May 24, 2002
Florida Atlantic University (43-17) earned two wins in the Atlantic Sun Tournament to advance to the finals on Saturday against UCF. FAU defeated Jacksonville University (27-31) in a dramatic come-from-behind 6-4 victory before playing Stetson (42-17) in the nightcap. The offense allowed FAU to take a 10-3 win.
In game one, FAU avenged their Thursday loss to Stetson University as they defeated the Hatters by collecting 19 hits and 10 runs, with three in the first. The win was the second of the day for FAU.
Gabe Somarriba started the game by being hit by a pitch. Somarriba would eventaully be hit a second time and would tie his season record of being hit 27 times. FAU gathered four singles in the first and picked up two RBI from Rusty Brown as he singled through the left side.
After adding another run in the third, Florida Atlantic would come up big in the sixth with four runs as the team batted through the lineup. The first five batters would reach base, but none received hits.
Nelson Lopez started for FAU and pitched 6 innings, his longest outing of the season and tied his career record. Lopez, a senior from Miami Lakes, FL, only allowed two hits and two runs and struck out three as he improved to 1-1.
A three-run rally with two outs and two strikes in the ninth led to Florida Atlantic's second
victory at the Atlantic Sun conference tournament. With one out in the top of the ninth, Matt Pali
got his first hit of the tournament, a single to left field to give FAU life. Jeremiah Creech entered
the game to pinch run for Pali and advanced to second on a Derek Hutton walk. FAU's hope
seemed to dwindle as Robert Orton flied out to left field to leave FAU with only one out left until
elimination from the tournament. Two seniors then extended their careers as Bobby Spano tied
the game with an RBI single to right field, his second hit of the day, to score Creech and move
Hutton to third.
Gabe Somarriba then had his fifth hit of the tournament with a game-winning single up the middle to score two and give FAU their 21st come-from-behind victory of the season 6-4 in game one.
Mike Cox hit his eighteenth homer of the season in the win.
Tim McNab came out of the pen in the eighth to earn the win, his second of the year. The senior from Cooper City, FL pitcher 1 2/3 innings and allowed two hits.
The Championship game will take place at 1 pm at Melching Field in DeLand, FL. FAU will take on the University of Central Florida and will need to take two wins from the Golden Knights to earn the crown. UCF has not lost in the tournament.