Owls hang on in 9-8 victory over No. 25 Florida Gulf Coast University

Zack Kelberman

Shortstop Mitch Morales assisted the team with one run and one RBI in Tuesday's 9-8 win over Florida Gulf Coast University. Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Shortstop Mitch Morales assisted the team with one run and one RBI in Tuesday’s 9-8 win over Florida Gulf Coast University. Photo by Michelle Friswell.
It was a close call, but FAU again knocked off a ranked opponent.

Sparked by a five-run sixth inning, the Owls (5-3) hung on to defeat No. 25 Florida Gulf Coast University, 9-8, on Tuesday night at FAU Baseball Stadium.

Trailing 5-2 heading into the sixth, right fielder Corey Keller got things going with a leadoff single. After an error put left fielder Tyler Rocklein on base, three straight hits followed — back-to-back doubles by shortstop Mitch Morales and second baseman Sean Murrell, and a single by center fielder Nathan Pittman.

FGCU would change pitchers, but it wouldn’t stop FAU. DH Levi Meyer singled to right field, plating Pittman and putting the Owls ahead 7-5.

FAU tacked on a run in each of the next two innings, and went into the ninth ahead 9-5.

This is where the game became tight.

Owls sophomore pitcher Bo Logan allowed two hits and a walk before he was replaced by the senior, Hugh Adams. Adams would hit a batter, let up a sacrifice fly and single, pushing the score to 9-8.

Catcher Mike Spano (left) and closer Hugh Adams (right) celebrate after the last play that secured the Owls' victory over FGCU. Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Catcher Mike Spano (left) and closer Hugh Adams (right) celebrate after the last play that secured the Owls’ victory over FGCU. Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Ultimately, though, Adams got FGCU’s Tito Mendoza to ground out, ending the game and recording his second save this season (17th of his career, a new school record).

Junior pitcher Kevin Alexander got the win for FAU, but didn’t have his best outing. He was blasted for three earned runs in just 2.2 innings of duty.

While the Owls’ pitching was suspect, their bats certainly came to life.

Three players — catcher Mike Spano, Murrell, and Meyer — each knocked in two RBIs, while Pittman was three-for-four from the plate and totaled a pair of steals. In all, FAU had 12 hits on the night.

This was the Owls’ second consecutive win following a three-game losing skid.

FAU plays at Coastal Carolina on Friday, March 1 in the first game of the Caravelle Resort Tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.