June 5, 2004
Florida Atlantic University (47-16) stayed alive at the NCAA Coral Gables Regional with a 10-2 win over NC State (36-24) behind a complete game effort from West Palm Beach native Will Mann. Mann allowed one earned run on eight hits as he struck out a career-high nine batters and walked only two.
Mann (5-0) made his sixth start of the season against the Wolfpack and had his second outstanding start in post-season play. The right-hander did not allow a hit until the fifth inning when Jason St. Julien singled to left field. FAU turned its first double play of the night to get out of the inning.
"To have the opportunity to win this tournament we had to throw Will tonight and Randy Beam tomorrow," said head coach Kevin Cooney. "Will pitched a magnificent game and set them down early to give our offense a chance to get going."
After being held hitless in the first two innings, FAU posted two runs in the third on two base hits and left the bases loaded. But the momentum shifted as FAU posted five runs in the fourth inning as the team batted through the order. The first seven batters reached base and Derek Hutton, Tim Mascia and Rusty Brown each recorded RBI to blow open the lead to 7-0. Brown recorded one of his two doubles in the inning as he claims the FAU record for career doubles with 51. He takes over the lead from Kevin Connacher who claimed the record in 1997.
Tremendous defensive play by Jeff Fiorentino in right field robbed the Wolfpack of two hits in the last two innings to hold N.C. State to eight hits.
In his first career start, Joey Devine (0-4) suffered the loss after serving as the team's closer for the season.
With the win, FAU advances to the championship game of the Regional. The team will face the University of Miami at 1 pm. Florida Atlantic must defeat the Hurricanes twice to win the Regional while Miami remains undefeated in the bracket and needs only one win to advance to the Super Regional.
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