Baseball: Esteban Puerta, Tyler Frank lead FAU to three-game sweep over Monmouth

The Owls start a season 3-0 for the second time in three years.

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Junior pitcher Alex House threw his second complete game of the season in his team's win over Marshall on April 14, 2016. Alexander Rodriguez | Contributing Photographer

Hans Belot Jr., Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic baseball opened up its 2017 season with a three-game sweep over Monmouth University.

Senior first baseman Esteban Puerta recorded seven hits in 12 at-bats, two walks, 11 RBIs, five runs scored and two home runs in the three games for the Owls (3-0). Sophomore Tyler Frank hit 10-for-17 with six runs and seven RBIs.

Here is a recap of each game this weekend:

Game 1, Monmouth 6, FAU 16:

FAUs defeated Monmouth Friday night 16-5 in their season opener.

Game 2, Monmouth 1, FAU 6:

FAU scored four of its six runs in the second inning, as freshman left fielder Gary Mattis notched his first career RBI on a fielder’s choice, and fellow first-year outfielder Eric Rivera did the same the very next at-bat with a single through the left side of the infield. Frank made it 3-0 with a single of his own and senior right fielder Jared Shouppe capped off the inning with an RBI sacrifice fly.

Rivera later extended the lead for the Owls in the fourth inning, after Puerta singled out to right field. Monmouth would cut the deficit in the seventh, as Clay Koniencki scored an unearned run on a catcher’s interference call.

The Owls would put the nail in the coffin in the eighth inning, when Frank singled to right field allowing Mattis to score the sixth run of the game.

Junior pitcher Jake Miednik gave up only the unearned run, and struck out eight in his FAU debut. Puerta drove in a run in the fourth inning with a single, giving him his sixth RBI in two days.

Game 3, Monmouth 10, FAU 12:

The Owls started Sunday afternoon’s affair similar to how it started its first game of the season, with three runs in the first inning.

Puerta homered in Frank to take a 2-0 lead, then a double from freshman designated hitter Aldrich DeJongh knocked in the third run.

The two teams then combined for 13 runs in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth inning. Frank hit his first home run of the season in the Owls six-run third while Puerta hit a three-run double.

Sophomore pitcher Nick Swan, who allowed two runs in the first three innings, was tagged for five runs in the fourth inning before recording an out. The Hawks’ seven-run fourth inning closed their deficit down to one run, 10-9.

The Owls scored a run in each of their following two innings, one off of a Frank single and the last from a Stephen Kerr home run. It was the senior second baseman’s first of the year after hitting a career-high five in 2016.

FAU will play Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m. in Daytona Beach.

Hans Belot Jr. is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @Don_Phenom_.