FAU responded to every Miami challenge. FAU answered the host's fourth inning rally with two runs in the top of the fifth and a Miami run in the seventh with two runs in the eighth inning.
The Owls answer in the fifth inning came when senior pinch-hitter Joey Burkhalter singled through the right side of the infield to plate senior first baseman Dan Scheffler. DelGuidice would score his second run of the game after a failed picked off attempt by Miami reliever Javi Salas.
The Hurricanes scored a run in the bottom half of the seventh inning only to see the Owls once again answered in the top of the eighth inning with Mee's RBI double to left field which plated senior third baseman Sean Bukovich for a 6-3 lead. Junior catcher Mike Albaladejo scored on a sacrifice fly by Church to right field to give the Owls a four-run cushion.
Miami did score a run in the ninth and brought the game-winning run to the plate before junior reliever Hugh Adams got Cade Kreuter to groundout to third base with the bases loaded to end the game.
Meiers kept Miami hitters off balance throughout much of the night, scattering seven hits and allowing one earned run in 6.1 innings. The right hander avenged a March 15 loss at Miami to pick up his fourth victory on the season.
Bukovich tallied three hits while DelGuidice and Church each had two hits. Church and Mee drove in two runs apiece as part of the Owls offensive attack.
Miami starting pitcher Stephen Ewing suffered his second loss to FAU after allowing three runs in four innings. He dropped to 7-2 on the year.
Florida Atlantic returns to the diamond in Miami for the regular-season finale weekend series against Sun Belt Conference rival FIU, beginning 7 p.m., Thursday, May 19. Broadcast details of the game can be found at www.fausports.com.
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