Baseball: Owls get second straight Conference USA series sweep following Charlotte 49ers

The Owls have won seven straight games, tying their season high.


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

Mattt Brown, Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic baseball sweeps the Charlotte 49ers for their seventh straight victory, tying their season high.

Here’s a recap of each game in the series:

Game One: FAU 5, Charlotte 2

Stellar pitching from senior Jake Miednik into the ninth inning allowed the Owls to earn their fifth straight win.

Junior shortstop Tyler Frank got on base first with a walk, followed shortly after by senior designated hitter David Miranda reaching on a fielder’s choice.

Sophomore catcher Pedro Pages sent them home with a three-run shot to right field, putting FAU up 3-0 early.

Both teams were held scoreless after that until the top of the sixth, when first baseman Zack Smith hit a solo home run for the 49ers first run of the game.

The Owls answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a homer of their own, this time a two-run shot by Miranda, putting them up 5-1.

The 49ers scored a run with no outs in the top of the ninth, but the Owls held them for the 5-2 victory.

Miednik got the win pitching eight innings of six hit ball. He struck out six and allowed just two runs.

Miranda went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Pages went 1-for-4 with three RBIs while scoring a run.

Game Two: FAU 5, Charlotte 4 (11)

The Owls clinched the series in the first extra inning game of the season, off a homer in the 11th inning from sophomore left fielder Eric Rivera.

Miranda got the offense started in the third with his second homer of the series, a two-run shot to right field.

The 49ers answered back the very next inning when left fielder Drew Ober scored off a single to right center from third baseman Jackson Mims.

Miranda added to the Owls lead with his second two-run homer of the game and third in the series, giving FAU a 4-1 lead.

Charlotte eventually tied the score up in the ninth, scoring three runs before junior pitcher Zach Schneider came on with two outs in relief.

Schneider pitched the next three innings, allowing just one hit through the 10 batters he faced.

That set up Rivera for the heroics in the bottom of the eleventh, giving the Owls the 5-4 win. 

“Offensively we need to do better.” said FAU Head Baseball coach John McCormack. “I thought we pitched fine…I’m glad we won but we’ve to be better in a lot of facets of the game.”

Schneider got the win allowing just one hit and striking out one in 3.1 innings.

Miranda was 2-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Rivera was 3-for-5 with one run, including the game winning home run.

Game Three: FAU 6, Charlotte 5

Trailing 5-1 entering the bottom of the fifth, the Owls scored five unanswered to get the 6-5 win and the series sweep.

The 49ers used two straight singles to center field in the first inning from catcher Harris Yett and Smith to score two runs. They added to that lead in the next inning on a throwing error from Owls junior third baseman Joe Montes to take a 3-0 lead early.

FAU got on the board in the bottom half of the second inning when senior catcher Kevin Abraham came around after a throwing error from 49ers left fielder Drew Ober. This came following a single by sophomore second baseman Richie Nizza.

The 49ers extended the lead to four, 5-1, later on in the top of the fifth.

Second baseman Tommy Bullock first scored on a wild pitch before shortstop Hunter Jones scored off a single by center fielder Reece Hampton.

The Owls started their comeback in the bottom half of the fifth when Tyler Frank scored on a throwing error after a single to first base from Montes.

They scored three runs in the sixth to tie the game up.

A double to right field from junior right fielder Joe Montes scored both Nizza and Abraham. Johnson then scored to tie it up at five apiece after a single to left field from Montes.

Frank led off the eighth with a single through the left side. With one out and Frank on third, Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Frank to give the Owls the lead and eventual 6-5 win.

Overall, both teams combined for eight errors for the game.

“The best thing I can say is we won,” said McCormack. “That was an ugly Sunday game.”

Senior pitcher Mark Nowatnick got the win allowing just three hits and no runs in three innings of relief.

Frank was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Abraham was 1-for-3 with two runs scored.

The Owls have won seven straight following a season long three game losing streak.

The Owls (24-8) travel to Florida Gulf Coast for a single game on Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 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.