Baseball: FAU unable to complete comeback, fall to Rice in first round of Conference USA tournament

The Owls will play the loser of the game between Old Dominion and Florida International tomorrow.


Senior Sean Labsean waits for the pitch during the Owls game versus the University of Miami on March 1. Ryan Lynch | Business Manager

Hans Belot Jr., Sports Editor

After playing from behind the entire game, Florida Atlantic baseball was unable to complete its attempted comeback, falling 5-3 to Rice University Wednesday afternoon in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The third-seeded Owls (33-20) trailed the sixth-seeded Rice (28-29) the entire game after falling behind early, and were never able to recover. FAU will now enter the losers’ bracket and face the loser of the game between Old Dominion and Florida International.

Since the tournament consists of a two-game elimination system, the Owls will be eliminated if they lose tomorrow.

Rice took an early 2-0 lead on a RBI groundout by Dominic DiCaprio and a solo home run by Tristan Gray in the first inning. Although the Owls would pull a run back in the second inning with a senior Esteban Puerta homerun, FAU was never able to complete its comeback.

Rice would extend its lead by two in the third inning via a solo home run by DiCaprio, but FAU would inch closer with a solo home run of its own by sophomore Tyler Frank.

The Texas-based Owls would add two more runs in the sixth and seventh to take its biggest advantage of the night, but FAU refused to go down quietly. Senior Stephen Kerr hit the Owls’ third homerun of the day —  and the game’s fifth — but FAU was unable to get any more runs for the remainder of the game

Frank finished 2-for-4 with a run and one RBI, while Puerta added one run and an RBI.

The Owls will play their second game of the tournament on Thursday, May 25 at 10:00 a.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_.