May 28, 2005
Florida Atlantic University advanced to the championship game of the Atlantic Sun Tournament for the third time in the past four games but was unable to defend its Atlantic Sun Title as it fell 8-0 to Stetson University at Melching Field. FAU defeated UCF earlier in the day 5-3 for a chance at the title. Florida Atlantic's record stands at 36-22.
FAU's first home run of the tournament came in the first inning off of the bat of Jonathon Shapland. The three-run homer came after Tim Mascia reached on an error and Robbie Widlansky drew a walk for the 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the frame UCF (42-18) picked up one run on one hit after the Golden Knights drew three walks off of FAU starter Chris Salberg. A Dee Brown fly ball to right field scored the first run after Tim Mascia lost the ball in the sun. The second run came on a Ryan Bono walk with the bases loaded.
Salberg only allowed one hit in the next four innings as he made his second start of the tournament. He earned the win in the first game of the tournament against Georgia State.
"(Salberg) had his best stuff all season in the bullpen and it could have been a one-run game," said head coach Kevin Cooney. "He pitched tremendous. It was one of the greatest pitching performances I've seen in our program."
Widlansky scored FAU's fourth run of the game in the third inning after a lead off double. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Alex Fonseca singled home Widlansky for the 4-2 lead.
Two straight singles in the sixth saw UCF draw to within one. Salberg would exit the game in the seventh as closer Mike McBryde entered.
Salberg threw six innings and allowed three runs on four hits and struck out five as he improved to 6-4 on the year.
Three double plays in the last four innings helped FAU erase two hits and a hit batter. McBryde would only allow on hit in the final three innings but used four fly out and three ground balls to move FAU into the championship game. McBryde picked up his 10th save.
Mike Billek pitched seven innings and allowed four runs on six hits and struck out four as he fell to 4-3.
Jonathon Shapland finished 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBI.
In game two, Ryan Heacox and Chris Ingoglia combined to throw a shutout for the Hatters (35-26). The two gave up four hits and walked two while Ingoglia struck out seven in 3 1/3 innings.
Mike McBryde tied the FAU record for hits in a season with a base hit in the sixth inning that chased Stetson starter Heacox from the game. Heacox worked 5 2/3 innings and allowed only three hits and a walk to the FAU batters. The defense took care of two of the base runners with double plays.
The Hatters put up five runs in the sixth inning to knock out FAU after allowing two runs over the first five innings.
McBryde finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate. Stetson was led by three hits from Brian Bocock and Tournament MVP, Shane Jordan.
Andrew Tomlin suffered the loss in his first career start after he worked 3 2/3 and allowed two runs on five hits and struck out four. Jason Costello, McBryde and Allen Knight all worked out of the pen for FAU.
FAU will need to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament which starts next weekend. The selection show will air on ESPN on Monday at 11:30 pm.