Baseball: FAU wins 2-of-3 at Marshall over weekend

Owls are one game behind Conference USA standings leaders.

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Baseball: FAU wins 2-of-3 at Marshall over weekend

Esteban Puerta catches a fly ball at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida during the 2016 season. The redshirt junior hit a grand slam in the Owls 13-1 victory over Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday night. Photo by Max Jackson

Esteban Puerta catches a fly ball at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida during the 2016 season. The redshirt junior hit a grand slam in the Owls 13-1 victory over Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday night. Photo by Max Jackson

Esteban Puerta catches a fly ball at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida during the 2016 season. The redshirt junior hit a grand slam in the Owls 13-1 victory over Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday night. Photo by Max Jackson

Esteban Puerta catches a fly ball at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida during the 2016 season. The redshirt junior hit a grand slam in the Owls 13-1 victory over Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday night. Photo by Max Jackson

Chris Libreros, Contributing Writer

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Florida Atlantic baseball won two of its three games on the road this weekend at Marshall University.

Following its first series loss of the season to the Charlotte 49ers last weekend, as well as an away loss at Florida Gulf Coast University, No. 16 Florida Atlantic (25-8, 11-4 C-USA) looked to bounce back against a Marshall team fresh off a series win over UTSA.

While looking to gain traction in a tight race at the top of the Conference USA standings against Rice University and the University of Southern Miss, FAU scored three runs in the 11th inning to win its third consecutive extra-inning game in the series opener on Friday.

The fourth place Marshall Thundering Herd (18-15, 8-7 C-USA) struggled to make the most of its opportunities in the first two meetings against FAU, only scoring five total runs on a combined 17 total hits.

That was until game three, where Marshall earned seven runs on a 12-hit performance that included a home run, propelling the Thundering Herd to its only win of the series.

With the exception of Sunday’s matinee matchup, FAU enjoyed success on both sides of the ball with senior pitchers Devon Carr and Brandon Rhodes earning their third and fifth wins of the season respectively.

FAU looks to even up its season series against Florida Gulf Coast in Boca Raton on Tuesday,  April 19, at 6:30 p.m.

Here’s a recap of each game:

Game One: FAU 6, Marshall 3 (11)

In its fifth extra-inning meeting in seven games, the Owls battled back from a 3-0 deficit to overcome the Thundering Herd on the road in their first meeting of the three game series.

The Owls earned three runs in the top of the 11th to win the game, including the game-winning single by junior shortstop C.J. Chatham who increased his total to a team leading 50 hits.  

Without recording a hit, Marshall jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, as a walk, stolen base and two sacrifice flies allowed junior center fielder Corey Bird to score.

After allowing Marshall to score again in the third and fifth innings, FAU answered back in the top of the sixth. Following back to back singles from Lashley and junior second baseman Stephen Kerr, sophomore catcher Gunnar Lambert scored on an RBI flyout to center field hit by senior center fielder Billy Endris for FAU’s first run of the game.

The Owls carried their momentum into the following inning, when two more runs were scored on RBIs from Frank and junior designated hitter Sean Labsan.

Pitching duties were split by Carr and and Senior Robbie Coursel, as well as sophomore Marc Stewart and junior Cameron Ragsdale.

Game Two: FAU 10, Marshall 2

FAU struck early in game two of the series as Lashley opened up the scoring with an RBI double to deep-right center in the second inning, scoring two runners. He scored later on to an Endris RBI single.

Following a first-pitch bunt single to lead off the third inning from senior left fielder Christian Dicks, junior first baseman Esteban Puerta hit a home run deep over the left field wall for his team leading fifth homer this year.

After scoring again in the seventh inning, the Owls scored three more runs in the ninth inning behind a double from Dicks and a single by Langham, extending their lead to eight runs closing the book on Marshall as part of a 11-hit night for FAU.

Rhodes struck out four batters in the six innings pitched for FAU before being relieved by sophomore Alex House and freshman Eric Keating. The Owls pitchers held Marshall to two runs on nine hits.

Game Three: FAU 2, Marshall 7

In a game three where FAU looked to sweep Marshall on the road, the Thundering Herd protected its home field behind 12 hits, including a three-run home run from sophomore third baseman Tyler Ratliff to help his team earn its only win of the series.

Labsan, who started the game on the mound for FAU, allowed six Marshall runs in three innings, including the three-run homer from Ratliff.

FAU was nearly shut out for the first time since May 9 of last year, until a two-run home run by Chatham in the eighth inning put FAU on the scoreboard.

Missed opportunities played a part in FAU falling just short of completing the sweep, as nine runners were left on base.

Christopher Libreros is a contributing writer with the University Press. To contact him on this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @ChrisIsAirborne.