May 25, 2005
Florida Atlantic University won its first game at the Atlantic Sun Tournament by defeating no. 5 Georgia State 11-1 on Wednesday afternoon behind a six inning outing by Chris Salberg. The left-hander did not allow a run and struck out five to improve to 5-4.
Defensive mistakes caused the Panthers (25-31) to fall behind early as two runs scored in the first inning. FAU (34-20) did not pick up a hit as Romas Hicks walked three batters and three GSU errors gave FAU the early momentum and 2-0 lead.
The team tacked on an addition run in both the second and third innings before breaking the game open in the fifth inning with six runs. Alex Fonseca (Tallahassee, FL) and Justin Martin (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) both picked up hits to start the inning before a Tyler Stevens RBI bunt put up the first run of the game. The major blow to the GSU's pitching staff came when Jordan Hafer hit a two-run double down the right field line for the 7-0 FAU lead.
Hicks left the game after facing Hafer. He fell to 5-7 after he allowed eight runs on eight hits and walked six in 4 1/3 innings. His replacement Brent Everett also ran into trouble as he gave up base hits to the first two batters he faced, Mike McBryde and Tim Mascia. Both hits drove in a run to extend the lead.
McBryde led the team as he went 3-for-5 at the plate , while Hafer finished the afternoon with three RBI.
While the FAU offense was busy rounding the bases, the pitching staff held the Panthers in check. Salberg worked his way out of trouble in the first three innings but then settled down to only allow one hit in the next three. Salberg last faced the Panthers on Saturday when he earned a win with six innings of work.
"Salberg came out and pitched well early," said head coach Kevin Cooney. "We also scored early and let everybody breathe easier."
Costello entered in relief in the seventh and gave up the only run to GSU on two doubles in the frame.
FAU will face the winner of Wednesday's 7 pm game between no. 3 UCF and no. 4 Stetson at 7 pm on Thursday.
Notes: It was the fourth straight time that FAU has defeated GSU in the past week. Mike McBryde needs three hits to tie FAU's single season record. The sophomore currently has 92. Keith Foley holds the record with 95 hits in 1983.