May 24, 2007
On the second day of action at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, Florida Atlantic University used a four hit, four RBI performance by Daniel Bomback to defeat Western Kentucky University 7-6 on Thursday morning in Mobile, AL. The Owls will again play the early game on Friday.
The Hilltopers (25-30) scored in the first inning after the Owls nearly got out of the inning with a double play. Casey Hamilton hit a grounder to FAU shortstop Nick Arata with a runner on third to plate his first of two RBI on the day. The Owls got a runner out at second but Hamilton beat the throw to first to give WKU the 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, FAU (36-21) got things started with a Daniel Cook double. Bomback followed that up with a two-run homer down the right field line to regain the lead. It was the first homer for the Owls in the tournament.
An unearned run in the fourth tied the contest at two before FAU put up three runs in the sixth. Nick Arata reached on a single with one out before the top of the lineup did the damage. Cook picked up his second double of the day before Bomback drove home the first run of the inning with a single. Robbie Widlansky followed that up by tying the FAU season doubles record with his 23rd double of the year and plated two runs.
WKU answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame as FAU's Chris Salberg issued a leadoff walk. After picking up one of his eight strikeouts of the day, the Hilltopers picked up two singles and one run before Salberg got his second out with another strikeouts. Hamilton then picked up his second RBI of the game with a single to left field to bring the score within one run.
Salberg (7-2) earned the win after seven innings of work. The senior allowed four runs on six hits. Brandon Cooney entered in the eighth to strik eout the side and FAU extended its lead in the ninth with another two runs after a WKU error.
The two insurance runs came in handy as Western Kentucky put up two in the bottom of the ninth as Wade Gaynor hit a two-run homer. With two outs, WKU had the game-tying runner on first after being hit by a pitch before Mike Obradovich earned his third save of the year by recording the final out of the game.
Matt Ridings suffered the loss to fall to 7-3 after he threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on 10 hits and struck out three.
FAU will play the loser of the New Orleans/Middle Tennessee contest at 10 a.m. et on Friday. The winner of the morning game will play again at 5 p.m. et.