May 17, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - A five-run second inning pushed No. 30 UAB to salvage an 8-6 win against the Florida Atlantic University baseball team on senior day on Saturday at the FAU Baseball Stadium.
Eight FAU seniors: Kevin Alexander, Andrew Archer, Robert Buckley, Alex Koji, Levi Meyer, Tyler Rocklein, Jeremy Strawn and Jimmy Tornabene were honored for their time as an Owl in a pregame ceremony. The octet combined for 457 games over their careers and won multiple championships.
FAU's season came to a close as the Owls (28-25, 14-16 C-USA) finished in ninth place in the Conference USA standings, one spot out of the tournament.
Rocklein led the Owls on Saturday, going 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple, a pair of RBI and two walks. Buckley also had two hits and a run while Meyer picked up a walk, RBI and a run.
Alexander, who earned a win and a save in Friday's doubleheader, struck out three and did not allow a hit in his two innings in relief. Tornabene allowed one run while Koji struck out the only batter he faced to leave runners stranded for the Blazers (35-19, 20-10 C-USA).
Sophomore Billy Endris had a career-high four hits and scored a run, giving him seven hits in the last two games.
After UAB's five-run second, Stephen Kerr singled in the bottom of the third for the Owls. He came in to score on a groundout by Ricky Santiago before Brendon Sanger drew a two-out walk. Rocklein then hit his C-USA-leading fourth triple of the year to plate Sanger, cutting the lead to 5-2.
UAB tacked on two more in the fifth before the Owls responded in the sixth. Buckley singled up the middle and Meyer walked to put two on with one out. Esteban Puerta hit an RBI single to score Buckley and moved Meyer to third, who then scored on a sacrifice fly by Kerr.
The Blazers extended their lead once more with a single run in the seventh. In the bottom of the frame, Sanger was hit by a pitch, Rocklein walked and CJ Chatham hit a bunt single to load the bases with one out. Meyer hit a sac fly to center to allow Sanger to score his second run of the game, cutting the lead back to 8-5.
Endris led off the eighth with a single to left center and came around to score on another RBI single by Rocklein to make it a two-run game.
Puerta and Endris hit back-to-back singles and Kerr walked all with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to put the tying run in scoring position, but the UAB closer Cameron Rose was able to end the threat with a strikeout to save the game.
Rocklein hit .583 on the weekend with six RBI, seven hits, four walks and two runs scored.
With the victory, UAB locked up the second seed in the Conference USA tournament.