Baseball: Owls take two of three in series against Ohio State

Owls recieve first loss of the season, but rally behind offense and pitching

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Baseball: Owls take two of three in series against Ohio State

Michelle Friswell  | Associate Editor

Michelle Friswell | Associate Editor

Michelle Friswell

Michelle Friswell | Associate Editor

Michelle Friswell

Michelle Friswell

Michelle Friswell | Associate Editor

Ryan Lynch, Contributing Writer

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Despite losing their first game of the season, the Florida Atlantic Owls (6-1) took the other two games of their series against the Ohio State University Buckeyes (4-2).

The Owls, who may begin next week as a ranked team in the coaches poll, scored a total of 11 runs and gave up nine in the series.

Here’s what you need to know from each game:

Game One:

OSU 8 FAU 2

Kyle Miller got his second start of the season, while Ohio State sent out Tanner Tully to pitch. Miller lasted five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) and five hits, while walking one and striking out two.

“I thought the first two innings were good,” head coach John McCormack said of Miller’s performance. “Then the third inning came. He started to struggle. He couldn’t quite get his breaking stuff going. You have nights like this sometimes, but you hope there are only a few.”

Tully pitched 5 2/3 innings for the Buckeyes, giving up 11 hits but only two runs, while striking out one batter and walking none. Tully benefited from the four double plays that helped him work out of innings and leave a total of six FAU batters on base.

“Ricky [Santiago] hit the ball right on the screws right to the guy,” said McCormack on the second of the four double plays. “You sit on a breaking pitch, bang it one hop, and the guy’s right there, What are you gonna do?”

Junior outfielder Brendon Sanger, senior infielder Santiago and freshman outfielder Roman Collins each had two hits. Collins had the only two RBIs for the Owls.

Mental plagued the Owls early. Three fielding errors — a mental error by sophomore infielder CJ Chatham on a foul pop-up in the top of the third that let a runner score, and freshman outfielder Ryan Miller tripping while trying to get back to the base on a flyball and causing a double play in the bottom of the third all played into the Owls’ loss.

“We had the three physical mistakes, one of which did not matter in the first.” McCormack said. “But the mental errors were bad. We have to curtail those mistakes.”

Tully received the win, his first of the season, and Miller received the loss, his first of the season.

 

Game Two:

FAU 7, OSU 0

Drew Jackson was called on to pitch the second game of the series and did not disappoint the fans. The senior from Naples, Fla. pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up five hits while striking out four and walking one. Jackson paired with pitcher Devon Carr for a combined shutout, with Carr pitching the final two innings.

Travis Lakins got the nod for Ohio State, pitching six innings while giving up four runs (all earned) on six hits. He walked four and struck out none. In 33 plate appearances against Buckeye pitchers, FAU did not strike out a single time in the game.

FAU’s offense came alive in the middle game of the series, scoring seven runs on nine hits. Ricky Santiago was 3-for-5 with five RBIs, including a two-RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. The five RBIs are the most Santiago has hit so far this season. Stephen Kerr had one hit and scored three of the Owls’ seven runs during the game.

The Owls left 11 runners on base, as opposed to six in the previous game, but were able to get guys around the bases early. Kerr and Collins had a stolen base each. Jackson earned the win for the Owls, his first of the year, while Lakins received the loss.

Game Three:

FAU 2, OSU 1

Junior Robbie Coursel got the starting nod for FAU, and performed well in his second outing of the season. Coursel went 4 2/3 innings, giving up only one hit and no runs. It was an improvement from his previous start where he gave up 3 runs on 4 hits in 3 2/3 innings against the University of Connecticut on Feb. 15.

“I think Its the first start, he was a little on edge, he wanted to do so well,” said McCormack on Coursel’s changes from his first start. “This time he just relaxed, and let his stuff do what it does, he did a nice job.”

Ryan Riga started on the mound for the Buckeyes. Riga gave up a run on five hits in six innings of work. He struck out six and walked one.

Stephen Kerr struck out three times in four at bats. He did put the ball in play to score a run on an error at first base in the bottom of the eighth to put FAU up by two.

“Sometimes in matchups between pitchers and hitters, you see some guys well. I don’t think [Kerr] saw him real well,” said McCormack on Kerr’s performance.

Bo Logan closed out the game for the Owls, causing a little drama during the ninth in the process. Two straight Ohio State batters singled, followed by two fly outs. Junior infielder Craig Nennig singled in a run, pulling the Buckeyes within one. Logan would go on to strike out the next batter to end the game.

“Yea, thats what he’s out there for,” said McCormack on his closer. “ I wish it wasn’t as dicey as it was, but he did his job.”

Junior Seth McGarry got the win for FAU after pitching 1 2/3 innings in relief, giving up three hits and no runs. Riga received the loss for Ohio State, falling to 1-1 in two starts. Logan got the save, his first of the season.

Ohio State finishes the series on a two-game losing streak, while FAU comes out in a two-game winning streak and have won six of their first seven games. The Owls’ next game will be against the University of Florida on Feb. 24 at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.


Ryan Lynch is a contributing writer at the University Press. He can be reached at @LynchLagz on Twitter or [email protected]