Baseball: FAU defeats Maine for third consecutive victory

The Owls have now scored at least 11 runs in each of their last three games, and in four of their last five.


©JC Ridley/

Junior Marc Stewart notched his first victory of the season after throwing 5 2/3 innings against Maine on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics

Brendan Feeney, Managing Editor

Florida Atlantic baseball picked up its third consecutive victory after topping the University of Maine 11-3 on Wednesday night in Boca Raton.

Trailing by one early, the Owls (8-4-1) took advantage of Maine pitcher Chris Murphy’s inability to throw strikes in the second inning, using a hit-by-pitch and two walks to load the bases with no outs.

Freshman catcher Pedro Pages took advantage of a rare strike and slapped the ball into right field, scoring freshman Gary Mattis for the first run and, after the ball was misplayed by the right fielder, senior Sean Labsan to take a 2-1 lead.

Two batters later, senior Austin Langham tagged up from third base on a fly ball to the warning track off the bat of sophomore Tyler Frank for the Owls third run of the inning.

A Labsan single in the third inning and heads up baserunning by junior right fielder David Miranda helped FAU tack on two more runs over the next three innings. The junior took an extended lead off second base, and as Maine catcher Christopher Bec attempted to throw him out, Miranda took off for third and scored as the ball found its way to center field.

FAU struck for five more runs in the seventh inning, highlighted by a Miranda triple. The junior right fielder has now recorded 10 hits and scored eight runs over the team’s past five games.

“I have to applaud him. In the preseason he struggled a little bit, at a little bit of everything,” head coach John McCormack said. “He didn’t waver, he stuck to the plan and he got his shot … and now he’s going to cause some problems for us in a good way. We have some decisions to make.”

The junior right fielder was one of four Owls — along with senior Esteban Puerta, Mattis and Lasban — to score two runs in the game. Langham crossed home plate on three occasions.

The Bears (5-6) forced junior starting pitcher Marc Stewart out of the game after scoring a run and putting runners on the corners two outs into the sixth inning, but junior Weston Clemente induced a groundball and the Owls got out of the inning allowing only one run.

Stewart was credited with his first win of the season. He allowed two runs and struck out six batters over 5 2/3 innings of work.

“I thought his stuff was good, not great, but he did what he needed to do,” McCormack said.

The bullpen — Clemente, junior Drew Peden, sophomore Kyle Marman, sophomore Eric Keating and senior Cameron Ragsdale — held the Bears scoreless for the rest of the game.

The Owls run total marks the third straight game, and the fourth time in the past five games, that they have scored at least 11 runs.

“There’s some good offensive guys on this team,” McCormack said. “I know it’s only 13 games in, but it seems to be a pretty solid offensive team.”

The Owls will host the University of Toledo for a three-game series beginning on Friday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m.

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