May 17, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team moved closer to realizing its goal of winning the Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship with a commanding 12-2 victory on Thursday, May 17, to open a three-game home series against South Florida rival FIU at the FAU Baseball Stadium in Boca Raton.
The Owls used a six-run first inning to pick up its 18th league victory and fourth straight triumph over the Panthers this season. The team leads Arkansas State University by one game with two contests remaining. Another FAU victory or any ASU loss would give the team its second SBC regular-season title in the past three seasons, and, most importantly, the No. 1 seed for next week's conference tournament.
Thursday night's offensive performance marks the second straight game that Florida Atlantic has scored 12 runs, and the team's 16 hits are the most recorded in SBC action.
The Owls sent 11 batters to the plate to score six runs in the first inning. Senior outfielder Alex Hudak started the scoring barrage with a two-run home run to right field. The blast was Hudak's fifth of the season, but first in league play.
FAU added two more runs in the fourth inning, a run in the fifth inning and had a three-run sixth inning to build a 12-1 advantage.
That offense was more than enough to help senior right hander Ryan Garton to earn his ninth victory (9-3) and second over FIU this season. He closed out his home pitching career by scattering five hits across seven innings.
Junior reliever Jake Meiers tossed two innings in a valuable relief appearance.
Offensively, junior third baseman Kyle Newton led the potent offensive attack, going 3-for-4 with an RBI single and one run scored. Jimenez also tallied three hits with two RBIs and two runs scored. Pittman had three hits, while junior first baseman Mark Nelson recorded two hits in the victory.
FIU (31-22, 15-13 Sun Belt) was paced by Mike Martinez's two hits. Starting pitcher Eddy Pidermann suffered the loss, dropping to 8-3 on the season.
The series between the two rivals continues on Friday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m. before Senior Day will be conducted prior to regular-season finale on Saturday, May 19, at 1 p.m.
Live audio and statistics of Saturday's game can be found at www.fausports.com. For tickets contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.