Baseball: Owls sweep George Washington in opening series of 2018 season

The Owls clinched the sweep with a walk off single by Diamond Johnson


Sophomore center fielder Eric Rivera looks out to the field after making contact during the bottom of the first inning versus the Hurricanes on March 1, 2017. Ryan Lynch | Business Manager

Matt Brown, Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic baseball started the 2018 season off with a three-game sweep over George Washington University, including a walk-off win in the final game of the series.

Here’s a recap of each game:

Game One: FAU 3, George Washington 0

Senior pitcher Jake Miednik pitched one hit, no run ball for six innings to help lead the Owls to a shutout 3-0 victory on Opening Day of the 2018 season.

This comes just two days after his former high school Stoneman Douglas, which his sister currently attends, was the victim of a shooting where 17 people were killed.

“It is unfortunate what happened,” said Miednik. “You have got to keep pushing forward. The task at hand was George Washington tonight. I just try to go out there and pitch as best as I possibly can.”

Neither team recorded a hit until the bottom of the third, when sophomore catcher Pedro Pages hit a double into left centerfield to score two runs. That turned out to be all the runs the Owls needed.

In the top of the fourth inning, sophomore second baseman Eric Rivera added an insurance run off of a throwing error by Colonials first baseman Dominic D’Alessandro.

Junior pitcher Blake Sanderson struck out three and allowed one hit in two innings of relief, while fellow junior pitcher Zach Schneider earned the save in the ninth.

Pages was 1-for-4 for two RBIs. Junior left fielder Diamond Johnson went 1-for-3 and scored one run.

Game Two: FAU 6, George Washington 1

The Owls offense came alive in an eventual 6-1 win in game two of the series.

With a 2-0 lead, the Owls earned three hits and scored four runs in the bottom half of the sixth to break the game wide open.

It started with a single by Pages to open up the inning. Junior first baseman Gunnar Lambert then doubled down the right field line.

The Colonials then decided to intentionally walk Rivera to load the bases. Sophomore pinch hitter Richie Nizza was walked unintentionally to bring Pages home.

Johnson then singled down the left side scoring both Rivera and Lambert.

Nizza eventually scored the Owls fourth run of the inning off of a wild pitch by Colonials pitcher Billy Grant.

George Washington attempted a comeback in the ninth with right fielder Mark Osis scoring off a single by catcher Bryant Holtzapple. They couldn’t plate any more runs though, eventually leaving three players stranded on base.

Junior pitcher Kyle Marman earned his first win of the year. He struck out seven and allowed just four hits in six innings.

Junior third baseman Joe Montes was 2-for-4, scoring one run. Rivera was 2-for-2 with an RBI along with scoring a run.

Game Three: FAU 3, George Washington 2

After recording just one run in the first 18 innings of the series, the Colonials didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard in this game. Third baseman Isaiah Pasteur hit a solo home run to left field on the first pitch of the game to give his team their first lead of the series 1-0.

They added to that lead later on in the top of the fourth with a single to right center by second baseman Robbie Metz which scored Osis for a 2-0 lead.

The Owls cut into that lead to 2-1 off a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Kevin Abraham which scored sophomore center fielder Cody Wilson in the top of the seventh inning.

After a Rivera single to start the bottom of the ninth, Andru Summerall was walked to put two men on with one out. A passed ball by the catcher advanced Rivera and pinch runner Nizza to second and third base.

Down to the last out of the game Johnson launched a single to right field to score Rivera and Summerall for the walk off 3-2 victory for the sweep.

“That last at-bat I just wanted to stay simple,” said Johnson, after winning the game with a walk-off single. “Stay short to the ball and not try to be a hero. Just try to stay simple and capitalize on the other opponent’s pitcher’s mistakes.”

Senior pitcher Drew Peden earned the win after coming into the game in relief. He pitched three innings and allowed no hits while striking out four of the nine batters he faced.

Junior pitcher Vince Coletti allowed eight hits and two runs in six innings while striking out three.

Rivera was 1-for-4 with one hit and a run scored. Johnson was 1-for-4 with two RBIs, with that hit being the walk-off.

The Owls (3-0) travel to the University of Florida for their next game to take on the Gators in a single game on Tues. Feb. 20 at 6:00 p.m.   

Matt Brown is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @mattyb407.