Baseball: FAU sweeps Middle Tennessee, has won 10 of last 12

The Owls are one of three Conference USA teams to start conference play with a sweep.


Senior second baseman Stephen Kerr fouls off a pitch during the Owls game versus the Saint Louis Cardinals on March 2, 2016. Ryan Lynch | Outgoing Editor

UP Staff

Florida Atlantic baseball scored at least seven runs in all three games as it swept Middle Tennessee over the weekend.

The Owls (14-5-1, 3-0 Conference USA) have now won 10 of their last 12 games. Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee (8-11, 0-3 Conference USA) has now lost five straight.

Here is a recap of each game:

Game One: Middle Tennessee 6, FAU 7

Two runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings by the Owls erased an early four-run Blue Raiders lead, with the latter two coming on a home run off the bat off freshman Eric Rivera. Then, when Middle Tennessee pushed across one in the eighth, FAU quickly rebounded for two runs in the very next half-inning.

In the eighth inning, two runners reached with one out, when sophomore Tyler Frank was hit by a pitch and senior Austin Langham singled for his third hit of the night. Junior David Miranda knocked in the go-ahead run with a single of his own, then senior Stephen Kerr recorded an RBI with a fielder’s choice.

Langham, off on the pitch, slid under the tag attempt at home for a huge insurance run. Though Middle Tennessee scored in the ninth to cut it to one, senior closer Cameron Ragsdale induced a liner into the glove of Kerr with the bases loaded to save the victory.

Langham was 3-for-4 and also reached on a walk, and Kerr had three RBIs in his return after missing eight games due to injury.

Sophomore Eric Keating picked up the win, with a big flyout to strand the bases loaded in the Blue Raiders’ eighth. Also successful in relief was junior Mark Nowatnick, who struck out three batters while only allowing one hit in the sixth and seventh innings.

Game Two: Middle Tennessee 1, FAU 10

The game remained scoreless for the first four innings, until FAU had 15 batters come to the plate in the fifth inning, nine of whom scored.

Junior Kevin Abraham followed a home run from freshman Gary Mattis with a single, and was successfully sacrificed to second by Rivera. After a walk to Frank, Miranda made it 2-0 with a seeing-eye single.

The next three batters each knocked in multiple runs — Kerr with two on a double into the leftfield alley, senior Sean Labsan singled in two and senior Esteban Puerta hit a two-run home run the opposite way to right. The scoring ended on a walk to Langham with the bases loaded.

House pitched a season-high 7 2/3 innings, scattering eight hits and allowing only one run. He struck out five Blue Raiders.

All nine Owls starters notched hits, as Miranda and Mattis led the way with two each. All but one starter scored a run, and Mattis and Frank scored two apiece.

Kerr finished with three RBIs for the second straight game.

Game Three: Middle Tennessee 6, FAU 7

The Blue Raiders scored in six different innings, but were never able to put more than one runner across home plate in any of the innings.

FAU on the other hand, scored in five innings, but scored two runs in two of those frames, including a Puerta two-run home run in the eighth inning to take a 7-5 lead.

Puerta recorded three hits, two RBIs and scored three runs.

Like Friday’s game, Middle Tennessee was able to threaten Ragsdale in the ninth inning and put the tying run on third base, but came up one run short.

FAU will travel down to the University of Miami for its next game on Wednesday, March 22, at 6 p.m.

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_.