Baseball: Owls rock Hurricanes 7-4

Mark Gibson

University of Miami (4-4) suffered its first loss to FAU (4-1) since 2008 as the Owls defeated the Hurricanes 7-4 in Boca Raton.

Coming off a big loss to University of Florida the previous night, FAU came out swinging.

Andy Mee knocked a solo home run in the bottom of the first as UM starting pitcher Steve Ewing struggled to get out of the inning. Left fielder Alex Hudak also contributed, knocking in a two-run RBI triple to give FAU a 3-0 lead early.

On the mound for FAU, starting right-handed pitcher Ryan Garton pitched four solid innings, getting out of bases-loaded jams in the first and fourth innings. Garton finished the day with three strikeouts, three walks and no runs, with only four hits allowed.

“It was so much more comfortable to go out there after the first inning with the three-run lead,” said Garton.

Second baseman Raymond Church extended his hitting streak to 14 games in the bottom of the second as he knocked in an RBI off a hard hit to right field. He finished the day going 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI.

In the bottom of the fifth with FAU up 4-0, Church made his way home after a hard hit to center field. The run came after Church stole second, followed by back-to-back Miami throwing errors. Hurricane pitcher Michael Rudman, who came in to pitch for Ewing, tried to pick off first baseman Mark Nelson at first base.

However, first baseman Brad Fieger lost the ball in the dirt, which gave Church the open window to run home, giving the Owls a 6-0 lead.

Miami’s first set of runs came off a three-run homer by designated hitter Rony Rodriguez in the top of the sixth inning. However, FAU answered in the bottom of the sixth as they scored two more runs. The first, a solo home run to right field by designated hitter Eddie Cassidy, and the second, on an RBI from Joey Burkhalter, made the score 7-3 going into the ninth.

Andy Mee came out of right field to close the game for the Owls. He allowed one run but successfully got out of the inning securing the 7-4 victory for FAU.

“The difference between tonight and last night was no errors,” said head coach John McCormack. “I hate to be a killjoy, it was a good night, but we still have 51 more games to play.”

FAU will play Stony Brook University on Friday, March 25, at 6:30 p.m. in Boca Raton.