Baseball: Owls defeat Rice 7-4 to make it to semifinals of C-USA tournament

Matt Harris earned his first save of the year allowing just two hits in three innings of relief


Photo by Max Jackson

Matt Brown, Contributing Writer

FAU Baseball got revenge on Rice Saturday afternoon with a 7-4 win to keep their C-USA tournament hopes alive. They are set to play Rice again Saturday night with the winner moving on to the championship game on Sunday.

No.3 FAU (39-16-1) previously lost to Rice 5-4 on Friday night which sent them to the loser’s bracket. They then defeated Louisiana Tech 8-6 later that day to set up the rematch with Rice.

No.7 Rice (26-30-2) was previously undefeated in the tournament after wins over Louisiana Tech and FAU. They are looking to make it to their third straight tournament championship and win it for the second year in a row.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the third FAU loaded the bases with no outs. Rice pitcher Roel Garcia then walked home a run to tie the game up and the Owls later added three more runs on four hits to take a 4-1 lead.

The game remained 4-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth when pitcher Blake Sanderson retired the first two Rice batters. FAU looked to close things out but shortstop Tyler Frank let a grounder roll through his legs to keep the inning going.

Rice took advantage of the error later tying the game up after a bases clearing RBI double from shortstop Ford Proctor.

FAU’s offense couldn’t get anything going following the four runs third inning with nine straight batters being retired.

Things changed in the top of the seventh when they started off the seventh inning with three straight singles to load the bases with no outs.

Right fielder Jordan Poore then scored a run on a double play to take the lead again, 5-4.

Left fielder Eric Rivera then provided two separate two out RBI singles in the seventh and ninth inning to add insurance runs for FAU to finish on top, 7-4.

With a 6-4 lead pitcher Matt Harris came on in relief in the bottom of the seventh. He allowed just two hits and struck out three for the three inning save, his first of the year.

Weston Clemente was credited for the win after coming on for relief in the bottom of the sixth. He allowed no runs and one hit in 0.1 innings of work.

Starting pitcher Blake Sanderson allowed four runs, one earned, and six hits in 5.2 innings. He also struck out seven.

Rivera was 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs.

Third baseman Joe Montes was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

Right fielder Jordan Poore was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Frank, Gunnar Lambert, and Jared DeSantolo each had one hit apiece.

The Owls are set to face off against each other again later tonight with the winner advancing to the Championship game Sunday at 2:00 p.m est. First pitch for tonight’s game is tentatively scheduled for 10:00 p.m est.

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