Baseball: Owls sweep second straight Conference USA series versus Old Dominion

After Monarchs scored the series’ first four runs, the Owls outscored them 24-4.


FAU senior left fielder Christian Dicks runs to catch a fly ball early in the Owls’ matchup against the Cardinals on March 2. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic baseball swept Old Dominion University in Virginia this weekend to win its eighth straight conference game.

The Owls (21-4, 8-1 C-USA) entered the weekend ranked 17th nationally and in a first place tie for the conference lead with the University of Southern Mississippi.

Starting pitchers, sophomore Marc Stewart and junior Sean Labsan, allowed one combined run in the final two games of the series. Stewart allowed three hits in seven innings of work in Saturday’s 3-1 win, while Labsan threw six shutout innings in Sunday’s finale.

Senior pitcher Brandon Rhodes didn’t have the same success in the series’ opener. The Monarchs jumped on him for four first inning runs. His offense had his back though, scoring 10 runs to win 10-7.

Chatham recorded six hits in 13 at bats over the weekend, including his second home run of the season.

Hitter of the Weekend: Tyler Frank: The freshman catcher only played in two games over the weekend, but went 4-for-7 with four RBIs and one run scored.

Pitcher of the Weekend: Sean Labsan: One week after throwing six shutout innings in a Sunday series finale to improving to 3-0 on the season, the junior pitcher threw another six-inning shutout and is now 4-0.

“Goat” of the Weekend: Brandon Rhodes: The senior pitcher allowed six runs in five innings. All other FAU pitchers allowed a combined two runs in 22 innings.

The Owls travel to Orlando on Tuesday, April 5, to take on the University of Central Florida at 6:30 p.m.

Here’s a recap of each game:

Game One: FAU 10, ODU 7

The Owls answered Old Dominion’s four-run first inning in the top of the third inning.

Senior left fielder Christian Dicks knocked in the first two runs with a single to right field. Junior first baseman Esteban Puerta followed Dicks with an RBI single of his own.

Dicks scored the tying run when junior third baseman Austin Langham doubled to center field.

The two teams swapped three runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the score at seven. FAU junior second baseman Stephen Kerr accounted for one of those runs with his team-leading fourth home run of the season.

He would score the eventual game-winner in the eighth inning when he crossed the plate on a Chatham single.

Senior pitcher Robbie Coursel recorded the win to improve to 3-0 on the season.

Dicks finished the game 2-for-3 with three runs scored and four RBIs.

Langham added two hits and two RBIs of his own.

Game Two: FAU 3, ODU 1

The Owls won all six games that Stewart started this year, and Saturday’s game wound up not breaking that trend. He allowed three hits and one run in seven innings.

Frank scored the first of the Owls’ three runs  — all of which came in the third inning — on a Kerr groundout. Senior center fielder Billy Endris singled and scored on a Chatham home run.

Chatham and Frank both hit 2-for-4 in the game.

Junior Cameron Ragsdale closed the game in the ninth to pick up his eighth save of the season.

Game Three: FAU 11, ODU 0

After the Owls scored two in the second inning, Puerta stretched the lead to four in the third inning with a home run to left field.

Jose Bonilla Traverso doubled in the fourth inning to score Lashley, 5-0.

In the seventh inning Frank stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. He doubled to clear the bases and score all three runners, making the score 8-0.

The Owls scored their final three runs in the eighth inning behind a Dicks’ single and a Puerta two-run double.

Puerta recorded four RBIs and three runs while going 4-for-5 from the plate.

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @feeney42.