Baseball: Owls take 2-of-3 in Charlotte to win sixth straight series

FAU came back from a nine-run deficit on Friday to win in 12 innings.


FAU head baseball coach John McCormack talks to his players during their 2017 series against Charlotte. Ryan Lynch | Editor-in-Chief

UP Staff

Florida Atlantic baseball won two games in Charlotte over the weekend to pick up its sixth consecutive series victory.

Charlotte (17-15, 6-6 Conference USA) scored jumped out to a 9-0 lead in Friday’s game and a 10-0 lead in Sunday’s game. The Owls (21-9-1, 9-3 Conference USA) were able to come back in the first game, but fell in the series finale.

Here is a recap of each game:

Game one: FAU 13, Charlotte 10 (12 innings)

Charlotte scored four in the fourth, three in the fifth and two more in the sixth, and their starter Colton Laws had held FAU to just two hits at that point. But the Owls chipped away at the 49ers’ bullpen and closed the gap to 9-5 heading into the ninth inning.

The rally began when redshirt senior Jared Shouppe reached on an error and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Redshirt senior Esteban Puerta knocked him in with a single and later scored on a triple to the right field corner by redshirt junior David Miranda.

Then, with the Owls still trailing by two and down to their last out, senior Austin Langham launched a two-run home run over the fence in left to tie the game up at nine.

Both teams scored once in the 11th,. then in the top of the 12th, Shouppe legged out an infield single and stole second.

Puerta came through again with a two-run blast to left, and Miranda followed him with a homer of his own for the Owls’ first back-to-back home runs of the year.

Senior Cameron Ragsdale set down the 49ers 1-2-3 in the bottom half to close the game.

Miranda tied FAU’s season high with his 5-for-7 showing. He had three singles to go along with the triple and home run, and scored four runs.

Langham and senior Stephen Kerr were each 3-for-5 and scored two runs apiece. Shouppe and Puerta also scored twice.

The teams combined to throw 489 pitches.

Game two: FAU 7, Charlotte 4

After Charlotte took a 1-0 lead in the first, FAU battled back and scored in each of the following three innings to take a 4-1.

However, Charlotte battled back against three different FAU pitchers in the sixth to tie it up.

In the following FAU turn at-bat, a fielder’s choice off the bat of Shouppe pushed the Owls ahead. They added another on a two-out double by freshman Eric Rivera in the eighth, and sophomore Tyler Frank led off the ninth with a home run for his fourth hit of the game.

Junior Mark Nowatnick completed his 3 1/3 innings of relief with a perfect bottom of the ninth, via two groundouts sandwiched around his fourth strikeout of the afternoon. He gave up just one hit and retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced.

Redshirt freshman Jordan Poore got his first career extra-base hit, a double in the fourth, and took home on the front end of a double steal with freshman Pedro Pages.

Game three: FAU 5, Charlotte 11

Charlotte exploded for nine first-inning runs before junior Jake Miednik could record an out, and added a 10th off freshman Nick Prather.

The Owls pitching settled down after the inning as Prather, redshirt sophomores Blake Sanderson and Weston Clemente and didn’t allow a run over the next six innings.

FAU attempted to repeat Friday’s comeback and cut the lead in half, 10-5, by the seventh inning. Three of the five runs came via the home run, with Rivera hitting a solo shot in the second and Shouppe scoring two in the seventh.

But Charlotte scored again in the eighth inning to extend its lead before shutting down the Owls in the ninth to close the game.

FAU will travel to Orlando to take on the University of Central Florida on Tuesday, April 11.