FAU staves off NCAA Regional elimination with 14-6 blowout of Canisius

Zack Kelberman

Outfielder Nathan Pittman picked up five runs and four RBIs to lead the Owls past the Canisius 14-6. Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Outfielder Nathan Pittman picked up five runs and four RBIs to lead the Owls past the Canisius 14-6. Photo by Michelle Friswell.

The Owls’ bats were conspicuously quiet during Friday’s NCAA Tournament-opening 7-2 loss to Towson.

That would change on Saturday.

Belting out 14 runs, 12 hits, and three homers, FAU (40-21) drubbed Canisius College, 14-6, staving off elimination in the Chapel Hill Regional bracket.

It didn’t take long for the Owls’ offense to make its mark against the Golden Griffins.

In the first three innings, FAU combined for eight runs, in large part to outfielders Nathan Pittman and Corey Keller. Both players blasted three-RBI home runs in consecutive innings, giving the Owls a comfortable 8-2 advantage.

Keller wasn’t done there, however.

The senior right fielder added another home run –– a solo shot –– as part of a three-run ninth inning. He finished 2-for-5 from the plate, with four RBIs and three runs scored.

Pittman matched Keller’s efforts, also totaling four RBIs as he went 3-for-5 on the afternoon. Designated hitter Levi Meyer and first baseman Mark Nelson each contributed with two RBIs.

The impressive outing from FAU’s hitters wasn’t wasted by its pitching.

Sophomore southpaw Austin Gomber turned in a fine game, going 7.2 innings, allowing seven hits, three runs, and striking out two. He picked up his eighth win of the season (8-4).

Owls relievers Gregg Bennis and Jimmy Tournabene handled the last 1.1 innings, holding the Golden Griffins in check.

With the victory, John McCormack records his first 40-win season as FAU’s head baseball coach.

FAU plays another NCAA Regional elimination game against Towson on Sunday, June 2. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Chapel Hill, N.C.