Owls split day-night doubleheader with Arkansas-Little Rock

Michael Roth

Second baseman Brendon Sanger picked up two runs and two hits to try and push past University of Arkansas-Little Rock in the second game of the doubleheader. FAU came up short to UARL 14-10. Photo by Michelle Friswell
Second baseman Brendon Sanger picked up two runs and two hits to try and push past University of Arkansas-Little Rock in the second game of the doubleheader. FAU came up short to UARL 14-10. Photo by Michelle Friswell

 

As the old saying goes, “you can’t stop a team when they have their hitting shoes on.”

In the first game of a doubleheader at the FAU ballpark on Saturday (Friday’s game was rained out), Arkansas-Little Rock experienced that first hand.

Compiling 19 hits and three home runs, the Owls trounced the Sun Belt Conference opponent Trojans, 9-4.

The homers came off the bats of designated hitter Levi Meyer, third baseman Ricky Santiago and left fielder Tyler Rocklein – who belted his team-leading eighth blast.

Recording the win for FAU was Jake Meiers, who went four innings, allowed four hits and struck out three batters. Meiers came on in relief of starter Austin Gomber in the fourth inning.

Sophomore lefty Bo Logan pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings, collecting his first save of the season.

Thanks to highly active bats (six players had at least two hits), the Owls got on top of Arkansas-Little Rock early, and never looked back.

Game two proved entirely different for the Owls, though.

Allowing 14 runs, FAU was defeated 14-10 by the Trojans – splitting the doubleheader.

It was a back and forth second game, as the Owls fell behind 6-3 entering the sixth inning, but then exploded with a six-run inning to jump out in front.

In the sixth, outfielder Corey Keller led off with a solo home run to left center field. Following that were singles by third baseman Ricky Santiago and shortstop Mitch Morales, an Arkansas-Little Rock fielding error, and back-to-back doubles by right fielder Geoff Jimenez and first baseman Mark Nelson.

Leading 9-6, it seemed the Owls had the contest in hand. However, the Trojans answered right back in the seventh inning with five runs on three hits, knocking relief pitchers Bo Logan and Michael Sylvestri out of the game.

Third baseman Ricky Santiago scores his first of two runs in Saturday's noon game against the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. The Owls beat UARL 9-4 to start the doubleheader. Photo by Michelle Friswell
Third baseman Ricky Santiago scores his first of two runs in Saturday’s noon game against the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. The Owls beat UARL 9-4 to start the doubleheader. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Arkansas-Little Rock tacked on another three runs in the eighth inning, forcing the Owls into a deficit that they were unable to recover from.

Logan took the loss for FAU, his first of the season (4-1). Jeremy Strawn started the game, but turned in a lackluster performance, allowing eight hits and five earned runs in just over three innings of work.

Owls batters totaled 14 hits, with Keller and second baseman Brendon Sanger providing homers. Morales, who leads the team in hits, had two more, going two-for-five from the plate.

After today’s games, FAU’s overall season record now stands at 28-18. Their record in the Sun Belt Conference is now 13-10.

As part of FAU’s Senior Day festivities, eight seniors were honored by having their jersey numbers painted on the field.

The senior class –– pitchers Michael Sylvestri, Greg Bennis, Jake Meiers and Hugh Adams, catcher Mike Spano, outfielders Corey Keller and Nathan Pittman, and first baseman Mark Nelson –– helped lead the Owls to two Sun Belt Conference regular season titles and an appearance in the 2010 Gainesville regional tournament. As a collective, they’ve been a part of 128 wins, including 69 victories, going into this weekend.

The Owls close out its three-game series against Arkansas-Little Rock on Sunday, May 5. First pitch is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.