Baseball: Owls top Blue Raiders 12-4

Kadeem Granston

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Florida Atlantic University (14-8, 1-0) started its weekend strong against Sun Belt Conference opponent Middle Tennessee State University (5-14, 0-1) winning 12-4 on Friday, March 25, in Boca Raton.

On a beautiful Friday evening, FAU had a rough start. The Blue Raiders stormed out of the gates in the second inning with two quick scores to take a 2-0 lead. The third inning did not change the Owls’ misfortune as Middle Tennessee advanced its lead with an RBI from Tyler Acker.

In the bottom of the fourth inning right fielder Andy Mee earned the Owls their first hit. That hit was followed by first baseman Dan Scheffler getting hit in the head by a pitch from Daniel Palo. Scheffler was later taken out the game and was transported to the hospital.

“We don’t want him to get seriously hurt,” said head coach John McCormack as he expressed his concern for Scheffler injuries.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, shortstop Nick Delguidice walked up to the plate with the bases loaded. He drove Mee and Scheffler home to give the Owls their first scores and bring them within one of Middle Tennessee at 3-2.

By the fifth inning, FAU tied up the game at four when Colby Gratton scored off a dropped ball by MTSU catcher Tyler Acker. The Blue Raiders responded in the top of the sixth inning with a RBI from shortstop Ryan Ford to give them back the lead.

Sean Bukovich, who was replacing Scheffler, started the bottom of the sixth with a hit. He was later brought home by third baseman Joey Buckhalter to tie the game at 4-4. The scoring did not cease, and the Owls’ gained their first lead on an RBI from centerfielder Colby Gratton. That was followed by a sacrifice fly and two more RBI’s to give FAU an 8-4 lead.

The Owl’s put the game out of reach in the eighth Inning as second baseman Raymond Church scored off a pitching error and Bukovich drove in both Mike Albaladejo and Mee. Delguidice finished the game scoring his third RBI give the Owls the 12-4 win.

FAU will play game two of a three game weekend series against MTSU on Saturday, March 26 at 4:00pm in Boca Raton.