May 22, 2013
LAFAYETTE, LA - Senior outfielder Corey Keller's RBI double in the bottom of the 3rd inning proved vital, as the Florida Atlantic University baseball team defeated Western Kentucky 5-4 to open the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at "Tigue" Moore Field on Wednesday.
The hit, which drove in Levi Meyer, came shortly after play resumed following a weather delay of approximately 45 minutes. FAU (36-20) led 4-0 at the time of the stoppage. Those four runs all came in the first inning. A Hilltopper fielding error, Meyer's first hit of the day and a walk of Mark Nelson loaded the bases to start the game for FAU.
That brought Tyler Rocklein to the plate. His sacrifice fly scored Nathan Pittman to give the Owls an early 1-0 lead. Brendon Sanger then drove in Meyer and Nelson with a triple to right center, making the score 3-0. Sanger later scored on a sac fly by Keller, accounted for the fourth run of the game.
First Team All-Sun Belt selection Austin Gomber was impressive in his start, allowing just one hit through five innings. He shut WKU out through seven, but allowed a solo homerun to lead off the eighth inning, cutting the lead to 5-1. Two of the next three hitters reached, before Gomber gave way to Kevin Alexander.
Alexander gave up a three-run homerun to trim the margin to one, 5-4, before recovering to retire the next two hitters and maintain the lead for the Owls. Hugh Adams, also a member of the All-Sun Belt First Team came on to pitch a perfect ninth inning. Adams took sole possession of the Sun Belt Conference record with his 29th career save.
Meyer and Sanger each had two hits, while Gomber won his sixth game of the season. The Owls will play the winner of Wednesday's Troy-Arkansas State game at 5 p.m. eastern on Thursday.
Live stats will be available at www.fausports.com.