Baseball: FAU falls to South Alabama 7-4 in series finale

Jordan Robrish

FAU second baseman Ricky Santiago went 2 for 3 with an RBI in the Owls 7-4 loss to South Alabama Photo by Michelle Friswell.

With the game tied at one in the bottom of the third inning, FAU first baseman Mark Nelson stepped into the batter’s box with the bases loaded to face South Alabama right-hander Jarron Cito. Nelson looked on with one out and a 2-2 count and hit a liner to the Jaguars shortstop, who turned an inning ending double play. The failed opportunity would cost the team, as FAU would end up losing the game by a final score of 7-4.

The Owls had an opportunity to sweep South Alabama after defeating the Jaguars in the previous two games of the series at FAU Stadium. “Offensively we weren’t good, swung at a lot of bad pitches, team got out of what we normally do,” head coach John McCormack said after the game. “We have got to be better. This shouldn’t have happened.”

FAU remains in first place in the Sun Belt Conference with a record of 22-10 (including 10-1 in conference play). The loss snaps the Owls six game winning streak and their undefeated record against Sun Belt teams. FAU relief pitcher Julian Loret de Mola (0-1) was credited with the loss, giving up three earned runs in the sixth inning, allowing the Jaguars to take a 6-3 lead. The winning pitcher for the Jaguars was starter Jarron Cito, who gave up four earned runs in seven innings.

FAU reliever Josh Gonzaga has a 5.59 ERA on the season. Photo by Michelle Friswell.

The starting pitcher for the Owls, left-hander Austin Gomber, (3-1) was credited with a no decision as Loret de Mola was brought in to pitch the sixth inning. Gomber left the game with the score tied 3-3 after five innings after giving up three runs on six hits. “I just didn’t have it today,” Gomber said following the loss. “I was falling behind to everybody from the start of the game. They were chasing pitches helping me out but I didn’t have my best stuff today.”

Head coach McCormack commented on the Owls loss on Sunday in their attempt to sweep Southern Alabama: “We did win two of three in this series, but when you lose the opportunity for a sweep, it leaves a sour taste your mouth. At least there is for me, I don’t know about anybody else.”

The Owls take on Florida Gulf Coast in Fort.Myers Tuesday at 6 p.m.