FAU sweeps the Wildcats, but that won’t be enough

The FAU baseball team started the season perfect with a sweep of Bethune-Cookman.

The Blue Wave began the 2003 season ranked 24th in the country and wanted to prove to the nation that they are for real. The only problem is that they started with a series against instate rival Bethune-Cookman.

FAU made quick work of the Wildcats in game one even though it took two days to finish the game. With four runs in the 1st inning and three more in the 3rd, FAU was on their way to an 11-4 victory.

The game was delayed until Saturday afternoon due to a heavy fog that rolled into the stadium. The fog was so dense that players on the bench could not see the outfield and outfielders could not see home plate.

The second game of the series saw FAU jump out to another big lead as Matt Pali’s two run home run, FAU’s first of the season, put the Blue Wave up 8-2 in the 8th inning.

Bethune-Cookman would not go away that easy, facing three FAU pitchers and putting up four runs in the 9th.

With two outs, a runner on second and third, and the tying run at the plate closer Chris Saxton made Wildcat hitter Sharbel Torres ground out to second base ending the threat and the game. FAU won 8-6.

In game three on Sunday Bethune’s luck ran out as the Blue Wave stormed out to a three run lead in the 2nd and with four more runs in the 5th routed Bethune Cookman 7-0 to complete the sweep.

So the Blue Wave swept Bethune-Cookman, but they were supposed to.

Last year this team lost to the Wildcats in a game they should have won, so at least for the moment the focus is where it should be.

FAU actually caught a break in this series. With the Wildcats comeback in game two the Blue Wave needed to have faith in their pitchers and find a way to pull out the victory. In succeeding in this they have built confidence for games to come against stronger opponents.

The Owls do not have the toughest schedule in the nation, so they need to win games. They also need to win most of these games convincingly so that voters will notice them for the polls and for post-season play.

Big games against conference teams Stetson and University of Central Florida are still to come and FAU needs to be prepared for close games but they also need to know how to put games away.

FAU learned a lesson with the second game of the series, and because of that lesson shutout Bethune-Cookman in the third game of the series.

What FAU needs to watch for is their game against Miami. Miami has been a thorn in the side of FAU’s baseball team as much as it has been for the basketball team.

When the basketball team beat Miami they went on a seven game losing streak. When the Blue Wave lost to Miami last year they followed up by losing games they should have won.

To be the best FAU will have to beat the best. Not that Miami is the best – scouting reports say UM has fallen, but they are still one on the biggest names on FAU’s schedule. To win in Miami would be huge, and this Blue Wave team could use that victory as a stepping-stone to Omaha.