Baseball: Owls drop opener 9-7 to Troy

Ryan Cortes

After two rain delays last night suspended Friday night’s series opener vs. Troy, the game was resumed Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The game began on Saturday as it left off on Friday–in the 4th inning and with FAU down 6-3.

The score changed, but the result did not, as FAU lost the opener to Troy, 9-7. Coming into the series, FAU trailed the Trojans by 3.0 games for first place in the Sun Belt Conference. With the loss, it is now impossible for FAU to tie Troy for the top spot in this series.

The resumed game pitted the same pitching matchup, with Troy’s Tyler Ray dueling with FAU’s reliever, Taylor Everist. Ray came into the game 9-0 with a 1.47 ERA, the most successful pitcher in the Sun Belt.

Whether it was the disjointed schedule or something intangible, Ray was not his usual self Saturday afternoon, surrendering 6 runs (3 earned) on 9 hits in 5.1 innings.

The Owls started right-hander Ryan Garton on Friday night and the junior lasted just 1.2 innings giving up 6 earned runs and 8 hits on 50 pitches.

When the contest was resumed Saturday afternoon, it appeared as if little had changed.

In the bottom of the 4th, Troy struck for 2 more runs, with an RBI double by shortstop Adam Bryant and a 2-run homerun by rightfielder Drew Prichard to extend its lead to 9-3.

Despite the offensive barrage from Troy, FAU was able to scratch away at the lead.

In the bottom of the 5th, Alex Hudak singled with the bases loaded to score Nathan Pittman and Raymond Church, making the score 9-5 in favor of Troy.

As the 6th inning began, FAU head coach John McCormack pulled Taylor Everist for Ahmed Garcia. The lefty reliever was able to provide 4 innings of scoreless relief to give FAU an opportunity to close the gap.

In the bottom of the 6th, rightfielder Andy Mee doubled into the gap in right centerfield, scoring catcherMikeAlbaladejo to make the score 9-6.

Following Mee’s double, Troy pulled Ray from the game in favor of lefty reliever Nathan Hill who would go on to pitch 3.1 innings and finish the game for the Trojans.

Despite the pitching change, FAU clawed away once more as Raymond Church singled up in the middle, scoring Mee and drawing FAU closer, 9-7.

After the 2 runs in the 6th, FAU would be unable to score again, as Hill’s deception fooled FAU hitters and allowed Tyler Ray to become 10-0.

FAU and Troy are set to square off for game 2, 30 minutes after the conclusion of this game.

 

Notes: With his double on Friday night, Nick Delguidice tied William Block for the school record of 55 doubles in his career…..Troy is now 11-0 in games started by Tyler Ray….Ryan Garton threw 50 pitches in 1.2 innings–Ahmed Garcia threw 48 pitches–in 4.0 innings…..Time of the game was 2 hours and 50 minutes between Friday’s 4 innings and the conclusion on Saturday.