Owls take the series opener, 4-1, over Louisiana-Monroe

Kadeem Granston

FAU (21-13, 8-5) defeated conference foe Louisiana-Monroe (17-14, 5-8) by the score of 4-1 in Boca Raton on Friday, April 15.

With conference rivals in town, FAU had to perform well to keep afloat in Sun Belt play. The Owls carried momentum from their 3-2 victory over the University of Central Florida on Tuesday night, into the first inning of Friday night’s game.

In the bottom of the first inning, shortstop Nick DelGuidice had an RBI double that drove home left fielder Alex Hudak and right fielder Andy Mee. The double gave DelGuidice his 53rd career two-bagger, which is two shy of William Block’s school record of 55. Later in the inning, DelGuidice was brought home by an RBI single from Mark Nelson to give FAU a 3-0 head start.

In the bottom of the second inning, DelGuidice scored again, driving Mee home to give the Owls a cushion. After the score, ULM pitcher Drew Granier struck out first baseman Mike Spano, and with the bases loaded, the Warhawks put together a double play to stop the Owls’ scoring.

Granier entered the game tied for the most strikeouts in the Sun Belt Conference, and he improved his record the rest of the game.

“[Granier] was as good as advertised,” said head coach John McCormack, referring to the pitcher’s complete game and nine strikeouts. “I’m glad we got him when we could.”

The Warhawks eventually got on the scoreboard in the fifth inning. Catcher Jarrett Hammond scored off an RBI single by Taylor Abdalla. FAU’s pitcher Ryan Garton stepped up his play after giving up the score to rival that of Granier.

The two teams had pitching battles for the rest of the game. Garton ended his game in the eighth inning with five strikeouts. Closer Hugh Adams replaced Garton, and with runners on first and second base, the Owls ended the game on a double play.

FAU and ULM continue series play Saturday, April 16, in Boca Raton.